Top critical review
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Would be much better if the content was reduced by 75%
on 9 July 2015
I can't believe I'm reading the same book as everyone else who has reviewed it?!
As far as I can make out, it contains: about 25% genuinely good and well-reasoned advice about cycling on UK roads; about 25% evangelising about cycling; and the other 50% made up of pedantic lists of every conceivable risk (both actual and potential) written out in lengthy (and dreary) paragraph form - this in spite of the initial warning that such lists are not possible. Complete it may be, but usable it most certainly isn't.
What this book needs is a gallon of red ink and a ruthless editor, determined to use every last drop, like their life depended on it.
I'm more than willing to be told about he benefits of cycling - I like that smug self-satisfied feeling that I'm doing something good as much as the next person, but I genuinely resent the feeling of being preached at that this book gives me. As my commute is part driving and part cycling, I also don't like the undertones of "drivers are careless fools who suffer from tunnel-vision". It just feeds into the narrative of "driver v cyclist" which is just about the worst message anyone can convey in terms of road safety. The fact is that, whatever your vehicle of choice, we all have to share the highways with other road users and putting up the barricades helps no-one.
This would be a much more useful guide if it took its styling cues from the Highway Code, which is clearly aims to emulate, i.e. short sharp bullet points that get straight to the point and stripping out all the superfluous detail. In its current form, this book contains a wealth of useful information that is lost in the flood of unnecessary detail.