The best books about long distance cycling

Sean Conway Author Of Big Mile Cycling: Ten Years. 60000 Miles. One Dream
By Sean Conway

Who am I?

Sean Conway is a record-breaking endurance cyclist who has cycled over 100,000 miles in the last decade including cycling around the world, LEJOG twice, and the world record for the fastest person to cycle across Europe.


I wrote...

Big Mile Cycling: Ten Years. 60000 Miles. One Dream

By Sean Conway,

Book cover of Big Mile Cycling: Ten Years. 60000 Miles. One Dream

What is my book about?

In 2008 Sean Conway set off on a 1000 mile bike ride that would shape the next 10 years of his life as he became obsessed with the idea of becoming a real ultra-cyclist. This is his story, how he tried, and failled many times, to break a cycling world record, and the story about his final world record attempt, cycling 4000 miles across Europe. Sean nearly gave up on his dream after tragically losing two of his ultra-cycling friends, but decided to continue in their honour with his quest to chase big miles on two wheels. Sean looks back at some of his cycling heroes, heroines, and the boom in ultra-cycling over the last decade.

The books I picked & why

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Moods of Future Joys: Around the World by Bike Part One: From England to South Africa

By Alastair Humphreys,

Book cover of Moods of Future Joys: Around the World by Bike Part One: From England to South Africa

Why this book?

One of the most beautifully written cycling books, Al details how he spent over 4 years cycling around the world instead of taking a good job in teaching. Doing a long journey like that before the luxuries of modern technology all adds to the real sense of adventure. I only wish I had had the courage to partake in such a long adventure when I left school.


Through Sand & Snow: a man, a bicycle, and a 43,000-mile journey to adulthood via the ends of the Earth

By Charlie Walker,

Book cover of Through Sand & Snow: a man, a bicycle, and a 43,000-mile journey to adulthood via the ends of the Earth

Why this book?

Also very well written. Charlie chooses the roads less travelled and he meanders for nearly 4 years from the UK to Singapore then back and down through Africa to Cape Town before turning around and cycling back up Africa to the UK. He got arrested in Tibet. Had a pony stolen in Mongolia and nearly got killed by a drunken mob in Ethiopia. Gripping throughout.


Llama Drama

By Anna McNuff,

Book cover of Llama Drama

Why this book?

Anna has done some serious bike ride but my favorite was her award winning book about cycling around South America with her friend Faye. From the heights of La Paz to cycling naked through the salt flat in Bolivia it’s a beautifully written travelogue about grand adventures on two wheels


Africa Solo: My World Record Race from Cairo to Cape Town

By Mark Beaumont,

Book cover of Africa Solo: My World Record Race from Cairo to Cape Town

Why this book?

Having grown up in Africa I found Mark’s Cairo to Cape Town cycling world record captivating from start to finish. Completing the ride in 41 days (which is faster than many people drive it) was a feat of unimaginable endurance.


The Beardless Adventurer and her inconvenience: A first-time cycle trip across Europe

By Donna Marie Ashton,

Book cover of The Beardless Adventurer and her inconvenience: A first-time cycle trip across Europe

Why this book?

I often find adventure books written by women to be way more honest and inspiring and Donnas book is testament to that. Cycling 5000km through Europe with no previous cycling experience proves that you don’t have to be an ex-Olympian or from a military to go off and have an epic adventure.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in cycling, South America, and Africa?

5,888 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about cycling, South America, and Africa.

Cycling Explore 9 books about cycling
South America Explore 24 books about South America
Africa Explore 163 books about Africa

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Ghost Riders, The Cactus Eaters, and Notes from a Small Island if you like this list.