The book consists of three, very loosely linked short stories (each is around 14,000 words) with a different cyclist the subject of each. In some respects the triptych represents an extended taxonomy of cyclists. When rolled out by newspapers, this is a generally tiered format. But Wyatt has enough original insights for this to work.
Harry, his first subject, a solo mountain bike explorer, has a cycling life that is almost secret from both colleagues and girlfriend. His lone forays into the Welsh Mountains nonetheless allows him primordial release. Story two, that of Brian, is of a cyclist-hating commuter who, dumped by his wife, deprived of his driving licence and sobering up, experiences a profound change of life. The best of the three, though, is Morris, a racer whose best competitive performances are on his journeys to and from work in central London.
The last of these culminates in a piece of writing that stands comparison with the most gripping accounts of cycling. There is plenty that will be familiar to anyone who has commuted in a big city, but is infused with a deranged quality that had me on the edge of my seat.