Complete Bike Book, Chris Sidwells (2003)
A colourful introduction to all things cycling – probably aimed at younger teenagers
Dorling Kindersley 0 7513 6445 2 249pp £16.99
DK’s style might be formulaic, but it is a formula that clearly works. And the big colour pictures, interspersed with gobbits of text rubric is one that lends itself well to an introduction to a pastime to rich in visual opportunities.
Chapters follow a predictable course – different types of cycling, different types of bikes, ways to improve you cycling, promoting you health and fitness on a bike, starting competitive cycling and a basic guide to maintenance.
There are no great surprises in the content, nor is this the places for left-field cycling options. But across the range of subjects, the book has a winning élan. Page after page looks like fun, and all are rich in well-considered detail.
Give this to a teenager at the right stage of their interest and they will pore over its pages for hours on end. My only caution would be to ensure that you buy the most up-to-date edition that you can find. Bike technology, and fashion, moves fast. It would be a shame to lose someone’s interest in two-wheeled fun by expecting them to obsess about last year’s model.
PS December 2008