Bella Bathurst examines the world of the bicycle from the invention of the machine to modern day cycling subsets. Everything is covered from cycle commuting to the Tour de France, from Indian rickshaw riders to BMX. This is a well-written and interesting exploration of cycling. If you want to know more about the story of the bicycle this book is an excellent choice.
One of the first pages of this book features some lines from the Queen song 'Bicycle Race'. This lines sums up what this book is all about, exploring the joy of riding a bike. This is done in an intelligent and thought-provoking manner. A major part of the book is the interviews with various people from the cycling world. This includes cycle commuters, racing cyclists and mountain bikers. This gives a superb insight into the lives and motivations of these types of cyclists.
My favourite part of the book was the section about cycle couriers. This is a world I knew very little about and it was fascinating to read about their lifestyle and the dangers they face on the road. I also enjoyed the chapter about cycle corps in armies, especially after seeing the film. April 9, which was about Danish bicycle infantry facing the German invasion in 1940.
The book is neatly divided into 11 chapters that concentrate on a particular theme. There is a section of colour pictures in the centre of the book and black and white prints throughout.
There is a strong Scottish element to the book as the author talks to bicycle couriers in Edinburgh, interviews Danny MacAskill, the street trials cyclists from Skye and there is a chapter about Graeme Obree, the Scot who broke the world hour record.
This book does a brilliant job of explaining the bicycle, the history of cycling and what defines cycling in the modern age.
To buy this book click on the Amazon link below. I also recommend the brilliant film. April 9th, about the Danish bicycle infantry.