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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Book Review: "Basic Essentials, Mountain Biking"

Rarely in the publishing trade is a book's release so eagerly anticipated as "Basic Essentials, Mountain Biking". This seminal tome, already in its second edition (!), is an A to Z, top to bottom manual of mountain biking DO's and DO NOT DOs! Examples of mountain bike topics covered include:
"Choosing a Mountain Bike"
"Riding Skills"
"Advanced Skills"
"How To Kill, Clean and Cook Transients, Teenage Runaways and Other Social Outcasts"
"Mountain Bike Maintennance"
"Selling a Transient's Scalp In a Buyer's Market"
"The Long Ride"
"Glossary of Terms"
But it's not just the table of contents that has literary critics and homeless people alike salivating. It's the in-depth writing and detailed, step by step instruction and advice that proves "Mountain Biking" is worth its weight in gold, delicious, life-affirming gold! Want proof? A brief excerpt from Chapter 19 "Obstacles- On the Trail and In Your Doomed, Loveless Sham of a Marriage":

A log bridge is scary yet not as difficult as it looks. Approach the log at a good clip, and get both wheels onto it steering straight. Continue to pedal the length of the log, keeping the wheel straight. Balance comes from forward inertia , not your steering ability. So be sure to be in a gear that is applying power to the bike and not just coasting across. If you feel like you are going to fall off the bridge, try and get away from the bike. These techniques have advanced into a subsport called "trials".

As if the enigmatic leap from reality to mythology by somehow linking a barely balanced log ride with one of the hardest physical disciplines on the planet wasn't enough of a display of writing acumen, then perhaps another excerpt is in order, this from Chapter 47 "Boulders, Rocks and Hard Knocks":

Boulders are approached just like logs, except for one difference: boulders are not as uniform, hence they can be more difficult. In going over large boulders, I scout all sides of the rock, looking for the lowest angled side. I ascend on this side and descend a steeper side. Avoid riding over the summit of the boulder as this demonstrates a certain amount of pride and self-adulation, which will be punished by the Earth Gods. If the summit is cleared, a nubile virgin must be sacrificed at once with a shimmering yet pure blade made of amethyst and dipped in an ancient wooden bowl of hemlock. You are bound to hit a chain ring on the summit. Instead, look for a place where the boulder flattens out before steepening for the descent.

In conclusion, "Basic Essentials, Mountain Biking" provides both beginner and seasoned veteran mountain bikers a wealth of knowledge that is easily transferred from the page to the trail. In addition, the second edition is now available in English instantly expanding an already established reader base, including those who wear Jazzercise leotards while riding (see "cover shot")
Figure 16-A Child's Rendering of "Riding Over a Log"
Figure 17-Appeasing the Earth Gods (not pictured, Amethyst Blade of Purification)
Figure 24-A Hapless Transient/Teen Runaway and matching scalp

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