Praise be that Mr Cornwell has come up with this idea. Cycling 2013 is a guide to almost everything going on in UK cycling for the year.
Split into three sections: Road Racing 2013, Leisure Cycling 2013 and Cyclist's Directory this very useful little guide - not just the details of the year's pro races, Hill climbs, TT's, sportives, audaxes and charity rides - but the results from the previous year's pro results (someone called Wiggins won the tour it seems..), a list of pro teams and a list by region of the best cycle shops, cafes, clubs, kit retailers, and pretty much everything you could want to know.
As most racing and sportive information is online these days and even BC's site is designed by people seemingly still referring to something called 'The Inter-web' a comprehensive well designed book guide to the year in cycling has long been overdue.
It's not only dates, facts and figures though. Cornwell's editor's introduction 'The View from the Saddle' is a perceptive and intelligent summation of where UK cycling is at present and where he hopes it's leading. His comments on the growth of overpriced sportives is spot on and I hope he keeps on personalising each edition with his opinions.
There are a few curious omissions. I'm sure the handlebar biters on road.cc will note with satisfaction that Cornwell makes no mention of Rapha in the clothing retailers section but he does mention Shutt Velo Rapide - so there obviously isn't a price ceiling. Whilst there is a pretty good list of event organiser sportives – especially those that support the Dave Rayner Fund - there need to be more local club sportives listed. One of Britain's oldest cycle clubs, Southport CC (est 1874) is mentioned in the clubs section but there is no reference to their very enjoyable annual sportive 'The Bill Bradley' which costs just £10 with any profits going to the youth squad and which has been running for donkey's years now.
I imagine that this will be addressed for next year. My favourite sportive of last year isn't mentioned either (well it was sponsored by Rapha...) but I have no complaints as I'm happy to keep that one quiet.
My only other criticism is the dreary art work on the cover which gives the impression of a particularly turgid local council report on cycle infrastructure circa 1985. It does the witty and very useful contents of Cycling 2013 no favours at all.
These little niggles aside I feel sure that this almanac will surely grow to become a sort of Wisdens and the National Trust Guide in terms of utility and nostalgia. I'll be able to get this edition down in a few years time and show it to the grandkids and talk about the glory days of British Cycling and point out all the sportives I should've, would've, could've done if only I hadn't had the knee/neck/chest infection problem (delete where applicable). I can see it becoming a must buy each year for the Christmas stocking.
It's pretty spot on and value for money for all cyclists - and spectators too.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Andrew Cornwell's Cycling 2013, Cycling Press
Size tested: n/a
Cyclists and maybe a growing breed of cycle spectators.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
About the tester
Age: 47 Height: Weight:
I usually ride: Dolan Prefissio - winter bike My best bike is: Condor Moda Ti - summer bike
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding,