William Fotheringham: Cyclopedia Book Review

William Fortheringham’s book, Cyclopedia, is one of those books that would look extremely cool on a bookshelf. Not only is this hard cover in a shade of yellow that is very hard to miss, it’s an exhaustive tome to one of the things that is well loved by him, which is cycling. This encyclopedia of sorts is probably the next best thing to Google when you need to look up stuff about cycling.

Arranged in a style that reminds me of a thesaurus, or a dictionary, Cyclopedia covers a wide range of subject matter and topics in regards to cycling, from personalities such Henri Desrange to Chris Hoy, events, history, terminologies, technology and even the crazy and inane stuff related to the sport. You’ll be hard pressed to find an alternative to this book other than going online. Even then the book has an advantage of having everything (as of 2009/2010) in one, single location.

Having said that, tackling the book head on like a normal book would be a staid manner of approach, who reads a thesaurus straight on anyways. I would recommend just heading over to a random page, and be surprised, and learn a new thing or two about the sport. One grip I have about the book though is the publisher chosing the colour yellow as the font colour for words that have entries in the book, it makes some paragraphs rather hard to read.

One of the many fun parts of the book including an illustration on how many cyclists needed to power certain household items like the humble light bulb to a washing machine. Each individual in this book has a fascinating to tell and you can’t help but imagine in your head how those classic races played out in your head, thanks to Fortheringham’s prose.

Cyclopedia is a worth addition to any cycling enthusiasts’ bookshelf, Nine Over Ten 9/10 rates it at a 4.5 out of 5. It is available on Amazon for about USD 16. Click here to check it out.

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