Top Gear may have returned for a new series the week before last, and Formula 1 testing got underway this weekend – but the book currently sitting on top of the charts Amazon.co.uk’s Kindle Store’s automotive category is one with cycling roots, Carlton Reid’s Roads Were Not Built For Cars.
Published last year following a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign, Reid’s book narrates the role of cyclists and cycling organisations in the history of road construction and indeed the automotive industry – indeed, many historic car marques were established as bicycle businesses.
On the subject of hitting the number 1 spot in the automotive category, Reid, executive editor of trade website BikeBiz, told us: “Perhaps ironically, the probable reason for the surge is because the book has just been plugged on the website of the venerable American green hippy magazine Mother Earth News.”
While the book is followed in the charts by The Official DVSA Guide to Driving – The Essential Skills and Roadcraft – The Police Driver’s Handbook, elsewhere in the top 20 there are no fewer than six books by the Top Gear pairing of Jeremy Clarkson and James May, the highest at number 7.
Reid, who was active in mountain biking long before the boom years of the discipline, would also no doubt approve of the book at number 13 – Complete Mountain Bike Maintenance by Mike Davis and Guy Andrews.
You can find a wealth of information about the book and topics explored in it on this dedicated website, which also has links to buy Kindle and iBook versions; a reprint of the physical version, which has already sold out its run of 100 hardback and 1,000 softback copies, will be on sale this spring.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.