Top critical review
The cycling parts are good.
on 7 May 2013
The book's main focus is on the author's love affair with cycling. It covers, amongst other things, his time training with a south London club and his brief attempt at competitive cycling. The book does a good job of interweaving the author's personal experiences with insights into the cycling culture at the time, and also manages to explain the differences between various types of races and forms of cycling, such as track racing, cyclecross and time trials.
The book really lost me at times though. Pages taken up with boring clichés about life at Cambridge and how he (and his wife) soon after fell into editorial jobs made me feel as though I was reading about a couple of characters in a smug Daily Telegraph Supplement.
I read this book on a friend's recommendation as a 30 year-old looking to become reacquainted with cycling for the purpose of triathlon. With this mind, I found it difficult to understand the author's constant reasoning that he was basically past it before he'd hit 30. I couldn't understand why he and his wife were so desperate to have children in their mid-20s that they were already exploring IVF options. The author just seemed way too keen to trade in his bike for a pram. His wife's very sad battle with cancer aside, the scenes from the author's family life didn't really do anything for me. I just found it all a bit boring and conformist to be honest.