September 27 , 2009

Ten Points


Of the eight million dedicated cyclists in this country, just 32,044 own amateur racing licenses. There's a reason for that: Racing is not only incredibly difficult, it's downright excruciating, with the possibility for public humiliation never more than one pedal away. So when Natalie, Bill Strickland's preschool-aged daughter, asked him if he could win ten points during one racing season – the bicycling equivalent of taking an at-bat against Randy Johnson or going one-on-one with Lebron James – a sensible man would've just said no and moved on. Instead, Strickland decided to try.

In the process, he discovered that he was racing toward the loving home life he cherished and, at the same time, trying to get away from something far worse – his legacy of horrific childhood abuse. Strickland's memoir is filled with lyrical insights on training and dedication, racing scenes packed with nail-biting suspense, and powerful reflections on the meaning of family. Because for Strickland, it's definitely not about the bike.

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