on 30 May 2008
I bought Richard's Bicycle Book new in 1983 while I was still at school. It was my bible back then when I rode out of necessity. Now I ride for pleasure and, having managed to get hold of a good secondhand copy, it's my bible once more. Now, things have moved on somewhat since 1983, such as the introduction of mountain bikes and hybrids, but there's still a lot here of relevance and interest. My particular favourite section (and the one I re-read as soon as I got this copy) was on how to 'deal' with a dog that's attacking you. Not for the squeamish, that bit, as Richard's view is that you're fighting for your life. Hmm. Not quite sure why I'm fascinated by that bit *shrugs*. I love dogs, really, I do.
A few years ago, I bought Richard's NEW Bicycle Book, expecting it to be even better than the original, but was disappointed. This book is a good read, as well as a useful reference, and is still the one to have.
on 21 April 2009
... with S Morgan. I got my copy in 1983-ish, when I was commuting to work on a bike every day. My first name is Richard, and it was bought for me as a witty Christmas present. The first part is an exploration of the bicycle as a mode of transport, a fitness aid, a lifestyle accessory, even a political statement. But RB never gets holier-than-thou about it - he just loves bikes, and it shows in every word he writes. He also includes a guide to buying the right bike for you, which is the most sensible thing I have ever read on the subject. Amusingly, he describes in detail the birth of the mountain biking movement in the US, and predicts that the little-known mountain bike will comprise over 50% of all bikes sales in the future. Little did he know! The second part is a maintenance manual, which covers all the things you are ever likely to want to know about, full of common sense and practical advice. Like the other reviewer, I bought the updated version but found it a little disappointing. This editon, dated though it is, is a real classic and repays reading again and again. I doubt if I will ever get rid of my copy. Just having it around makes me feel good.
on 25 August 2011
Bought the (then new) book. Read and re-read it and loved it. Bought a tourer.
So much of the book is good stuff. Knowledge and experience without being high-handed/bike snob shines through.
There is serious in-depth techy stuff way beyond my knowledge and need, yet simple obvious stuff like Kick-Stands being a waste of time.
Bit of a time-capsule too, this just pre-dates the advent of Mountain Bikes, and I believe there is mention of 'Sustrans' just before it started. Raleigh Industries was the World's Biggest Bike maker, then.
Good holiday read.
Hardtail Mtb is all I need, but the book has me hankering after the lightness and lessness of a good steel tourer.
on 8 August 2013
Was given a copy back in the early 80's, first edition I suppose if the other reviews are correct.
What I read in here has saved my life a couple of times - once on a bike - "don't brake if hit from behind" simple, obvious but not instinctive.
"Always have an escape route" - make it a habit. Seriously.
It covers all the bike technology back then and techniques too, stuff like gears and brakes, how to cope with dog attacks. I'm sure I remember his worst moment was being pursued by a "large and determined goose".
It's not at all pompous or elitist, it's a down to earth read and a bloody useful thing.