Loads of useful information including a retrospective on bike developments. OK so it doesn't cover some of the newer bike devlopments but that was a given by the print date and other reviews.
Some very good diagrams on bike components that are clearer to understand than in other bike manuals relying on photographs. Plenty of anecdotal material, good background on the origins of mountain biking and some useful guidance on cycling best practice that remains relevant to the current day
This book is funny informative and simply the best book about cycling I have read. Ballantine is SO ENTHUSIASTIC he makes you want to put the book down and get out there and ride!
I got into cycling quite late - in my early 20's and someone lent me Richards original book from the '70's. This is more up to date and includes Mountain Bikes, Moultons, city bikes etc. Though it is still 18 years old.
Richards book serves as a great introduction to cycling and important tips about how to stay alive on the bike, gearing, maintenance, most efficient cycling method - cadence, ankling etc. (If you don't know what I'm talking about, you need this book!)
The section about car drivers is worth the cover price alone, "Capri drivers treat driving as a form of armed combat"
I bought a second hand copy recently, as my original copy was stolen. It has rekindled my enthusiasm for cycling again.