If you like any of the previous works by Ned Boulting and are hoping that Boulting's Velosaurus provides more of the same, then be warned: it's quite unlike any other cycling book, and will have a different appeal to any of Boulting's previous works.
The idea is that hundreds of words are given an alternative (or nonsensical) definition – with everything related to the world of cycling, primarily road racing. A reasonable knowledge of the French language is not essential, but it will help you to recognise many of the words that have been defined; a good knowledge of the sport is definitely required, though, if you want to appreciate all the nuances and humour to be found in the definitions.
I found some of the definitions to be very clever and truly funny – and others not so much. As with all humour, what appeals to one person may not appeal to another, so your experience may be different. For me, there are more hits than misses.
Here are a few examples of the more concise definitions to give you a flavour of what to expect: a Disciple is 'A rider who follows every technology fad, like disc brakes and disc wheels'; a Gramophone is 'A rider who talks incessantly about weight'; Ivoire is 'Illicitly gathered and illegally traded technology'; an Otage is 'A single rider from one team in a small breakaway containing numerous riders all from another'; a Piaf is 'A rider who regrets nothing'; a Walkyrie is 'A Tour de France helicopter pilot'.
Here is a slightly longer example: Gaucherie is 'Racing in the United Kingdom, Australia, or any other country that insists on driving on the wrong side of the road'. Many of the definitions are longer, often spreading over more than one page with a very thorough description.
Boulting is not afraid to reference one of his more famous moments, defining Maillot as 'A jumper. Everyone knows that'.
It may look like there is a mention of le Tour on the front cover, with a claim that it is a 'linguistic Tour de France'; however, it a reference to the fact that much of the book is a tour of the French language, although of course the resulting definitions are as applicable to le Tour as any other race.
For any readers of Viz magazine, this book has some similarities to the experience of reading Roger's Profanisaurus – albeit a lot less offensive...
The book is designed to entertain, not educate, so don't take it too seriously or too literally – and accept you will find some parts funnier than others.
Perhaps you have your own definitions to suggest?
Unlike any other book by Ned Boulting, but if you share his sense of humour you'll enjoy it
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Boulting's Velosaurus by Ned Boulting
Size tested: Hardback
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
From the publisher: "The language of cycling is vibrant, sophisticated, often impenetrable and extremely French. Find yourself confused, nodding along when a rouleur relates how le biscuit was effrité (crumbled)? How today they're feeling Angers (past caring)? Fear no more, for Boulting's Velosaurus will illuminate, enlighten and, frankly, mislead.
"In his Velosaurus, ITV Tour de France commentator and cycling writer Ned Boulting provides the ultimate lexicon of nonsense terminology surrounding the esteemed Tour de France. Featuring essential vocabulary like Alpe (an Alp), panache (riding with doomed flamboyance, conscious of the need to renew one's contract), moutarde (any race that ends, begins or passes through the city of Dijon) and maillot (a jumper, obviously), Boulting's Velosaurus is the ideal companion to all things peloton for linguistically-challenged fans of non-automotive two-wheeled sport."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Title: Boulting's Velosaurus
Author: Ned Boulting
Publisher: Yellow Jersey Press
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? If I knew enough about their sense of humour...
Use this box to explain your score
It's a good book, though it won't appeal to everyone.
About the tester
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding