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Cyclecraft: The Complete Guide to Safe and Enjoyable Cycling for Adults and Children (North American Edition) Paperback – June 22, 2009
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The whole book is excellent, but the best part is about road positioning, which Franklin calls "probably the most important [of all cycling skills]" (p. 92). Here are some key citations.
"...positioning is one of the most important traffic skills for a cyclist to acquire, yet is precisely here that most cyclists perform badly. Many cyclists fail to position themselves properly because of their fear of traffic, yet ironically, it is this very fear that probably puts them most at risk." (p. 91)
"An important rule of road sharing is that no one should unnecessarily impede the passage of anyone else. However, you are quite justified in restricting the movements of other vehicles where this is important for your own safety, and you should not hesitate to do so when necessary."
Franklin has developed the concept of the "primary riding position" which is "in the center of the rightmost line of traffic for the direction in which you wish to travel." Why is this the primary position? Because, "here you will be well within the zone of maximum surveillance of both following drivers and those who might cross your path, and you will have the best two-way visibility of side roads and other features along the road. The road surface will usually be flatter here ...". Earlier on the same page he explains the basis: "Motorists primarily give attention to that part of the highway where is risk to themselves: they are not nearly so good at noticing anything outside their path. This zone of maximum surveillance is often very narrow, especially at higher speeds - it does not extend to much ...Read more ›
The lone drawback to this book for anyone who lives outside the United Kingdom or Ireland might be that some of the information is specific to traffic standards in those countries. The most obvious of these is driving on the left, and Americans like me will have to think "right" whenever Franklin writes "left."
This is a very minor nit, however. There is no book yet published in North America that is so succinct yet so complete on the practice of cycling for transportation.
Author John Franklin wrote his original Cyclecraft book to focus on UK cycling. After its smashing success, Mr. Franklin rewrote it to take into consideration the needs of North American cyclists (the focus being on US and Canadian cycling; no mention of Mexico is made). The UK book's smashing success appears to have followed it across the pond.
A large reason for the book's success is the imminent practicality all throughout the entire book. First and foremost, it seeks to change readers' minds if perchance they should feel like second class vehicles on the roadway. The book seeks to responsibly remove any timidity from the reader and expects them to 1) Make safety paramount in their decision making process, and 2) Seek peer status with the rest of the vehicles on the road, not to prove any sort of point, but rather to fulfill point #1. Yes, behaving yourself no different from motorized vehicles on a roadway is actually safer for both yourself and those around you. The book explains all the reasoning, situations, and peculiarities of bicycling on roadways.
But don't think that the book only speaks to city bicycling. Far from it.Read more ›
This is a very readable book, including information about other forms of cycling such as tricycles and recumbents (I have a recumbent trike so I was interested to read this), towing children in a trailer, tandems etc. My only criticism is that sometimes the book makes cycling on a normal upright seem rather dangerous (comments about braking correctly, not skidding in the wet etc) and might have put me off a little if I cycled one of these. However despite this reservation I can heartily recommend this book and have found it exceptionally useful for my own cycling and something that I will refer to many times.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Well written, great illustrations of many different traffic scenarios. Information about pulling trailers and bike handling that you will not find anywhere else. Read morePublished on November 3, 2010 by ssara
An excellent book for beginners who aspire to add cycling to their lifestyle. As well all seasoned cyclists will reconsider their own concepts on techniques of dealing with all... Read morePublished on February 17, 2010 by Stephen Banks
In Australia, we use the same (correct!) side of the road as the Brits, so we don't have to translate much. Read morePublished on December 6, 2006 by Carl I. Brewer