Review: Mastering Mountain Bike Skills Book. £15 Back to: Mastering Mountain Bike Skills Home
What can this book teach me?
When I was asked to review this book the first thing I thought was: 'Book reviews are dull, it won't look good on screen'. I also thought that having read just about every other 'How To' ever printed in the mountain bike press there'd be nothing much there for me to use. To be honest it was Brian Lopes name on the cover that got me curious enough to consider reviewing it. I can't imagine a more skilful or impressive rider, maybe he would know a trick or two the rest of the pundits had skipped?
Lord make me crash proof
When the book arrived I was pleasantly surprised by the size and weight of it (I'd been expecting a pocket book but this thing is almost 200 pages with plenty of colour). After scanning a couple of chapters though it began to dawn that Lopes was a bit part actor in this manual, taking a back seat to the artful descriptions of Lee McCormack. I soon realised this wasn't a disappointment though, as some of the stuff I was reading looked set to change the way I ride and began to actually pan out on the trail. The trouble with 'Gods of Mountain Biking' is they don't know how to ride. OK that's twisting words a little, they really don't know how they ride so well though, certainly they seem to have trouble putting it in to words. Which is something Lee does better than I've seen in print before.
Frankly, you're rubbish
This man has the answer to why you're such a bad rider. OK you got me again, you're a great rider like Lopes! If so there's probably not a lot a book like this can teach you. I've been riding mountain bikes for almost twenty years (they were called 'All Terrain Bikes' in the UK when I first pedalled one) and this book has finally helped me on my long journey towards becoming a great rider (I'd made it to 'better than average' already ;-)
Is it any good?
Right now you're probably saying to yourself "This guy has been paid off" which is a vicious lie! We never accept payment or sweeteners to do a review. We've been sent books which I haven't bothered to review because I couldn't recommend them though. So what's all the fuss about then? Wont I tell you the secret so you can just go out and ride like a God, without forking out for a paper book, when all the information should be free online? No chance. This book has taken a lot of putting together, you can't just list the 'secrets' in pamphlet form and get the same benefit for free. You really do have to fork out the cash, then read what the guys have to say, in small sections, interspersed with regular practice to get the benefit.
So who should read this book?
Actually just about all of you, (except Brian Lopes and he already has a dozen copies). Even if you just read a chapter from time to time and visualise it in your mind, you will find it begins to transfer to the trail. My own improvement has been so great it has me worried, I don't want the crowd I ride with to read it and start to outclass me on the trails. So if you sometimes ride with our group, or hope to in the future, promise me you won't buy this book, OK?