Top critical review
3 people found this helpful
A good basic handbook with some key omissions
on 18 June 2012
I have been riding a bike in Cambridge for seven years now, so I expected that I would already be aware of most of the information given in this book. However, I know that I could improve my knowledge of bike repair and road safety (as I have never attended an official cyclist training course) so I thought I would get this book in the hope that these two areas would be explained in an accessible manner. This book is charmingly illustrated, and does give a lot of helpful advice on, among other things, the type of clothes to wear while cycling, stopping your bike from being stolen, types of bicycle and what to look for when buying a second-hand bike. The first of my two expectations was also met, as there is a handy section on bike upkeep and maintenance, and I now know how to tighten my own brakes, fix a puncture, and repair handlebars. However, I did think that one glaring omission in this book was some basic rules of road safety. It talks a lot about wearing a helmet, reflective clothing and bike lights but very little about how to actually behave on the road, other than being aware of large vehicles' blind spot on the left and making sure you are up front and visible at junctions. I had hoped for instructions on changing lanes, tackling roundabouts and complicated junctions, one-way systems, etc. I know all this is very basic, but this is a book that starts with telling you to cycle on the left, so I didn't think it was too basic to include! I had the impression that the writers assumed that cyclists were also drivers, who will be aware of the rules of the road, but with increasing numbers of under-25s without a driving licence, this is not necessarily going to be the case. Apart from this, I would recommend this book as a good starting-point for new cyclists, but do go elsewhere for your road safety.