A very good read, with a great approach to the subject of bicycles and cycling.
The Bicycle Book by Bella Bathurst is a wonderful read. The book is a narrative of cycling and it’s progression through the 21st Century. It’s hard to fault [the book] and Bella’s style of writing is lively, without being condescending, or is it trying too hard to be either witty or intellectual – a nice balance.
The world of cycling can sometimes seem baffling but, the book goes a long way to define the cycling culture and it’s many aspects, history and personalities. The first chapter goes some way to explaining the process of frame building and is exactly the right place to start the narrative.
The book breaks the chapters down into the main areas of cycling, with a distinct angle on each area, it is this that makes the book compelling to read but, for a knowledgeable cyclist, a lot of the information is probably already known (but not all known, for me at least). The chapter on racing was a real eye opener, like I say, nothing new information wise, just that the perception is new, from the authors view point, which is far from naive, a much more considered approach to writing about cycling. I never thought of racing in that way, as a fan or on the odd occasion I have tried to race myself. I really enjoyed that chapter the most.
A great book that would make a great christmas present, for new and old cyclists alike. I would tilt towards newer rather than old cyclists but, as a 'old' cyclist I still enjoyed the book very much, due to the way the book tells it's stories, rather than the information itself. I like to collect cycling books and this is a welcome edition to the collection. It is the sort of book I would give to a non-cyclist to read, to best understand the crazy world of cycling.
Review date: 27 November 2011