Pedal power has never been more popular; not only is it easy and enjoyable to cycle, but also there are added benefits of increased fitness and better health (as well as a reduced carbon footprint). This colorful and comprehensive encyclopedia covers everything a cyclist needs to know at any level of the sport. After a fascinating overview of the history of the bicycle, the book discusses all the essentials such as choosing a bike, basic skills, maintenance, practical advice on getting around, and safety issues such as coping with traffic. The second part of the book moves up a gear, with a section about choosing the right equipment for touring at home or abroad, and how to camp successfully and the lowdown on all types of bikes and how to maintain them. Practical advice shows how to carry equipment on your bike and there are tips on maintenance and repair. There is a chapter on fast riding and sportive bikes, and the techniques for descending, cornering and braking safely for road bikes. Information is given about cycling the different stages of great races such as the Tour de France and Giro d'Italia, trail-riding techniques, and the best of mountain bike races around the world. Finally, for the more adventurous, the last part of the book presents extreme touring, competitive performance cycling, the challenge of trail and mountain bike racing, and training schedules for more advanced racing. It describes the great road races of the world, the great mountain bike races, team track races, and the Olympics. Throughout are tips, historical facts, and profiles of the famous cycle races and riders of the world. With expert advice and over 800 stunning photographs and artworks, includingstep-by-step features, this book is the essential all-purpose guide for beginners and more advanced cyclists.