We are already officially feeling Olympic fever here in London. Every company advertising on the underground claims to be an ‘official sponsor’ and the national magazines are filled with photos of powerful, determined-looking athletes. Jackie Magpie thinks that if we’re going to win a gold, it’ll probably be in cycling, so we’re jumping on the bandwagon with an array of lovely bike-themed books…
Heels on Wheels by Katie Dailey (Hardie Grant Books)
A friend of a friend of a friend just published this rather wonderful book offering advice to any modern woman who wants to join the ever-growing national cycle craze but maintain her poise and elegance. Everything from how to choose the right bike to how to combat helmet hair is covered in this beautifully illustrated guide. And I am particularly fond of Clare Owen’s gorgeously feminine pastel illustrations on the cover and throughout too.
The Bicycle Book by Bella Bathurst (Harper Collins)
This is a celebration of one of the nation’s most popular modes of transport, examining its history and the reason why it has enchanted people since first invention. This book is fascinating and amusing in equal measure and I love the simple, graphic illustrations on the cover featuring bikes from the penny-farthing to the ladies shopper.
It’s All About the Bike: The Pursuit of Happiness On Two Wheels by Robert Penn(Particular Books)
With pleasingly naive cover artwork, this is a social and cultural history of the bicycle by a man who has cycled 40,000 km around the world – so presumably knows what he’s talking about. Full of joy and inspiration for keen lycra-clad cyclists and gentle Sunday peddlers alike.
The White Woman on the Green Bicycle by Monique Roffey (Simon & Schuster)
This is not technically a book about bicycles… but it is a great novel. The story tells of an English couple who move to Trinidad in the 1960s and struggle to keep their marriage from ruin and find a place in a foreign land during a time of great colonial and racial turmoil. I love the bright, Caribbean-inspired cover; beautiful and intricate but with an overall simplicity that is really eye-catching.