Cyclorama, Jim McGurn and Mick Allan (2012)

A lively mixed bag of bikes and features on cycling

Company of Cyclists, 162pp £12.99

Defining exactly what Cyclorama is, is far from easy – suffice to say that its printed manifestation contains elements of magazine, book and catalogue (there is a great website too). There are manufacturer profiles, profiles of particular bikes, collections of photographs, features on cycling around the world and outlines of types of cycling.

Large format, and lavishly illustrated on every page, as a package there is an great deal to enjoy and to expand your cycling pleasure. By comparison, most cycling magazines are very narrowly focussed.

I particularly liked the features on North Korea, where women are formally banned from riding bicycles (why isn’t there an international campaign to highlight and help reverse this insane policy?) and the piece on the Netherlands, which has a rather more diverse cycling culture than you might guess from stereotypes.

As with Encyclopedia, a previous McGurn product, a good deal of attention is devoted to special bicycles of one kind or another – but the mix is far better. Indeed, it is interesting to juxtapose Cyclorama with the Know The Game book that is reviewed here. The latter contained almost nothing to capture the imagination. Cyclorama is overflowing with stimulating images and ideas.

My one quibble is its equipmentist bias. Much as I love bicycles, it is cycling that I really love. Perhaps future editions of Cyclorama will devote slightly more space to the ride itself?

TD Jul 12

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