15 June 2010

Book review: 'Bicycle'

I finally got round to buying Bicycle, a sort of real cyclist's introduction to cycling by Guardian journo Helen Pidd. It tackles questions such as whether you can get arrested for being drunk on a bike, how to mend a puncture, or the slightly Shakespearian-sounding 'must I don a luminous tabard'? And it's resolutely Real Cycling: Helen's in favour of normal clothes, sensible bikes and everyday enjoyment.

It's also written with women cyclists in mind, so expect lines such as this, explaining that frame sizes differ between manufacturers: 'a size 10 in Marks and Spencer's is different to a size 10 in Topshop'. I found this alienating; I'm size 18.

Friendly and approachable in style, it's nicely written and full of good sense - Helen's experiences of everyday biking in London clearly inform the book. It's ideal for anyone you know who's tempted to join in the London boom we keep hearing about.


  1. size 18: just as well you prefer ordinary clothes then, given cycling gear rarely comes that big ;)

  2. I don't find such comments alienating so much as downright patronising. Even women can understand a simple concept such as different manufacturers producing different sized bikes without reference to clothes shopping. Gggrrr