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 Pro Cycling on $10 a Day, Phil brings the full powers of his wit to tell his unlikely story.
Presented here as a guide—and a warning—to aspiring racers who dream of joining the professional racing circus, Phil’s adventures in road rash serve as a hilarious and cautionary tale of frustrating team directors and broken promises. Phil’s education in the ways of the peloton, his discouraging negotiations for a better contract, his endless miles crisscrossing America in pursuit of race wins, and his conviction that somewhere just around the corner lies the ticket to the big time fuel this tale of hope and ambition from one of cycling’s best story-tellers.
Pro Cycling on $10 a Day chronicles the racer’s daily lot of blood-soaked bandages, sleazy motels, cheap food, and overflowing toilets. But it also celebrates the true beauty of the sport and the worth of the journey, proving in the end that even among the narrow ranks of world-class professional cycling, there will always be room for a hard-working outsider.
Paperback with photographs throughout.
6″ x 9″, 320 pp., $18.95, 9781937715243
AVAILABLE APRIL 2014 – Order autographed copies at PhiltheThrill.net!
1 Take What You Can Get
2 Pay Your Dues
3 Put It in the 11
4 Pay Your Dues Again
5 Keep Racing as Long as You Can
6 Hold It Down
7 Get Serious
8 You Gotta Believe
Epilogue: Keep Pushing the Boulder Up the Hill
At a time when pro cycling has struggled with its image, Phil Gaimon has emerged as a refreshing voice from the peloton — intelligent, humorous, articulate, and above all, transparent. As a college-educated latecomer to the sport, as an outsider who struggled to be given a chance, and as someone with the perspective to laugh at the absurdity of being paid to ride a bicycle for a living, Gaimon’s insights into the pro cycling world resonate with a wide audience. His self-effacing humor, commitment to clean sport, and extraordinary talent have made him a bit of an everyman hero within pro cycling — a rider you want to hear from, and know more about, win or lose.
Having watched Phil race over the past few years we know he is a great, versatile rider with a huge amount of talent. Beyond that, he is also funny, smart and unique addition to the team. We think he’ll be a great fit both on the road and off and we look forward to helping him take the next step in his career.
An outspoken proponent of clean competition, Gaimon sports a tattoo of a bar of soap with the world ‘clean’ on his right bicep, and he was attracted to Garmin-Sharp for its ethical code.
Pro Cycling on $10 a Day is the story we all want to hear: a regular guy who rides from overweight amateur to European pro in a short time, finding his way and making the best decisions from the resources he had. Phil’s story inspires hope in up-and-comers about what hard work can produce. If you listen, pay attention and surround yourself with the best people you can, then no dream is out of touch.
We have discovered a light-hearted, hard-working rider with strong convictions.
I believed in Phil and he worked hard to make the best of his opportunity in racing. He lived out of his car, trained hard, drove hours to get to races, and always showed up ready to fight at each race. He didn’t have it easy… I never knew what was going to come out of Phil’s mouth but I always knew he would race himself into the ground to try and win for himself or the team.
The first thing you’ll notice about Phil’s house is a sit-up bench in his living room instead of a TV. The next thing is all the framed Calvin and Hobbes cartoons on the walls. In the strip, Calvin’s bike was always trying to kill him and this was true for Phil when he needed race results so bad, he was willing to risk it all. Phil’s book tells the story of the guy who mastered his bike, worked hard, and finally found a contract that pays a little more than $10 a day.
Phil Gaimon embodies what every aspiring cyclist wants to be: skinny, fast, and clean. He attacked his dream of going pro so hard he ended up in a nightmare with me. Read his book and you’ll realize that Phil speaks the truth: bike racing is hard, but becoming a pro is even harder.