The Misunderstood World of a Bike Racer


Roadie is a light-hearted exploration of the world of road cycling, bike racing, and the people who love it.

In stock


Roadie is a light-hearted exploration of the world of road cycling, bike racing, and the people who love it.

Veteran race announcer and long-time cycling enthusiast Jamie Smith sets out to explain the sport he loves and the roadies who live for it in this lighthearted treatise on bike racing. Roadie reveals what’s to love about dressing in technicolored Lycra at the crack of dawn on Saturday and returning at sundown with a glow of satisfaction—and more prominent tan lines.

Perfect for those who are puzzled by road cyclists, have considered riding a road bike, or walked away from a bike race completely baffled, Roadie addresses all of the curiosities that accompany the sport of cycling, from shaved legs to colorful jerseys and unbelievably expensive bicycles, shoes, and components. Every seemingly neurotic tendency is explained and celebrated with humorous illustrations from nationally syndicated cartoonist Jef Mallett (also rumored to log thousands of miles of riding per year).

Explaining strategy and races from the famous Tour de France stage race to the local criterium, Roadie brings the excitement of bike racing alive for anyone with an appetite for adrenaline. And for the thousands who purchase a shiny new road bike each spring, it’s a much-needed primer on the politics of a group ride. Pacelines, drafting, sprinting, climbing, and breakaways are turned into everyday commonsense with colorful anecdotes.

Whether interested onlooker or cycling aficionado, readers will find themselves laughing out loud as they revel in the roadie’s world.

Enjoy some quick excerpts from Roadie on the VeloPress Culture & Etiquette page!

Paperback with illustrations throughout.
Illustrated by Jef Mallett
6″ x 9″, 256 pp., $21.95, 9781934030172

Roadie: The Misunderstood World of a Bike Racer

Shipping Dimensions: 6.71in x 8.98in x 0.68in pp $21.95, Inventory 9781934030172, Shipping 0.80lbs


1 Riders Ready
2 The Bike
3 The Lifestyle
4 The Training Ride
5 Nutrition and the Bonk

6 Drafting and the Breakaway
7 The Sprint, the Solo,
the Combine, and Others
8 Crashes

9 Race Day
10 The System
11 Our Sponsors

12 The Criterium
13 The Road Race
14 The Individual Time Trial
15 The Stage Race
16 Podium Finish

About the Author
About the Illustrator

Preview book.

”This primer explains everything you’ve wanted to know (and more) about a somewhat mysterious sport.” Chicago Tribune

”Absolutely entertaining from start to finish. The book finishes up with ways non-cycling friends and family can start enjoying the favored pastime of their bike racing friends. Terms, strategies, and ideas are explained so well that even someone who really doesn’t care for cycling will stay interested, maybe even enough to pique their interested and get into the sport.”

“After spending years explaining the little idiosyncrasies of being a bike racer, Jamie Smith decided to write a book to bring understanding to the masses. Roadie acts as a complete guide to the life of a bike racer. I found myself nodding in agreement with each page, as Smith picked apart everything it means to be a bike racer in a way that only a true roadie could. It’s engaging, entertaining, and downright fun, from front cover to back.”

”This witty primer offers lively insights into race formats and techniques, including drafting, breakaways and strategies employed in professional and amateur bicycle racing. Get it for family members and friends who are interested in the lingo and politics of bicycle racing, if not up for the experience of actually pulling on a pair of padded Lycra shorts.” Denver Post

”A well-written and informative insight into the world of road racing.” Lightweight News

”I wish I had a copy of Roadie when I started racing 35 years ago. Jamie Smith’s wealth of knowledge, insightful comments about racing, and wonderful wit and infectious enthusiasm certainly would have helped me explain cycling to all my friends and family who thought I was crazy.” — Paul Alman, President, Michigan Bicycle Racing Association

”Jamie Smith has succeeded, with a light and amusing style, to convey the joy of the sport with an unblinking eye…There is no question that Roadie will keep the interest of someone new to the sport.” —

”We should be very grateful for this epiphany; members of my family had to ask me to stop laughing so much while I was carrying out the perfectly respectable and serious task of reviewing the book.” — TheWashingMachinePost

”You will recognise yourself in many of the actions and situations described in this gently amusing and well written book.” — Arrivee magazine

You may also like…

  • Ask a Pro by Phil Gaimon

    Ask a Pro

    Read more
  • TPC_72dpi_400x500_stroke Training Plans for Cyclists

    Training Plans for Cyclists

    Read more
  • Pro Cycling on $10 a Day by Phil Gaimon

    Pro Cycling on $10 a Day

    Select options