Cyclecraft: the complete guide to safe and enjoyable cycling for adults and children Paperback – 18 Apr 2007
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"Cyclecraft - Fourth Edition (2007)" provides a guide to safe cycling both for adults and children. It contains practical advice on how to ride a bike confidently and safely in modern traffic conditions. This publication is closely associated with 'Bikeability' - the National Cycle Training Standard - for which it is the recommended course book and required reading for cycle training instructors. It covers: how to get started; choosing a bike; basic skills; sharing the road with other traffic; advanced techniques for cycling safety on busier roads and faster traffic; advice on carrying children and goods; and riding with others.
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The book assumes no prior knowledge of cycling and covers everything from types of bike to learning how to ride and how to safely ride in traffic. Even if you've been riding for years, you'll learn something from John Franklin. For example, I never knew why the rear brake is operated with the left hand brake lever in a country where traffic drives on the left.
Highly recommended for all cyclists.
If you are a road cyclist, even a very experienced one, you absolutely need this book. If you drive on roads where cyclists are likely to be, you also need this book.
I share the author's dislike of cycle lanes. Dedicated cycle infrastructure is one thing (and something I support), badly designed lanes on shared infrastructure is another thing. Cyclists need to assert their rights to be safe on the roads and motorists need to recognise that cyclists are entitled to use the infrastructure. Cycle lanes encourage cyclists to ride in the gutter and door zone (where they absolutely should not be), and encourage motorists to overtake far too close (as if a line of white paint offers any protection to the cyclist). Not only that, most of them aren't even dedicated to cycles, so cars can freely drive in and even park in them, obstructing cyclists - their only function is to say "cyclists keep way over to the left", which is the most dangerous thing to do.
I am glad I bought a second hand copy, it has been useful but the font is small and densely packed, and it's almost too comprehensive.
This is a very readable book, including information about other forms of cycling such as tricycles and recumbents (I have a recumbent trike so I was interested to read this), towing children in a trailer, tandems etc. My only criticism is that sometimes the book makes cycling on a normal upright seem rather dangerous (comments about braking correctly, not skidding in the wet etc) and might have put me off a little if I cycled one of these. However despite this reservation I can heartily recommend this book and have found it exceptionally useful for my own cycling and something that I will refer to many times.
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