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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars20
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 18 November 2012
This book is full of interesting snippets. I'm a fifty something year old who has recently rediscovered the joy of cycling, along with my wife. I read this cover to cover on a long haul flight and couldn't put it down. It covers a wide range of topics in sufficient detail to give a useful overview. For example, although I have watched the Tour de France on tv on and off, I hadn't really understood the tactics and the background. I especially liked the chapter on how to ride in a city - every word of it resonated with my experiences. But the very best was the section describing different types of cyclists and their attitudes. This book is on my list to give to both of my adult children who also cycle (and who fit two of the types described in the book). I'm sure I'll re-read it.
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on 26 June 2011
Cycling books seem to be pouring out just now, but this one stands out from the crowd. Bella Bathurst has pulled of a rare trick. Her panoramic view of all things two wheeled digs deep into the cycling tribes but also offers a window into the world of lycra for the bemused or curious. In taking such a balanced and well-researched view she liberates cycling and the cycling book from the ghetto of the male enthusiast. The extended interviews with a host of cycling characters go much further than the PR-fed fare in magazines and newspapers. Some offer searingly frank insights into the physical and psychological effects of racing to the limit. There is also a good sprinkling of quirky history plus a useful glossary and weblinks for follow-up. In short a book written with what cyclists call 'souplesse' - grace, harmony and flow. Chapeau!
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on 22 March 2014
I bought this book because I like “The Lighthouse Stevensons” written by the same author and I thought that was excellent. I was expecting the same sort of interesting book but I was deeply disappointed.

The book is reads like a series of Sunday Newspaper Magazine article thrown together. I found it very disjointed, not much of a thread linking things. There is a lot of filler padding chapters out, for instance we have a bit on London bicycle couriers and then a rather similar bit on Glasgow bicycle couriers. There is also the not unsurprising fact that cabbies do not like the couriers and vice versa, with interviews of cab drivers to pad things out a bit more.

I really struggled to finish some chapters. I did eventually finish the book but it took me several goes. I was just skimming that last few chapters trying to find interesting bits. I wouldn't recommend it. There must be better cycling books out there.
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VINE VOICEon 14 November 2012
In her foreward the author describes the book as a series of articles on aspects of cycling that aren't well documented in other books. Certainly she covers a very wide scope; frame building, bmx, city couriers, Indian rickshaw riders(!), etc. It all feels a bit random at times, but all the articles are of some interest, and as someone who has read a lot of bicycle books over the years, I still found things that were new to me. Yes, there are inaccuracies, and it will be much too superficial for a serious roadie. But as a dip into the world of bikes for someone who doesn't already have a vast library of bicycle books, it's an interesting enough book written by an enthusiast for all things bike.
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on 3 January 2012
Received this book for Christmas and it is quite simply brilliant.

Whatever your cycling interest you will find something here for you. Every chapter had flawless writing. If you want a gift for a cycling friend or family member then this is the book to get. They won't stop thanking you for it.
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on 24 June 2014
This is a well written, entertaining and light hearted look at cycling. The books structure takes the reader through frame and design, styles of riding and dress, types of bike and the various historic and geographic influences on the bicycle and our love of it. This isn't a 'technical' manual for cycling better or faster, but rather, it is a meander through our long-term love affair with the bicycle and an exposition of the joy that it brings wherever, whenever and whatever it's form.

A highly entertaining read for cycling enthusiast and those with a causal interest alike.
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on 31 October 2011
This is a fascinating study of bicycles and their builders, plus the widely varying types of people who ride them whether for pleasure (or danger!), transport or professionally. It is full of interesting detail, and not without some humorous glimpses into the sometimes bizarre world of bike riding.
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on 27 December 2012
Great book, came very quickly, easy to read style, not just for cyclists its for everyone, would recommend to all
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on 4 June 2015
A very enjoyable and informative read. A set of essays on a common theme rather than a unified text none the worse for that. Odd lapses in research - for example the Three Peaks cycle cross derives from the Yorkshire Three Peaks fell race and not the Ben Nevis etc three peaks - However, compelling to read and contains a wealth of detail. Wellworthbuying.
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on 7 December 2013
My husband has enjoyed this book because of its unusual insights into the tour de France, its origins and politics. Having read other books by Bella Bathurst he has not been disappointed by her style and unique take on the subject. A good read for someone who does not usually read a lot.
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