Cycling is many things to many people. Perhaps it’s cycling to work that takes your fancy, or tootling round new places at weekends with a social cycling group or the family. You might prefer the idea of competitive time trials, mountain biking, long distance road races, triathlon, cycle orienteering, even cycle polo. Whatever takes your fancy, Cycling for Dummies is intended to help you learn what you need to know.
It is certainly a very comprehensive book and covers the full range of things you might want to learn about for leisure, commuting and competitive cycling.
Do you know the best technique for reaching into a back pocket while you are on the move? Check out page 73. How about top tips for a cycle touring trip? There’s a whole chapter on that topic. Selecting clothing? Covered. Improving balance? Tips for cycling up and down hills? Riding techniques and making sure your bike is the right fit for you? Cycling as a family activity? All covered.
There’s useful information on every one of the 350-ish pages, and even a seasoned cyclist might learn a thing or two by flicking through. For example, I’ve been a cyclist for many years, as a commuter, an (albeit somewhat timid) mountain biker, and a holiday tourer. I found the chapter on using a cycle for personal fitness really interesting and there’s a separate section for mountain biking fitness if that takes your fancy. It was also useful to read the chapter on ailments and how to deal with them. Easing sore shoulders, knees, back and bum, and how to take care of your wrists and hands are all things even a fair weather cyclists needs to know about.
Not all Dummies books are the same and some are disappointing. But Cycling for Dummies is exactly what a book like this should be. It’s crammed with information, easy to understand and full of useful tips. And while some Dummies books are straight US imports, Cycling for Dummies is written from a UK perspective so the language, measurements used and so on are all easily understandable to us Brits, and the pointers to external resources such as web sites are relevant to us too.
Part I: Getting Started with Cycling
Chapter 1: Getting into Cycling
Chapter 2: Picking the Right Bike
Chapter 3: Choosing the Right Gear
Chapter 4: Making Sure Your Bike Feels Good
Chapter 5: Finding the Time to Ride
Part II: Freewheeling Away: The Fundamentals
Chapter 6: Ticket to Ride: Your First Lesson
Chapter 7: Knowing the Rules
Chapter 8: Thinking Ahead for Safety
Chapter 9: Planning Your Trip and Tips for Safe Riding
Chapter 10: Toughening Up for Off-Road Riding
Part III: Rolling beyond the Basics
Chapter 11: Riding Faster, Tougher, and Longer: Training and Improving
Chapter 12: Touring and Exploring
Chapter 13: Cycling with Other People
Chapter 14: Riding with Babies, Toddlers and Children
Part IV: Maintaining Your Bike and Yourself
Chapter 15: Easing Ailments
Chapter 16: Fuelling Your Cycling
Chapter 17: Troubleshooting: Can You Fix It? Yes, You Can!
Chapter 18: Making Checks and Adjustments: The Next Step
Part V: The Part of Tens
Chapter 19: Ten Bicycling Do’s and Don’ts
Chapter 20: Ten Great Rides in the United Kingdom
Chapter 21: Ten Great Tours and Races around the World
- Broad ranging
- Crammed with tips
- Even a seasoned cyclist can learn something
- Written from a UK perspective
- A bit heavy for a pannier!