Bill Strickland (writer)

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Bill Strickland
Born August 31, 1964
Gary, Indiana
Occupation Journalist, nonfiction author, editor specializing in the sport of cycling
Nationality American

Bill Strickland is a journalist, book author and editor whose work focuses primarily on the sport of cycling and is based in Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley, a community noted for the cycling culture fostered by notable personalities such as Olympic gold medalist Marty Nothstein and Bicycling magazine publisher Robert Rodale (who also founded the Lehigh Valley Velodrome). "The Escape," the December, 2011, edition of his monthly Bicycling magazine column The Pursuit, was named a Notable story by The Best American Sports Writing.[1] Strickland is an amateur road and cyclocross racer, and rides for the club Kapelmuur Independent.

Works[edit]

The Quotable Cyclist, Strickland's first cycling-related book, was released in 1997 by Breakaway Books.[2] It is a collation of more than 900 quotes about the sport taken from professional racers, journalists, literary authors, politicians, and cultural and public figures, with introductory essays by the author before each chapter. Outside magazine called it "a timely and charmingly evocative Bartlett's of the bicycle."[3]

In 1998, he wrote Mountain Biking: The Ultimate Guide to the Ultimate Ride,[4] an instructional book detailing the skills, fitness and gear needed for off-road cycling.

His most critically praised book, Ten Points,[5] was published in 2007. A chronicle of how his cycling experiences during the 2004 amateur racing season helped him come to terms with an abusive childhood, it earned a starred review from Publishers' Weekly,[6] was deemed "uncomfortable but ultimately satisfying" by Kirkus Reviews,[7] and was graded as an A- by Entertainment Weekly.[8] Writing for Booklist, the reviewer David Pitt said, "The sports-as-spiritual-therapy theme has been explored plenty of times, and perhaps Strickland doesn’t offer any blindingly new revelations, but his book is honest, and he doesn’t waste our time with banal observations or facile psychologizing. He is also a very talented writer, and readers should brace themselves for some very moving — and also some rather unsettling — passages."[9]

In 2008, he co-wrote Johan Bruyneel's book We Might As Well Win,[10] an account of Bruyneel's experiences as a professional cyclist and team director for, most notably, Lance Armstrong and Alberto Contador. Describing the book, cycling champion Eddy Merckx said, "In a sport where even the greatest riders and teams lose much more often than they win, Johan Bruyneel has carved out a remarkable record of victory as a team director—and his honest, behind-the-scenes stories show the way to success in cycling and in life itself."

Tour de Lance,[11] published in 2010 in hardcover and in 2011 in paperback, depicts Lance Armstrong's return to professional cycling and subsequent attempt to win the Tour de France in 2009. The account was deemed "polarizing," in an Associated Press review, which explained that, "Fans believe he’s capable of performing miracles on two wheels while detractors are certain he doped his way to seven consecutive victories in the world’s toughest bike race. This book isn’t likely to sway either side."[12] Texas Monthly noted that "The 45-year-old Strickland tries to be objective; he describes the Armstrong he met in 1994 as “an ignorant, gutsy, mouthy, and unpredictable kid.” But he also admits that he once owned an autographed Lance Armstrong lunchbox. Still, Strickland’s breezy style and insider knowledge produce high drama, low humor (who knew Tour riders sometimes stop en masse for a communal “arrêt pipi”), and a mind-boggling primer on pro cycling’s Machiavellian gamesmanship (though the book was printed too early to include a discussion of the doping accusations against Armstrong that surfaced last month)."[13] In a starred review, Booklist termed the book, "An irresistible account of a story that needed telling."[14] Daniel Coyle, author of Lance Armstrong's War, said, "Talent, willpower, and smarts to burn—the words apply equally well to Bill Strickland and his famous subject. Tour de Lance is sure to be the definitive inside account of one of the great sporting comebacks of all time."[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "List of Award-Winning Stories In Best American Sports Writing". Retrieved 15 October 2012. 
  2. ^ "The Quotable Cyclist". Google Books. Retrieved 29 April 2011. 
  3. ^ "Outside Magazine review of The Quotable Cyclist". Retrieved 29 April 2011. 
  4. ^ "Mountain Biking". Google Books. Retrieved 29 April 2011. 
  5. ^ "Ten Points". Hyperion Catalog. Retrieved 29 April 2011. 
  6. ^ "Publishers' Weekly review of Ten Points". Retrieved 29 April 2011. 
  7. ^ "Kirkus Reviews review of Ten Points". Retrieved 29 April 2011. 
  8. ^ "Entertainment Weekly review of Ten Points". 16 July 2007. Retrieved 29 April 2011. 
  9. ^ "Booklist review of Ten Points". Retrieved 29 April 2011. 
  10. ^ "We Might As Well Win". Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Catalog. Retrieved 2 May 2011. 
  11. ^ "Tour de Lance". Google Books edition. Retrieved 2 May 2011. 
  12. ^ Merrill, Robert (15 June 2010). "Associated Press review". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2 May 2011. 
  13. ^ "Texas Monthly review". Retrieved 2 May 2011. 
  14. ^ "Booklist review of Tour de Lance". Retrieved 2 May 2011. 
  15. ^ "Daniel Coyle on Tour de Lance". Retrieved 2 May 2011. 

External links[edit]