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Looking for a good read to fuel your mountain biking adventures? Thankfully, there are a lot of great reads out.
Whether you want to be inspired by adventure-seeking enthusiasts traveling the world on two wheels or you’re looking for visual guides on how to improve your mountain biking skills or even a bedtime story for your kids, in this post you’ll find a book for everyone.
A writer from Alaska, Jill Homer had a dream of completing the toughest mountain bike race in the world – the Great Divide. This route stretches 2,700 miles from the US/Canada border all the way south to the New Mexico/Mexico border. Many racers drop out before the end.
Be Brave, Be Strong is about Jill’s journey of training for the race, riding the race, and how it changed her afterward. It’s an inspiring read, even for those who aren’t interested in riding or racing the Tour Divide.
The Divide: A 2,700 Mile Search For Answers follows one man’s journey along the Great Divide Mountain Bike Trail that runs from Alberta in the north all the way down to the southern border of New Mexico.
It’s one of the hardest biking routes in the world when completed in its entirety, and as can be expected, each rider comes away with a load of stories and insights – some better told after a few months of recovery.
Nathan’s story is about his solo ride during a time when he was trying to ‘figure life out’. It’s funny at times, inspiring, a bit self-deprecating, sometimes highfalutin, and all-around a great adventure.
Mountain Biker Autobiographies
I’ve been a long-time fan of Danny MacAskill ever since I discovered his trials tricks on YouTube. His videos are so inspiring (my favorite is The Ridge) and his talents are beyond ‘normal’.
He also seems like a pretty down-to-earth Scottish dude. Danny wrote the mountain bike book At The Edge: Riding For My Life in 2018 to dive a bit deeper into his childhood and what it takes – mentally and physically – to do the stuff that he does. It’s a great read!
Rebecca Rusch is known as the Queen of Pain and she’s one of the greatest endurance athletes in the world.
Rusch has cycled into the unknowns of Vietnam to search for her father who went missing 40 years earlier, she’s completed the grueling Alaska Iditarod (fat biking) Trail Invitational, and she’s a 7x world champion for a mixed bag of events from gravel biking to cross-country skiing. She’s probably best known for being a 3x winner of the Leadville Trail 100 mountain bike race – no easy feat!
Her book – Rusch to Glory – “weaves her fascinating life’s story among the exotic locales and extreme conditions that forged an extraordinary athlete from ordinary roots.”
It’s a truly inspiring read.
Coffee Table Books
You may know Taj Mihelich from his Sunday comics on Pink Bike. He creates funny cartoons about mountain bikers and the sport of mountain biking. They usually make me giggle.
He’s put together a book of his cartoons called Back Before They Invented Open Face Helmets and it’s a great compilation of his art and humorous thoughts.
Not all the comics are about mountain biking, but there’s a good chunk of them.
Looking for some epic mountain bike rides around the world? This book, Epic Bike Rides of the World, has got you covered. It’s chock-full of amazing ideas (not all mountain biking) of bike rides, routes, and itineraries around the world from a rural bikepacking adventure through Mongolia to a river cruise to an urban tour through New York City.
On my bucket list? Tasmania by mountain bike.
Lonely Planet has also released the book Epic Bike Rides of the Americas. This great coffee table book includes rides and routes throughout North, Central, and South America.
Among these pages, you’ll find amazing mountain bike trips like pedaling the Baja Divide, exploring the Whistler Bike Park, and traversing the Trans Ecuador Mountain Bike Route.
Charlie Kelly, along with Gary Fisher, Tom Ritchey, and others, was one of the originators of mountain biking culture in the United States. They started the Repack race series in the ’70s on the slopes of Mount Tamalpais in Marin County, California. These races were basically a bunch of hippies bombing down dirt roads on klunker bikes, but it was the start of mountain biking as we know it today.
Fat Tire Flyer is a book that chronicles the Repack races and how those events grew into a movement. It’s a great look back on the history of mountain biking and a reminder of how far bikes have come!
Mountain Bike Maintenance Books
For anyone interesting in doing their own bike maintenance, a mountain bike repair book is a great resource to have in the shop even if you rely mostly on YouTube videos (like me!). Zinn and the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance is probably the most widely used mountain biking book and it’s been around for a while.
From basic repairs like fixing a flat to more advanced maintenance like bleeding brakes, Zinn (who is a master mechanic himself) walks readers through almost every bike repair and maintenance job imaginable with clear, easy steps and illustrated guides.
10. Park Tool Big Blue Book of Bicycle Repair
Park Tool is the brand of choice for most mountain bike shops, so it’s no surprise that they have a bike repair bible as well. The Park Tool Big Blue Book of Bicycle Repair has detailed guides and helpful images for almost every bike repair you could need from simple adjustments to in-depth overhauls.
This is the fourth edition of this book, so you can be sure that the information is up-to-date and accurate for most mountain bikes.
Read Next: Building Your Home Bike Tool Kit
Mountain Bike Skills Books
Brian Lopes is a world-champion mountain bike racer, so if you’re looking to improve your skills and up your game, then grab a copy of his book, Mastering Mountain Bike Skills. Filled with stories from his career as a racer as well as helpful riding techniques, it will give you some insights into how to improve your riding no matter your skill level.
He has tips for all types of mountain bikers from Enduro racers to pump track riders to cross-country pedalers.
Beautifully illustrated, Becoming a Superwoman on a Bike is a fun and informative guide for newbie mountain bikers (and fat-bikers). It’s definitely written for those just starting out, but if that’s you or someone you know, this could be a great resource!
Mountain Biking Books for Kids
Lindsey Richter is the founder of the mountain bike skills clinic Ladies AllRide. I’ve coached alongside her on several occasions and not only is she an awesome mountain biker, but she’s also a really cool person.
In her first book Mountain Biking Adventures with Izzy, co-authored with Heidi Ashwell, Lindsey aims to teach young groms the importance of being a good trail steward as well as how bikes can build confidence and create community.
Do your kids love mountain biking, too? Get them stoked for their first ride with this adorable kids mountain biking book featuring four animal friends who go out for a fun-filled day on the trails. Just their names are worth getting the book for – Gnarwhal, Radypus, Pow Cow and Hang Moose.
I’m planning on getting The Adventure Friends: Mountain Bike Day for my niece!
14. Bernie the Bike Builder
Bernie the Bike Builder is another story by Pink Bike cartoonist Taj Mihelich. In this kids story, he writes about Bernie who is a world-famous bike builder and designs bikes for athletes around the world. But he’s disappointed that none of his friends like biking until he discovers that it’s because none of them have a bike that fits them! Bernie goes on a mission to build bikes for all his pals including T-Rex, Bat, Shark, and more.
Looking for more ideas? Check out my post on the Best Adventure Cycling Books
What are your favorite mountain bike books? Which ones would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments!