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Pro Cycling on $10 a Day: From Fat Kid to Euro Pro

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  1,225 ratings  ·  99 reviews

Plump, grumpy, slumped on the couch, and going nowhere fast at age 16, Phil Gaimon began riding a bicycle with the grand ambition of shedding a few pounds before going off to college. He soon fell into racing and discovered he was a natural, riding his way into a pro contract after just one season despite utter ignorance of a century of cycling etiquette. Now, in his book

Kindle Edition, 314 pages
Published May 5th 2014 by VeloPress
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4.24  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,225 ratings  ·  99 reviews

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Apr 20, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014-reads
*** 1/2

Fun read though it probably won't appeal to anyone who isn't already a fan and doesn't already follow the sport. The names, the teams, the strategies and tactics--they all require a base knowledge of bike racing. (Most people would never know why calling Tom Danielson "Christian" is funny. But it is.)

What I was reminded of reading this is that as a group, bike riders are smart. They're well-educated, well-read, and they're interesting people. They also (at least the men) engage in a lot
Apr 17, 2015 rated it it was ok
It's probably best for me to admit right off the bat that I'm not a cycling enthusiast and certainly not an expert in the sport. However, I have a basic understanding of the sport (know several individuals who race on teams across the state), and thought this would be an interesting read as an outsider. I had heard from those who are into cycling that this would be one I could follow and possibly enjoy, since the author doesn't go into too many technical details, and that did prove to be the cas ...more
Aug 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very much enjoyed this all the way through, and read it extremely quickly as a result (and also because it was very simply written and an extremely easy read). It was really funny and interesting and also pretty informative in terms of what it's like to be a domestic pro cyclist. A nice change of pace from the philosophy anthology I've been grinding through recently.
Kelly Thompson
May 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
From Fat Kid to Euro Pro!!!!! I love bikes!!!

Til next time Phil
Jul 11, 2014 rated it liked it
I didn’t read Phil Gaimon’s Pro Cycling on $10 a Day as part of some grand scheme to turn professional. On the contrary, I gave up on that dream years ago. Nonetheless, the book contains plenty of good advice and stories from within the pro peloton enjoyable for the cycling fan as well the aspiring pro.
To be clear this is not strictly a how-to book, as the title may imply. Rather it’s a story of one bike racer who rose up quickly through the ranks of the domestic racing scene and the struggles,
Kelly Pulley
Jun 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great inside look into what it takes to be a pro cyclist. Very funny, though sometimes Phil's humor and language can be pretty crude. I suppose that should be expected from a single guy his age. Good lessons on hard work and perseverance. Well written.
Apr 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A look behind the scenes at the life of a pro racer (hint: it's not all roses and podium finishes). Funny and insightful, Gaimon has a knack for storytelling that will keep you reading.
If you're interested in pro cycling, you'll probably get a lot more out of this book than a non-fan. I am a recreational cyclist at best and some of the race strategy terms went over my head. The pace of the book is one of its strengths and one of its weaknesses. The detailed descriptions of how a particular stage played out in 2012 can be tedious, but they're over within a couple of pages. The quick pace also makes some of the behind the scenes tidbits go a little too fast and leaves you wantin ...more
Zachary Kjellberg
Mar 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I decided to give this a book after enjoying Phil's fantastic Worst Retirement Ever YouTube channel.

The book highlights Phil's experience signing with U.S. cycling clubs and the many challenges due to the doping scandals. I was shocked at how poorly a professional could be treated (salary and poor club support), but I really admire Phil's drive and hard work effort.

Even with a miserably low salary, he was able to really put his heart into cycling and I found his learning process fascinating. He
Nov 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cycling, memoir
Pro Cycling on $10 a day covers Gaimon’s progression from fat guy on a couch to pro cyclist. The writing style is humorous and often sarcastic, which makes it an extremely enjoyable read. If you’re like me and love cycling as a sport, whether you are a weekend group rider or have dabbled in the amateur racing scene, you will like this book, and may even learn something useful. I particularly enjoyed his descriptions of team tactics and how a skinny guy should race a crit!

This book is a breath o
Nov 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very enjoyable! I've owned my copy for some time but kept delaying reading it. I don't know why. It is very funny and entertaining. As a cyclist myself, I know many of the roads he road on and the races he participated in. The writing is excellent throughout. Above and beyond the standard sport biography/memoir which usually has someone else "ghost" writing. I didn't want to put the book down and now will get the second book in his professional cycling saga. And, I will make more of an effort to ...more
Feb 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I really enjoyed this book. I've admired Gaimon for a while and enjoyed reading tales of how he got started and his struggles along the way. His biting humor is evident in almost every story but there are also honest lessons that he's learned about life, dealing with people, and how to handle the curveballs thrown at you. I'd recommend it for anyone interested in cycling and looking for a humorous, honest take on the sport.
Randall Russell
Nov 15, 2017 rated it it was ok
I did not find this book very interesting. As someone who has trained for thousands of miles, and ridden several centuries, I would say that the author provided very little insight into how to train to be an elite-level rider, or what the experience is like in racing at that level. Because of that, I found this book to be quite disappointing, and therefore would not recommend it to anyone who's interested in cycling.
Ivor Kovic
Mar 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very entertaining and funny book.
Easy to read. Something you can keep on your coffee table or read on a commute.
After reading several books from European cycling legends, it offered a different perspective from somebody who had to struggle for every small gain. It also offers insight into US cycling scene, which I did not know much about.
Jul 07, 2018 rated it liked it
This is a fun read. I came to it from Phil's podcast "Real Talent." It's clunky in places because there are digressions within the flow of the story, but they're all fun and insightful into the life of a semi-pro cyclist in the U.S. I'm curious what Phil's take is on the current controversy with Froome (Le Tour started today).
Jun 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Fun Read

I thoroughly enjoyed Phil the Thrill’s description of the amateur and pro cycling circuit. It has inspired me to take a drive out to Kutztown to ride the Pennsylvania hills and enjoy some racing at T-Town. Thanks Phil!
Hariharan Ragunathan
Engaging read, and takes you through the life of an upcoming pro biker, especially in the context of US pro racing scene. Does cover some good tit bit info about cycling learning Phil had over his coming of the age life story.
Oct 04, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cycling
The first odd thing about this is that the print edition I read had the title that the Kindle edition carries, Pro Cycling on $10 a Day: From Fat Kid to Euro Pro. Both editions are from Velo Press. This seems . . . odd.

Gaimon blogs for VeloPress, for example this blog post. Having read a few of these, I was hoping for an enjoyable reading experience and I was a little let down by what I found, thus three stars.

I am a long time bike commuter and I have the usual too-many-bikes and even blog about
Larry Gagnon
Mar 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Being a cyclist, I enjoyed Phil’s humor, the stories, the challenges and more. I kept turning pages. A little like listening to a good buddy. I am looking forward to passing the book to a next cycling friend.
Joe Pickert
Nov 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
I think Phil's a pretty cool dude, and this is a really interesting book for cycling enthusiasts of all stripes. Some of his jokes and comments just kind of rubbed me the wrong way though. Would still recommend!
Chris Harrod
Oct 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I'm a cyclist and I really enjoyed reading this book. It's a really easy read and it's a page turner. If you're not a cyclist and you don't know much about racing, it may not appeal to you but I really enjoyed it.
Sep 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great for fans of pro cycling
Oct 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
If you're a cycling fan at all, you owe it to yourself to read this book. Gaimon's candid account of the day-in, day-out life of cycling's minor leagues is amazing.
Jan 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
fast, fun read.
Jun 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars
Apr 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
love phil
Virgilio Pigliucci
Feb 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
So fun to read about races and people that I still race/meet nowadays.
Sep 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of the most laugh-out-loud funny and entertaining books about pro bicycle racing I've read. Phil is a natural writer, and his story is absorbing and revealing in equal parts.
Jun 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really liked this one. I wish I would have read it before Draft Animals. But it was still good.
Feb 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Phil Gaimon is a very funny guy.
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Madison Mega-Mara...: #119 - Pro cycling on $10 a Day 1 2 Dec 08, 2014 01:04AM  
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“SILVER CITY IS NO PLACE FOR AMATEURS I left Colorado Springs the next morning and got back in the fucking car for another day of driving for the Tour of the Gila. I’d never driven in snow before, but I made it to Santa Fe and then Albuquerque in the afternoon, careful to dodge all the tumbleweeds on the highway in New Mexico. I hadn’t known that those existed outside of cartoons. Already exhausted when I got off the interstate, I was surprised when my GPS said “48 miles remaining, 1.5 hours’ drive time”—I was sure that couldn’t be right. Then I saw the steep climbs, bumpy cattle guards, and dangerous descents on the road into Silver City. I drove as fast as I could, sliding my poor car around hairpins in the dark. I made it to the host house, fell asleep, and found two flat tires when I went outside to unpack the car in the morning. They probably weren’t meant for drifting. My luck didn’t improve when the race started. I got a flat tire when I went off the road to dodge a crash, and I chased for over an hour to get back to the field. Between the dry air and altitude, I got a major nosebleed. My car was parked at the base of the finishing climb, and I got there several minutes behind the field, my new white Cannondale and all my clothes covered in blood. The course turned right to go up the climb, and I turned left, climbed into my car, and got the hell out of there. I might have made the time cut, but for the second time in two weeks, I opted to climb in the car instead. I got out of that town like I was about to turn into a pumpkin, and made it back to San Diego nine hours later. If there wasn’t a Pacific Ocean to stop me, I’d have driven another day, just to get farther from Gila.” 1 likes
“I ignored a slew of insults in text messages, happy that another bridge worth burning was sinking to the bottom of the river, and I could look forward to a year with a new team.” 0 likes
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