Cyclists - A Spotter's Guide by Robbie Guillory and Judith Hastie is an amusing attempt to categorise all two-wheeled road users and distil them into 'read on the loo' style chunks of good-humour.
If you can't spot yourself amongst the Metal Stallions, Sheriffs and Office Magnets then give the book to your partner and watch them snigger and point out all your bad traits.
Mamil spotting is easy – "Many Mamils enjoy sporting a large bulge below the paunch for display purposes ... accentuated by purchasing trousers two sizes to small", but can you tell your Retro Perfectionist (look for a small, peaked corduroy cap and merino plumage) from your Hipster (cycling cap in a lurid colour, ill-fitting tweed)?
In case you struggle as a new COCK (Collaborative Opposition to Cyclist Killing) member, Robbie Guillory helpfully provides habitats, range, different spcies' likely call to help you identify sub-species while out spotting. Unsurprisingly no one befriends the Thieving Bastard, and it is reported that other cyclists kill them on sight.
The Spotter's Guide is full of handy tips for the non-cyclist, including the suggestion that "it is good practice to leave a puncture repair kit and... a high energy gel" at the end of your driveway to help attract different varieties of cyclist to your area. Do watch out for the New Year Resolutions - apparently we're due a particularly large migration this year due to the mild winter.
Robbie Guillory writes with a knowing good-humour, and captures well the features of each tribe. Guillory either knows a lot of cyclists or is very good at his research, as no small detail of any type has been left out - from the way BMX Bandits mature into Mountain Rangers, to the tendency of Sheriffs to upbraid bus drivers on minor elements of the Highway Code.
Judith Hastie's illustrations capture the epitome of each breed and provide a handy visual identifier for use when out spotting cyclists. This little book would make a great little present either for a cyclist or for someone who has to live with one.
And me? A Sit Up and Beg / Metal Stallion crossbreed depending on whether I'm out on my cruiser or my actual bike.
A silly read that kept me sniggering with recognition
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Cyclists - A Spotters Guide by Robbie Guillory and Judith Hastie
Size tested: n
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With the rediscovery of cycling as a sport, pastime and planet-saving method of transport, Cyclists: A Spotter's Guide takes a satirical look at the 26 most common type of bicycle user on our roads today. This guide covers the full gamut of urban and rural cycling tropes; covering habitat, range, 'plumage' and other characteristics that will be familiar to everyone with a cyclist in the family. From the Office Magnet to BMX Bandit, each 'breed' will be fully illustrated by Judith Hastie (101 Uses of a Dead Kindle, If Dogs Could Swear).
About the tester
Age: 36 Height: 5'7 Weight: size 16
I usually ride: Trek 7.5 WSD My best bike is: Turquoise Cruiser
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Novice
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, general fitness riding, Leisure