The December issue of Seattle Magazine touts “The Race” in
their annual The Best and the Worst of Seattle under “The Best” category for
“For the hottest page-turner to hit the city, pick up "The
Race: A Novel of Grit, Tactics and the Tour de France" by Utah-based Dave
Shields (Three Story Press). Shields calls his hero Ben, who overcomes
innumerable obstacles on his way to the Tour, "the Rocky of cycling." A
white-knuckle ride ending in triumph, the book reads like a murder mystery.
Seattleites who made the mistake of reading it before bedtime experienced
serious sleep deprivation. Warning: You won't be able to put it down."
Add to this the report in many of the major news services
that “Peloton” is in the top ten list for words for 2004 requested on Miriam
Webster online dictionary site:
peloton: noun (1951): the main body of riders in a bicycle race
One can easily see that bike racing interest has taken the forefront of interest
for the English speaking public.
The Race has sold over 10,000 copies in the last eight months since it
was announced on the Daily Peloton, an astounding number for a self published
novel. Beyond this the book has had been well received with rave reviews in many
As you make out your Christmas lists for friends, family and acquaintances and
if you’re looking for a gift that will entertain as well as inspire let me
suggest adding “The Race” by Dave Shields. If my enthusiasm hasn’t convinced
you, read some of the following unsolicited enthusiastic comments from those who
have read the book.
You can order the book off the
link on the Daily Peloton,
Amazon, or pick it up at your local Bike Shop.
What the Readers
This is a read for anyone who has ever rode a bike and
dreamed of higher aspirations. A wonderful story of a young man who against his
father's wishes, refuses to give up his upmost desire to make bike racing his
highest calling. Dave Shields will keep you glued to the story of Ben Barnes
from the moment you open the book to the final gut busting end. My only sorrow
was that the book was over way before I was ready to call it the end. Dave has a
way of describing Ben's efforts as though you could feel his actual pain and
gloat on his achievements. It is by far one of the best written accounts of
actual bike racing in the Tour de France and what the riders face in that
grueling challenge. But Dave gives you such wonderful flashbacks of how Ben
begun his quest in his younger years that makes this such an overall fantastic
read. I promise all readers-you will not be disappointed if you have any
interest in bicycle racing.
First let me start by saying I am a female in my mid
twenties who has never even been remotely interested in cycling. This book is
not only for cycling enthusiasts but for every person who has ever felt like
giving up on a dream and pushed themselves farther than they thought they could.
This book is truly inspirational and motivating and in my opinion, not just
aboutcycling. The story itself is about a young man determined to ride in the
TDF but the truly inspirational part is in his journey, not neccesarily the ride
itself. I have a completely different respect for athletes and felt so alive
after reading this novel. I agree with previous posts that it was too short but
as another post said, that can also be taken as a compliment I recommend this
book to everyone. It has no age limits and it's not specific just to cycling. A
great gift as it will capture any readers imagination.
"One day someone will be on the
podium of a Grand Tour and think back on how their career ever started; the
answer will be, I fell in love with cycling after reading The Race."
Marty Jemison, U.S. Pro Cycling Champion.
Dave did some incredible writing. I felt like I was in the
middle of the action. He offers a vivid insight into the world of bicycle racing
without being too technical or dumbing it down for the masses. The book flows
seemlessly from each chapter and begs you to keep reading. I simply couldn't put
The Race would be a great gift for any cyclist but also for any sports
enthusiast in need of some inspiration. By the end, you'll be pedaling circles
as you read.
If you enjoy watching pro cycling on OLN then you will
probably enjoy this book also.
Very fast reading, not a long story but the author paints a great word picture
of pro cycling. Of course there is a bit of romance, drama, conflict, etc but
mostly you feel like you are the one attacking on the mountain.
Fun book! M.B.
Dave Just read the race, couldn't put it down. YOU HAVE TO
put this on the big screen! I'm writing a screenplay of my own, about a Mountain
Biking adventure. Your fellow cyclists are starving for some movies (and more
books) about our favorite pastime.
Great work, congratulations.
"This book was all too real. I
feel like I just completed another Tour de France."
Frankie Andreau, 2 time Olympian and 9 time Tour de France finisher.
Thank you for the autographed copy of your book. It was
great to meet you in Philly. I wanted to drop you a quick line about 'The Race'.
I finished it in about 3 days (Quick for me!). It was great. A job well done
especially in your descriptions of what it feels like to ride in a pack and
breakaway. Interesting background to Barnes; it is a very easy read and was
money well spent. Best of luck in the future!
The book is fantastic! Having little to no knowledge about
racing and the Tour de France, I still found myself completely wrapped up in the
world you created. I'm sure you've been hearing a lot of this lately, but I
couldn't put the book down. I just have one request: when you start negotiating
movie deals...will you get me an audition? Congratulations on what's sure to be
a success ;)
The Race is a great read, a rich story with believable
characters and exciting racing action. Good stuff.
Thanks for sending me the book . It was a great Read. I picked it up and I could
not put it down. I found it entertaining and inspirational.
George Hincapie, SC
I read about your books in a cycling forum and had to read
"The Race". I had interested my nephew in cycling during the 04 Tour and I
wanted to encourage him to stay interested in what could be a lifelong sport and
major interest in his life. I live a thousand miles away, which makes this
difficult. I sent subscriptions to cycling magazines but wanted something with
more literary substance. I wanted not only expand his knowledge of cycling, but
try to get him really interested in reading. I had purchased some other fiction
books on cycling, but found they contained explicit sex scenes. These not only
detracted from the plot, but his father would have killed me! Your book was
wonderful. It was interesting, exciting, and gave a realistic image of cycling.
Not a word or page was added to feed some ridiculous notion of a good novel
needing gratuitous sex scenes. Keep writing and I will keep buying them for my
nephew. We need to keep the next generation reading and riding!
Dave, Just finished reading "The Race." Somebody has to
make a movie out of this! It could be the next "Endless Summer" or "On Any
Sunday" for our sport... in dramatic rather than documentary form of course.
It's so vividly told, it's almost a documentary. Having ridden over many of
those Cols, including the Tourmalet, and watched videos of the TdF going into
Bourg-D'-Oiasans and then up to Alpe D'Huez, the mind pictures from your book
were as vivid as can be. Why don't you contact Robin Williams? WONDERFULLY
"... (the descriptions) can be
breathtaking and simultaneously instructive to the novice. Readers familiar with
the problem of making it to work on time if they turn on the television coverage
of a stage of the Tour in the morning will recognize this sensation. This book
will make readers ignore all other tasks until the race, or perhaps the book,
has drawn to a close."
The Ride Journal of East Coast Bike Culture
Dave, I've gotten a lot farther than the first paragraph. I
finished "the race" yesterday and I thought it was GREAT! I have followed
cycling for approx. 27 years and I have seen a lot of exciting climbs and
descents and I felt like I was doing both, the action was incredible, my heart
was racing and I couldn't put it down. It almost got me into trouble because my
wife wanted me to interact with all the guests at the Kentucky Derby get
together we were at, I would look up, say a few words and go back to reading.
I wish it had been longer and I'm hoping we will learn more about Ben and
Bridgette. Did they get married, have kids, did he win the tour, and did the
team ride for him? I want to know! And what about Kyle did he get what was
coming to him? Please do a sequel!
I recently attended your book signing/discussion in Syracuse, New York. I
purchased The Race. The best compliment I can give you is that I didn't want the
book to end. Excellent. I am Bicycle coach for The Leukemia and Lyphoma
society's Team in Training program and I will recommend your book to all
participants. Once again excellent job!
The best book I have ever read. I was inspired and amazed
at what a few of us in life dare to accomplish. I can't wait for your next
Thank you for autographing The Race for me when the Tour de
Georgia came through Dalton, Ga. Dave, I must say that even though I've been
interested in and riding bicycles since I was a kid (I'm 49) and still riding,
your book, The Race, gave me what any ordinary citizen would want to do after
reading it, and that’s to get out there and do it. It was so inspiring and
brought tears to my eyes many times. So vivid were your words that I just
couldn’t wait to see what would happen next. It was a treasure to meet you and I
hope beyond hope you continue to write to inspire us everyday people to get off
our butts and riding even if only for our own personal glories. Thanks for a
"While the story revolves
around cycling and the rich dynamics of the Tour, the underlying message is the
same battle we all face when we look in the mirror. Staring down our own
personal demons, and learning to push them aside--that is the pearl in this
oyster. Put your passion where your mouth is--read this book!"
Dirt Rag Magazine
Dave, I an avid reader; I always keep a book going. Once I
find an author I like I go though their entire collection. Tom Clancy, John
Grisham, Stuart Woods, Robert Parker, Clive Cussler, C.S. Lewis, and others.
I think it was C.S. Lewis that said he'd never found a book long enough. That's
the way it was with The Race, I thoroughly enjoyed and was disappointed when it
came to an end. I certainly will seek out your other work. I bought your book
last week at the "Tour de Georgia". What a great race. Hope to see you next
Read this book! Dave's style is realistic and engaging. As
a competitive cyclist, it is rare to find fiction that portrays our sport
accurately, but The Race does. Dave's descriptive style had me immediately
hooked and wanting more. I Loved it, you will too.
This is a book I could not put down. I loved every moment
of the action. The descriptions are so clear I feel like I am watching it
happen. So blow off the next several hours and read this book. You won't be
Matt D. Fresno, California
The Race starts as a real page-turner and doesn't end until
the reader crosses the finish line. The story truly captures the essence of
cycling, competing against both the competition and oneself; as well as the
stunning beauty and grandeur of the French Alps and Southern Utah. The trials
and tribulations Ben Barnes endures goes far beyond cycling and into an area
most, if not all, people can fully appreciate and understand. I highly recommend
this book to cyclists and non-cyclists alike.
"The Race...the kind of read
where everything else in your life has to get out of the way – work, family,
sleep – to make room for you to read it. Every cyclist should buy this book --
and one as a gift to a non-cyclist friend." Bike.com
I just wanted to let you know I should have started your book much earlier in
the day! I was up till 2am because I couldn't put it down and did not have the
foresight to begin before 10pm.
This book was so inspiring to me, not that I am about to begin biking, but I
found much of your book and the philosophies behind the biking and training
related universally to life. There were many of your phrases that really stood
out in my mind.
Since my divorce, I have had a difficult time following through with many goals
that I would set because as soon as I would begin to see a little success, it
never failed, I would get hit with a new, unforeseen problem, and it would set
It wasn't until I read your book that I began actually thinking that I could
accomplish them. For years a good friend and I have discussed running a 1/2
marathon. Obviously we haven't ever made it beyond the idea (also due to
interruptions such as pregnancies, my moving every year, etc. untill now. Just
this past week, we have decided to run in the Seattle Marathon over
Though I have no problem beginning our runs in the evening, often I find I let
myself off pretty easy once I begin to tire. It is your quote on page 67, "they
rode, not for pleasure, but for pain. They were men driven to prove they could
endure more than any other," that motivates me. Another quote that I found very
inspiring is on page 186. "The journey had been the reward." I hope you don't
mind if I quote you on that, though I will assure you that I give you full
credit for the quote. I want to use it in an essay I am writing to get into a
program at one of the colleges here. Anyways, I just wanted to tell you how much
I loved your book, and thank you for the special edition.
"For those who haven't yet seen Le Tour
up close, or are looking to whet their appetite, The Race is a perfect
complement for this year's rendition."
VeloNews, July 2004
I finished your book in one day. I have been racing and following the Tour for
the last 25 years, and have gone to the Tour two times in the last three years.
I rode L'Alpe-D-Huez last year, very hot. Your book was one of the best Novels
that I have read in the last 30 years. The detail, power, and the way you showed
us how we must think in order to accomplish any worth while endeavor. Your book
has really moved me. I could not hold back my tears at the end of the last
I started a new business in September and I have been down lately due to a slow
start. Your book has made the difference. I now feel like I can achieve what
ever I put my mind to. I could go on and on about your story and your writing
style, really excellent work!!! Thanks for helping me pull myself up and putting
me back on track with "The Race". Kind Regards,
“Woody” Ray W.
A good friend sent me a copy of this book. Amazingly, I
have really enjoyed it. I say amazingly because I know nothing about racing
bicycles but he has written it so well that I feel as if I am on the bike with
Also, I like the way Dave goes back and relates stories of Ben from his
childhood. I'm so glad my friend sent me this book, and I will look for more
novels by Dave Shields.
“This story is about so much
more than a race. It is about life and finding the keys to overcome self-doubt
and uncertainty. At every turn it entertains, enlightens, and inspires. I
couldn’t put it down until I finished it, and then wished it hadn’t ended."
Vaughn Trevi, www.dailypeloton.com
Make a fan; give “The Race” to a friend for
If you are a Bike Shop owner you need copies for Christmas!
Call: Terry at 1-800-282-2453 to Order Now!
Dave Shields, author
of The Race.
The Daily Peloton Review of