“If there is any one book fans of cycling and American sports should read, it’s Peter Nye’s second edition of Hearts of Lions. Updated to cover the male and female cyclists who stormed the roads of Europe in the era after Greg LeMond won three editions of the Tour de France, Nye’s latest edition of the definitive history of American cycling is a must-read.”—Mark Johnson, author of Spitting in the Soup: Inside the Dirty Game of Doping in Sport
American bicycle racers were the best in the world from the early part of this century through 1940. In the 1984 Olympics and 1986 Tour de France, the Americans returned to prominence. Nye chronicles the history of American bicycle racingtrack, road, and stage races; Americans on the European circuit; and the Olympics. There's no great detail about specific eras or individuals; everything is covered in brief, journalistic style. His comments on women cyclists are insightful. Eclectic historical bibliography included. For comprehensive collections. Thomas K. Fry, UCLA Libs.
A significant contribution to American sports history, this study by a former bicycle racer reminds us that, a century ago, bike racing was the major U.S. sport. Stars earned tens of thousands of dollars a year at a time when baseball heroes were making $5000. And some of the nation's greatest technological thinkers were involved in bicycle-making, including Henry Ford and the Wright brothers. Interest in the sport peaked in the 1920s, especially as a result of six-day bike races, held all over the country, but most notably at Madison Square Garden and the Velodrome in Newark, N.J. That interest waned in the Depression and war years, when the focus of bicycle racing shifted to Europe, but the victory of American Greg LeMond in the 1986 Tour de France has revived interest in the sport in this country.