Book review: IAM Advanced Cycling book ‘How to be a better Cyclist’

This article was published in 2010, in Newsletter 91.

Image as described adjacent

It’s good to see that the Institute of Advanced Motoring have given thought to how cyclists can improve their cycling and that they recognise that some drivers are not the best behaved on the road. It’s also good that they got John Franklin, who is a recognised figure in cycle safety, to write this book. Sadly, that’s where the praise has to end.

It talks a lot about planning, noticing the road markings and being aware of hidden junctions, but unless you are really unfamiliar with the roads in your area, most of the advice will not be very useful and in some cases it comes over as slightly patronising. I strongly suspect that the hand of an editor has been at work here, because it doesn’t come across in Mr Franklin’s usual style. It may also be because the information is presented using photos rather than text, so that the amount of writing is minimised.

This book may be helpful for someone who has only just started cycling but otherwise, for in-depth advice and consideration of the many situations in which you could find yourself, buy Cyclecraft (4th edition) by John Franklin (see review in a previous Newsletter) which is almost the Highway Code for cyclists. It’s better written too.

How to be a better cyclist ISBN 978 0 9562239 2 0 price £9.99

Bev Nicolson