- Historical Dictionary of Cycling
In the Historical Dictionary of Cycling, Jeroen Heijmans and Bill Mallon provide a comprehensive guide for cycling enthusiasts and historians. From the first winner of the Giro D’Italia, Luigi Ganna, to the English translation for Bidon (water bottle), the work is rather exhaustive. Jeroen Heijmans is a Dutch “IT Professional” who has worked previously with OlyMADmen, a historical enthusiast group. Bill Mallon, an M.D., is editor-in-chief of the Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery, a former editor of the Journal of Olympic History as well as a past president of International Society of Olympic Historians.
The authors organize the work into an alphabetical dictionary followed by ten appendices. The appendices are entitled, “The Grand Tours,” “Other Multistage Events,” “Monument One-Day Races,” “Other One-Day Classics,” “Women’s Races,” “World Champions,” “Olympic Champions,” “Seasonal Awards,” “World Hour and Speed Records” and “Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI).” The work ends with an extensive bibliography of works related to cycling history, fitness, and culture.
Overall, the work provides what might be expected of it: concise explanations of technical cycling terms, races, and figures. The major European races are covered as well as many of the North American, South American, Australian, and Asian races. Track cycling, perhaps representative of its declining status in today’s cycling scene, is the least represented. Despite Bill Mallon’s statement that his father trained with many six-day stars in the United States (p. xi), there is a general lack of information regarding North American Six Day racing. For example, while there is a list of winners of almost every major road race, there is no list of the fifty years of Six Day champions at Madison Square Garden, once one of the most prestigious races in the world.
The work is a worthy companion work for sport historians. With over 400 pages of researched references, it provides a practical explanation for most facets of the colorful world of bicycle racing. [End Page 349]