I was in a second-hand book shop the other week and stumbled on ‘Every Woman’s Guide to Cycling’ by Selene Yeager. It was $5, worth a shot so I bought it, read it and thought it might be worth reviewing here.
Let’s discuss the elephant in the room straight away. ‘Every Woman’s Guide to Cycling’. I’m really not sure why it has to be every woman who reads this book. It’s a good book (more on this below) and it’s actually flipping useful for every PERSON. There’s no reason why it couldn’t be entitled ‘Every Newbie’s Guide to Cycling’ and have an additional chapter for women specific sections. But there you go. At least the woman on the cover isn’t wearing pink and looks like she might be a good cyclist.
What’s in the book?
On the whole, I thought this book was pretty good. It covers:
- buying a bike
- what gear you need and what you don’t
- training basics
- specific training plans for different goals
- a section on racing
- fuelling and nutrition
- health benefits
- basic mechanics
- fitting cycling into your life
Bits I loved
The bit that really stood out to me was the training plans. I’ve not found a good training plan for my century ride so had to make one up – there’s a decent plan in this book although the layout is a little clunky. There are also training plans for time trials, a century, preseason training and weight loss. I really appreciated them.
I also liked the step-by-step puncture repair guide which was the clearest I’ve seen , the comprehensive how-to-fuel-healthily section and the guides on how to do basics like descend quickly and corner safely. I also loved that they specifically mentioned trail running as a good cross-training exercise!
Bits I wasn’t so keen on
It may be too ‘light’ for experienced cyclists but I’ve seen MUCH worse ‘beginners guides’ than this one and I think there is stuff in this that would benefit more experienced riders. But here, ‘light’ doesn’t mean ‘fluffy’ and I hugely appreciated that! The author assumes you want to ride your bike properly and well as a sport, and I liked that.
I’d totally recommend this for people new to cycling or for those getting more into it and needing training plans and nutrition advice. It would be just as good for guys as well.