Friday, 18 May 2012

Cyclebabble - Review

As my challenge to read 12 books in 12 months continues I find myself finding a bit of a hill in front of me. Our second baby is due in October and so really I need to read 12 books in 9 months. Luckily Cyclebabble is already number 6 BUT does it really count as a book? It's a collection of blog posts, with comments from the Guardian web site. It's hard bound and has words typed in it so I'm counting it as a book. The book was a present - I'm really easy to buy for, but all people think that don't they?.

The book covers all aspects of cycling, there are interviews with Olympic cyclists and policticians (I can't actually remember which politician) and there are articles on riding events and there are even bits about cycle maintenance. Overall it's quite a good toilet read (you can pick it up and put it down quite easily) but it is of course dictated by what they cover in the blog and that tends to be covering items that are in the news, that's understandable with it being a blog on a newspaper web site. The only thing I would say is that it gets a bit bogged down in safety issues and rules of the road. I now know a lot more about cycle lane widths, why cyclists don't have to pay road tax (it's not called road tax any more apparently and it's based on Co2 omissions) and how many accidents cyclists cause compared to drivers. Oh and pregnant women. In fact there is a whole chapter on women. I have a pregnant wife but I didn't find that section very interesting and if it wasn't for the challenge I would have probably skipped it.

However I would say there are uplifting sections to the book where it makes you want to get out on the road* and feel the wind through your hair*. There is a post / chapter on the naked rides - there's one in Bristol apparently - and there is a post on the city in some South American place where they close the roads on a Sunday.

The book as a whole makes you proud to cycle but there is a heavy bias towards London and the whole you shouldn't cycle through red lights just gets boring after the fifth time. It's worth a read and a £5.99 I'm pleased that my sister got a bargain...

*I haven't been cycling once while reading this book.
*I haven't got any hair.