Timely publication, this, reaching the bookshelves at precisely the moment that more of us are taking to two wheels thanks to the cycle hire scheme and cycle superhighways.
The London Cycling Guide by Tom Bogdanowicz sets itself up as the complete reference for Londoners. Over 30 cycling routes (based on TfL's Local Cycling Guides and beautifully mapped here) explore areas as diverse as Soho, the Crane River, Thamesmead and the oft-neglected borough of Sutton.
The guide will appeal especially to newbies, with well-crafted sections on choosing a bike, road safety, maintenance, cycling for children, social cycling, security, and accessories. Listings of recommended cycling groups and shops are also included, and the comprehensive guide to which train and Tube routes allow non-folding bikes is especially welcome.
If the book benefits from timeliness, this is also its Achilles' heel. Presumably due to press deadlines, there is scant mention of the cycle hire scheme and superhighways, with just a few sentences on the former tucked away at the back. If this is London's cycling Bible, it is missing the New Testament. Still, these new chapters in our city's velochronology are still unfolding and can wait for a second edition. Such omissions should not deter you from considering what is an expertly produced and, at times, inspiring book, whether you're a new or established cyclist.
The London Cycle Guide by Tom Bogdanowicz is available now from New Holland publishers. Available on Amazon for £6.65.
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