Gear

‘Ask a Pro’ book

No matter how you know Phil Gaimon, you have to admit: The guy has a sharp wit and he’s not afraid to use it.

You might recognize Phil Gaimon’s name from his VeloNews fan-favorite column, “Ask a Pro.” Or from his “Worst Retirement Ever” project, in which he challenges dubious Strava KOMs and posts videos of his stripped-down bikes and heavy breathing on YouTube. Or from his rags-to-riches and back again pro cycling career riding for Jonathan Vaughters and others. No matter how you know ‘Phil the Thrill,’ you have to admit: The guy has a sharp wit and he’s not afraid to use it.

In his wise-ass second book, “Ask a Pro,” Gaimon serves up sardonic answers to the best — and worst — questions he got while writing his VeloNews column. The book of questions and answers parallels Gaimon’s racing career and begins the same way: with Phil clearly in over his head and making s—t up so it seemed like he knew what he was doing. As Gaimon chases contracts and accumulates racing miles, his answers become more convincing and more insightful. By the end of “Ask a Pro,” you’ll empathize with the sport’s journeyman racers and be ready to dish out hilarity to new riders just joining your own club ride.

While compiling “Ask a Pro,” Gaimon couldn’t resist mocking his younger self, so he did just that through footnotes and all-new illustrations throughout this full-color hardcover. Gaimon offers nods to his past columns, too, with a new Cookie Map of America, smart tips to “win the race buffet,” advice on negotiating the best possible terms from your host housing, and a recipe from a professional chef for “The Phil” cookie. Finally, Gaimon’s magnum opus closes out with one article VeloNews censored every time he tried to sneak it into his column. You won’t believe it.

Pick up a copy for yourself and one for a buddy. “Ask a Pro” offers top-quality small talk for the easy miles before your club ride hits the county line sprint finish.