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3.1 out of 5 stars
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on 29 January 2011
I really wanted to like this book. Fotheringham is an engaging writer in the press.
BUT there are some annoying and avoidable flaws that make it hard to recommend.
Others have commented but the flippin' ye olde hyptertext 'links' of yellow text are TERRIBLE. Unreadable on standard white page and just as bad on yellow box-outs.
Also there is some sloppy layout and proof reading - e.g. why does the SAME information appear on 201 and 202: graph and then table ? The graphics are crude and strangely lo-res throughout.
So there is nicer, shorter and crisper book living inside this padded version.
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on 2 September 2010
Over 400 pages of A-Z entries about all things cycling. It's fascinating to dip into with encyclopaedic entries for subjects like Derailleur, Derny, Desgrange, Dogs (the cyclist's curse), Dolomites (Giro routes and sportives), etc. Entries are for cyclists, races, cycling manufacturers, cycle types and parts, etc. However, it's a great shame that at first sight, many words appear to be completely missing. The publishers decided to print key words (which have their own entries) in yellow! There are also panels printed yellow on yellow! It's difficult to comprehend that such a good book should be spoilt in this way. Therefore, a potential 5* reduced to 4*.
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on 20 September 2011
Who in their right mind uses a pale Yellow to emphasize important stuff. Reading the book became a nightmare of poor light. Hopeless, I'm off out my bike to cycle off the rage of how bad this book is presented. Did no one look at the final print and go "oh you can not read the important bits". Arghhhhhhhhhhh.
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on 1 May 2012
The front cover says this book is "all about the bike", while the back cover claims that "if it's on the bike, it's in the book". Neither of these statements are true. This book is almost entirely about competitive cycling; everything else is an afterthought. Articles about countries focus entirely on their races and most famous competitors. Articles about competitive cyclists can stretch for pages, while articles purely about bicycle components and technology are a) very few in number and b) rarely longer than a single, short page (unless there is specific interest for racing, as there is in the sections on aerodynamics and on gears). Even the article on the nicknames of racing cyclists is 3 pages long, in comparison!

Everywhere, the author demonstrates a) his obsession with competitive cycling to the exclusion of all other aspects and b) his apparent unawareness of this fact (or that there are any other facets to cycling). The article about cycling journalism, for example, talks only of racing coverage. To quote: "Cycling journalists are now divided into specialists, who cover the sport all season and have close relations with the teams, and the outsiders who turn up for the Tour de France." This makes me want to yell "What about all the journalists who write about the many non-racing elements of cycling, Mr Fotheringham!", but I suspect that he would not understand the question.

I would give this three stars because the writing is competent, but have to give it two for the completely misleading presentation. If I had bought this for myself, rather than it being a present, I'd have asked for a refund.

It's not all about the racing bike, William.
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on 1 February 2011
i am sure this book is very good and detailed.
Unfortunately yellow text on white pages (occaisianally yellow pages) spoils it.

I may read it one day but its chucked to the back of the pile for now.
Tony
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on 26 September 2010
Many years ago I used to race on cycles in fact I was a member of a cycling club which belonged to the illegal British League of Racinig Cyclists. Naturally I had my idols such as Fausto Coppi and the like and I was keen to see how we were all dealt with in the book. It deals with every single person - race - cycle with absolute authority from the Boneshaker to the Lotus with authority and the way he reports on the races such as the Tour de France opens up a totally different aspect of the cycling scene.
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on 31 December 2011
Informative and well written, its only fault - apart from the yellow type everybody hates - is the occasional omission or tactful oversight (the author leaves out the names of the GB riders who chose to muck up the team leader's chances in the 2005 Worlds for instance).

The book is an well-researched gem that every cycle fanatic should have to hand. It's amazing nobody has tried to do this before on such a scale in recent memory but I'm glad the author took the time.
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on 21 November 2010
A superb book. English-centric with wonderful sections on Brits, all the foreigners, and the Milk Race with its modern versions (let's hope Sweetspot thrive). Rivetting historical sections on the greats and the classics. Very careful character sketches of the legends, Boardman, Merckz, Armstrong and the rest. Explanations on many scandals and some curious technologies (how actually do you get a clean urine-filled condom up the anus, freeze it ? ) and 80mph fairing recumbents beating road-bikes - I always wondered why recumbents were not used in the Tour de France. The book wholly spoiled by some inexperienced editor never having heard of the Disability Discrimmination Act. For those with poor vision, printing yellow on white paper verges on the barking and may be discriminatory; it is just as easy to print yellow-on-a-black highlighting on a WP. I do hope they print a second edition with the yellow problem sorted so I can sling this in the bin. An absolutely fascinating book ( though it doesn't explain what causes an echelon in the TdeF which puzzles simple me) for anyone on a bike and some great one-liners hinting at greater stories. Good stuff and well worth the yellow peril irritation.
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on 30 December 2010
Got this as a gift - fantastic content as you would expect from Fotheringham .... but why on earth did they use yellow for the cross-references and highlights?? If the publisher produces a reprint they should offer all first-edition purchasers a free replacement!
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on 29 January 2011
The book is very informative but unfortunately because the print is a very pale yellow it is so difficult to read and I lost patience with it!!
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