I've just finished reading an enjoyable book about cycling called Just ride, (a radically practical guide to riding your bike). It's an interesting book for anyone who just wants to get on a bike and enjoy it, without being forced to adopt a sports bike attitude to riding.
It's aimed at all casual riders who ride a bike for commuting or just for the sheer enjoyment.
The book is slit up into 8 parts:
- Suiting up
- Heath and Fitness (Don't confuse the two)
Within these sections are short sub sections which cover a page or two, and are essentially advice/tips.
Some examples of sub-sections are:
- No ride too short
- The shoes ruse
- Gloves: the least necessary accessory
- Kickstands, not balancing acts
- Your bike is a toy. Have fun with it.
This gives you a flavour of the attitude the writer Grant Petersen takes, when it comes to cycling (he's been riding a bicycle daily for over 30 years). He promotes the term Unracer for those of us who are not trying to compete in the Tour de France, and not wanting to appear like they have all the gear, but no idea.
This book focuses on the practicality of riding a bike and not on looks or ultra thin racers. This is not aimed at those people who spend thousands on the latest sports bike - to basically ride 5 miles to work on.
It's full of good tips and advice and it's a really quick read, and something you can pick up and start reading at any point within the book.
The last page of the book is a short quiz to see if indeed you are a Racer or Unracer. If by the end of reading this book you answered true to 6 or more of these questions, your an unracer, and as Grant says:
-- "..likely to have a lifetime of good riding ahead of you."
Having read this book I now have a rear view mirror attached to the handlebar insert, this is not something I would have purchased without reading this book, and has made me feel more confident on the road, and I'm now not stretching my neck out to look behind me.
I'd recommend reading this book if you are like me, a casual rider, who just wants to get on and enjoy cycling, and doesn't buy into the latest and greatest improvements that are designed mainly for those who think they are going to be the next Bradley Wiggins.
Just ride a bike and above all, enjoy it.