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on 8 October 2009
I found this a useful guide to cycling and road safety, although as a complete newcomer to cycling (I was learning from scratch whilst reading this book) I did sometimes find it frustrating how the author glosses over things like gaining sufficient balance to be able to indicate or to achieve sharp turns. On the whole, though, the advice within this book is refreshingly pragmatic and practical, rather than adhering slavishly to the theoretical (and often rather scant) requirements for cyclists contained within the Highway Code. I am likely to return to re-read some sections once my confidence and proficiency develop. I did find I was able to start tackling potentially tricky manoeuvres like single-lane roundabouts within a couple of weeks of learning to ride. The author is clearly no fan of cycle lanes/tracks or helmets. Whilst I can follow his logic here, I'm not sure it is right to be quite so dismissive. Likewise, he skips through off-road cycling/mountain biking in a few paragraphs, seemingly finding it incomprensible that anyone would choose to travel more slowly (but joyfully) on tracks when they could arrive much more speedily and "efficiently" by road. So whilst I wouldn't entirely agree that this is a "Complete Guide to Safe and Enjoyable Cycling", if what you are looking for is essentially a guide to good roadcraft, and how to stay safe on the roads, you won't do much better than this.
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on 20 May 2014
Excellent book that is balanced in its overall view of the cyclists place in traffic. If I were to nit-pick, the authors preference for a full head turn to see behind, in preference to the use of a mirror, seems a bit odd as in doing so forward vision is totally lost and, in some instances, the very act of rotating the head and upper body can play havoc with the body's balancing system causing an often spectacular wobble! That apart I think it's the best book on the subject so far.
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on 15 March 2009
A few years ago I bought Roadcraft before doing my advanced driving test. Now, having moved to London and disposed of the car, I discovered the two-wheeled counterpart. I would highly recommend this to anyone venturing on to the busy streets for the first time under pedal power. Even if you have a fair dose of common sense and road experience, there are some very useful, potentially life saving nuggets of information in here. I find myself referring back to it as my riding experience increases. A definite must have.
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on 18 April 2009
John Franklin's book is well written, easy to read and never boring.
I have a full driving licence for most vehicles except a bus and over 30 years of driving experience, and still I found that there was something to learn on every page of this remarkable book. Cyclecraft should be a part of the National curriculum and read by everyone, pedestrian, cyclist and motorist. John Franklin should be appointed 'Minister for cycling'
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on 18 May 2013
However it arrived a bit late for me. Lost half a wrist when I went over the handle bars after slipping on a cycle path divide which the council put in and refuse steadfastly to admit liablity. I now have an artificial wrist.
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on 21 February 2015
Cyclecraft is the definitive guide to cycling on Britain's roads. It should be compulsory reading for all road users, not just those taking Bikeability; anyone taking a driving test should be quizzed on it.

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.
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on 7 October 2008
'Cyclecraft' is recommended reading for Bikeability (the national cycle training standard, rather more advanced than cycling proficiency) and that's why many people will probably buy it. However I think it is an excellent read for anyone who takes their bike out on normal roads. Franklin looks at all aspects of cycling (except for bike maintenance), including choosing a bike, setting it up correctly, gear changing etc and advice on riding on the roads. His diagrams are all generally helpful but it's his overall comments about taking your position on the road as a cyclist that are so helpful. He dispels common myths about cycle positioning (that we should hide ourselves in the gutter) and his advice makes cycling much safer.

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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on 7 May 2016
I bought this because of a lack of cycling proficiency courses for children where we live. The blurb implies it covers this and maybe it does but it also covers other things but without identifying what the syllabus is for children. Most of what I've read I have already explained to my daughter anyway so not the best purchase I've made.
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on 10 May 2016
As another reviewer said, it could have been done in half the volume of trees ...... It's not very accessible either.
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.
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VINE VOICEon 8 October 2013
Excellent, really comprehensive book on cycling in the real world. John Franklin gives some really useful tips and good practical examples for how to deal with common everyday cycling. It covers virtually everything about cycling and makes links to the DfT's National Standards which is really helpful if you are a cycle trainer like me. For example, the section of the book on round-a-bouts has really helped me to explain certain hazards and road positioning more effectively to some of my students. Great book.
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