Since the bike was invented it has provided people with opportunity. It provided people who could not afford expensive methods of transport with a means of travelling further than they previously were able, it gave women freedom and has provided an energy efficient method of transport all over the world. The simple two wheeled machine has given us a plethora of bike types now. You can buy a cheap steel bike for a small amount of money or you can spend a large fortune on the latest carbon framed road bike that is almost light enough to float. We have mountain bikes, tourers, BMX, recumbents, folding bikes and the saddleless trials type. All of these bikes have their owners who have taken them to all of the continents, to some of the highest points on the globe and there are those who have gone to the furthest point from the ocean. Many have taken them around our planet, partly to break records, sometimes just for the hell of it. We have one of the world greatest sporting spectacles in the Tour de France, there is the insanity of the rampage downhill event and the metronomic velodrome.
Hughes has pulled together lots of stories on cycling heroes into this book. You can read about stars of the cycling world such as Froome, Wiggo and MacAskill as well of those who are not as well known, like Sunny Chuah and CK Flash. We hear about one guy who rode up Mont Ventoux on a Boris bike and tries to return it to London before he is penalised, another who attempts to cycle to Hawaii and tales of some of the fastest on two wheels. Most importantly we learn how the simple gift of a bicycle can give people so much opportunity through the work of World Bicycle Relief. This book is full of inspiring people who have seen their lives changed by the simple act of turning a pedal, or used it to change other lives. It is a great book for the bike nut in your life.