Author tells of his turnaround |

Author tells of his turnaround

Dan Doyle

“Heft On Wheels: A Field Guide to Doing a 180” by Mike Magnuson

This is an inspirational, yet funny book. At the age of 38 the author, a 5-foot 10-inch, 255-pound, beer-guzzling, pack-a-day smoker decided to make a change in his life. Instead of staying depressed and overweight he spent “twenty-five hundred bucks of my professor’s salary on a race bicycle … showing up three nights a week for a fast group road ride.” This was the start of Mike’s turnaround.

“Heft on Wheels” is the story of that turnaround. Written from the vantage point of a man who was sick of his life, it chronicles Magnuson’s journey from the “big guy” at the back of the pack to the rider who sets the pace for the group.

Along the way the reader is treated to the author’s observations on cycling, living healthfully, giving up alcohol and smoking, and becoming happy with life.

The first half of the book is devoted to Magnuson’s two-year journey that encompasses 25,000 miles of riding, training and racing. He also talks about the sport of cycling and the camaraderie of fellow cyclists, comparing and contrasting the personalities of other competitors on his racing team. He recalls that, “He used to think having a positive experience was somehow saccharine and wrong and inexcusable.” Magnuson contrasts this with his changed attitude of, “Get over it. Cyclists are just so, so much happier than the drunks at the bar.”

Magnuson’s journey to become a physically and mentally fit cyclist takes place on many levels and is not just about cycling; it is more about his outlook on life.

The reader will encounter many funny incidents in the book like his XXL skin-tight cycling outfit to his laughable goal of riding his first 100-mile bike ride, billed as “The Bridge to Bridge Incredible Cycling Challenge: 100 Miles of Pure Hill.” Along the way there are starvation diets and nicotine patches. There is also a run-in with a truck and other experiences that deserve to be shared. It is the story of one man’s redemption.

Look for this and other inspirational titles on cyclists, such as Lance Armstrong’s books at the Lake Tahoe Branch Library, 233 Warrior Way, Zephyr Cove. For more information contact the library at (775) 588-6411.

-Dan Doyle is a senior library technician at the Lake Tahoe Branch Library in Zephyr Cove

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