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Book review: Just skip Biking to Work

Posted Jun 20 2010 8:59pm


I really hate giving bad reviews. If an author and a publisher have spent the time and money to put a book on the market, I hope and pray that there is something redeeming inside the covers. This book? Notsomuch.

Don't get me wrong. I love many of the other books published by Chelsea Green , but this one is a dud. It's poorly organized, meanders, and tries to cover far too much territory in one thin volume. It's almost as if the author, while writing, kept saying, "Oh wait! I just thought of something else!" and then threw it in. There aren't even many good stories to keep the reader entertained along the way.

I have do doubt that the author, Rory McMullan, has a wealth of knowledge about the topic of bike commuting, but in trying to cover all the bases, he ended up muddying the waters so much that I fear some new cyclists might think the matter was too complicated, and give up.

If you're really, truly looking for tips on bike commuting, you're far better served by finding a bike blog that you enjoy and reading that. You'll get to see on a daily basis how a real-time cyclist handles every topic under the sun, like choosing a bike, dealing with hot or cold weather, surviving rude drivers, finding the best route from home to work, choosing gear, and much more. Better yet, you might even be able to post comments and get a quick response from the blog's author.

The only positive thing I can say about Biking to Work is that it does include some good statistics. However, many of those numbers are changing each year, so websites and blogs might be the best way to find out what's happening this year and close to your home.

There. I'm done. Now I'm hoping to get my hands on David Byrne's book, Bicycle Diaries. Ahhh . . . 
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