Whether you’re a hardcore cycling commuter (like me, screw you lorry drivers!), a muddy mountain bike enthusiast or just fancy knowing a fixie from a foldup, these are the best bike books around.
I doubt you’d find another book on cycling around that would make good bed-time reading, but the Bluffer’s guide manages it with aplomb. Cycling nut author Rob Ainsley can “shout at taxi drivers in four languages” and so is automatically my dream man, and his hilarious take on everything with two wheels will have you in stitches. He uses laser-sharp wit to effortlessly cut through cycling jargon and myths and legends and poke fun at cycling tribes (are you a MAMIL (middle-aged man in lycra) or an Eco Warrior?). The book is also packed with useful information, a pocket history of cycling and tons of useful information on gear, locations and legal stuff served up as handy one-liners that’ll let you bluff biking with the best of them. Best of all, the Bluffer’s Guide to Cycling only costs a fiver, AND it’ll fit in the pocket of your shiny luminous yellow lycra cycling top.
• The Bluffer’s guide to Cycling (£5.24) by Rob Ainsley, is published by Bluffer’s Guides and is on sale now.
And now for a super-serious book for dirt heads who take mud and bleeding seriously. Crack out your rusty mountain bike and hit the trail with this super useful guide to the best rides across the British Isles. Mountain bike racer Clive Forth has ridden all 41 of the trails listed, which are all comprehensively tested, colour coded and explained in detail. Each listing includes clear maps, photos, grading info (both official and Clive’s own), on-site facilities, bike hire info and marks out of ten for each skill set – handy if you’re a beginner riding with more experienced bikers. The introduction has all the skinny on kit to take and trail etiquette and the whole book is bursting with info and gets straight to the point.
• The Great British Mountain Bike Trail Guide (£16.99) by Clive Forth, is published by Bloomsbury Sport and is on sale now.