Friday, February 17, 2012

Cyclopedia Review

I recently bought this interesting A to Z account of everything related to the bicycle by William Fotheringham. It's hardcover, though without a book jacket. The imprinting reminds me of letterpress. Simple and unpolished.
The endpapers are a lovely assortment of bikes, cogs, seats, and helmets. This print would be nice as fabric.

Inside, the layout resembles The Farmer's Almanac. It's set up in multiple columns and is designed with easy to read short quips, just enough to whet your appetite for a particular subject.

There are no photos, but old style etchings graphs, and maps. Condensed type highlights each title with bold initial capitals starting each section of the alphabet.

Can you tell that I like the design?

The content is a vast array of facts on history, bike design, racing, books, commentators, and famous people associated with the sport. I thought I would be able to read this as a novel, but it's an overwhelming amount of information, better absorbed in snippets. My book resides in the bathroom (ha!), but with post-it notes to mark items of interest.

My favorite page, so far, is a chart of the Alps prestigious ascents, complete with altitude, length of climb, and height gain. I like how the author presents their unique features. For example, did you know that on L'Alpe d'Huez there are TDF winners' names on each of the 21 hairpins turns?

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