Cycling for Dummies mainIf you’ve been watching the Tour de France then you just might be thinking about taking up cycling.

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.

Cycling for Dummies

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.

 

Chapters:

Introduction

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

 

Pros:

  • Broad ranging
  • Crammed with tips
  • Even a seasoned cyclist can learn something
  • Written from a UK perspective

Cons:

  • A bit heavy for a pannier!

Score: 9/10

Price: £15.99

Publisher: Wiley