With its eye-catching graphics and `busy’ layout, Chris Hoy’s first non-fiction book is clearly aimed at the youngsters who’ve lapped up his Flying Fergus books.
That said, I suspect a few adults will be taking a peak in the hope of boosting their own bike knowledge. Cycling has increased in popularity massively in the last few years. One of the effects of this is that adults who didn’t cycle as children are having to help their own children choose a bike, maintain it, ride it safely and so on.
A couple of years ago I made the transition from commuter to MAMIL, buying a road bike and taking part in long distance cycling events. Not being a member of a cycling club, I had a rapid learning curve to become familiar with just how a modern bike works. Very different to the rusty old thing sitting in the back of the shed, I soon learned.
It was a bit like someone who’d only ever seen a Sinclair Spectrum being confronted by a modern laptop computer. I was lucky to get some guidance from my local bike mechanic and our postman, among others. Any youngsters with similar questions should have them answered by this book.
Though he found fame in a very specialised form of track cycling, Chris can still remember getting his first bike, and does a great job of passing on that enthusiasm. From how to repair a puncture or adjust your brakes to what sort of food to eat if you want to train to get faster, everything is explained in easily digestible chunks.
Some will want to read it from beginning to end, but you could equally well dip in just to find out how to get the chain back on.
Just be careful who you give this too. If they don’t want a bike when they open it up, they surely will by the time they’ve reached the last page!