________________ CM . . . . Volume XVII Number 15. . . .December 10, 2010


Cyclist BikeList: The Book for Every Rider.

Laura Robinson. Illustrated by Ramón K. Pérez.
Toronto, ON: Tundra Books, 2010.
55 pp., pbk., $19.99.
ISBN 978-0-88776-784-5.

Subject Headings:
Bicycles-Juvenile literature.
Cycling-Juvenile literature.

Grades 4 and up / Ages 9 and up.

Review by Alison Mews.

**** /4



So before you buy a bike, think about what you want and need. Where will you ride? A mountain bike with dual suspension and dirt-eating tires isn't efficient on pavement. If you long for those gnarly trails in the park, forget road bikes and hybrids. Rocks, stumps, and exposed roots will quickly turn them into pretzels. Ask your friends if they have a bike they like. Try out other kids' bikes at school and in your neighborhood, but remember to wear your helmet.

For kids who are still growing, who like riding on roads and some easy off-roading, and who don't want to spend a lot of money for a bike that won't fit in a year or two, hybrids are perfect. They combine the best of lightweight road bikes and durable mountain bikes. You can soar along on roads, but if you also want to ride on hard-packed dirt trails, this is the bike for you.


Written in a breezy, informative style by an experienced cyclist and coach, this illustrated book is a wonderful guide for those new to biking as well as those who are already avid riders. Tips and helpful suggestions are seamlessly integrated with the factual information, and colourful diagrams help clarify the text.

internal art     Laura Robinson begins with her own story of how she came to love cycling. Then, in successive chapters, she gives an historical overview and timeline of the development of bikes; their mechanical makeup; how to choose and care for them; and road safety. Where appropriate, photographs of different bikes illustrate aspects of the text, and charts and tables compare bike parts for the four main types of bikes: road, hybrid, mountain and race bikes. Throughout, a cartoon girl with speech balloons delivers admonitions and instructions that might sound preachy if written in the text. For instance, in the chapter on choosing a bike, the girl warns you not to do show-off jumps as it will destroy the rims of your beautiful new bike. Physical needs of riders are also stressed with appropriate dress and nutrition covered. Finally, international competitions and their winners are summarized, and the book concludes with an encouraging story of a young First Nations girl that Robinson coaches. Altogether, a wealth of bike-related information is presented in this attractive book. Cartoonist Ramón Pérez has contributed dynamic and colourful illustrations that increase its visual appeal and add quirky humour. There's a lot of technical info and fascinating trivia which will give readers oodles of ammunition to amaze their friends.

Highly Recommended.

Alison Mews, a recently retired librarian, lives in St. John's, NL.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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