Cycling To Work, A Beginners Guide, Rory McMullan (2007)

A useful primer for those who have not cycled to work before

Green Books 978 1 900322 12 6 96pp £4.95

A regular cyclist might well wonder why such a book were needed? Surely the great thing about a bike is that, for short journeys at least, you simply jump on, and off you go?

All true – save when you consider how you might feel about making such a journey having not touched a bike for 20 years, say. Indeed, one senses that this publication might well be intended for employers, to buy in bulk and distribute among staff who they are trying to help make different travel-to-work decisions.

As such, its advice is generally sound. It makes the case for cycling on the grounds of health, wealth, environmental concern and coolness. It provides sufficient information to make an intelligent choice of bike, and makes clear that while, for example, specialist clothing has its place, it is certainly not essential to two-wheeled travel.

The book is attractively laid out and illustrated and is peppered with useful real-life case studies – particularly of employers such as Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline, that have invested heavily in cycle promotion.

Perhaps cyclists should buy up copies of this book and distribute them about workplaces in the style of Gideon Bibles? Most would who picked up the volume would put it to one side pretty quickly. But even a tiny trickle of converts would make the investment worthwhile.

PS December 2008

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