Cycling is fast, cheap, green, and healthy. Richard Ballantine wrote the world-famous Richard's Bicycle Book and founded Bicycle Magazine. City Cycling is his distilled expertise on the techniques and pleasures of cycling as an urban lifestyle.
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 7.40(h) x 0.90(d)|
About the Author
Richard is a cycling author and advocate. His Richard's Bicycle Book appeared in 1972, at the time of a bike sales boom driven by a worldwide oil crisis, and became an essential handbook for millions of cyclists. Richard rode on to found several cycling magazines and author numerous books. Born in the USA, Richard now lives in London, UK.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I'm a big fan of Mr. Ballantine's numerous editions of his Bicycling Book, a groundshaking work that helped spawn the bicycle boom of the 1970s. That said, I was very disappointed in his latest effort City Cycling. City Cycling, while concentrating on the use of the bicycle as urban commuting vehicle, is in reality mostly a rehash of Ballantine's earlier efforts, which always advocating bike commuting anyway. There's only so much you can say about bike commuting, particularly when most of the book is targeted to urban bike commuting in the United Kingdom. That's not the only problem with Mr. Ballantine's book. He makes several unfortunate clunker recommendations, such as buying and using adjustable stems on everyday commuting bikes (an accident waiting to happen, as these use mere bolt friction to hold their position). He's out of touch in other areas too, such as recommending purchase of old-fashioned mountain bikes with rigid stems as a useful training device for those planning on using a mountain bike regularly - wow, what a big waste of money, when you'll almost certainly be jonesing for a suspension bike in a month or two!! Other ideas from the past, like putting in the usual skimpy, add-on chapter on bike maintenance and repair, have become obsolete with time. It may have made sense in 1980, but in 2008, when thick books devoted solely to bike repair must be limited to certain types of bicycles due to the immense diversity of components and design features, it's worse than useless, even counterproductive, to try and give such generalized repair advice (always followed by language such as 'when it gets complicated, take it to a bike shop and pay them money to fix it). Two stars is being generous. I'd certainly pass on this book and recommend Mr. Ballantine's earlier works, using bikeforums to fill in any gaps on today's bike commuter equipment.
Only skimmed - Sections on different bike types, uses and basic mechanics. Useful pictures and some details on riding in traffic - BUT he advocates jumping red lights "without unduly annoying other road users" !!!! Without being noticed by any other road user might be better and legal. Loses several marks for this already.After full read:Basically very good. Clear pictures with descriptive text. It is limited in scope with a good distinction through the various types of bikes and cyclists but solely for environments involving cycling in a city. Often only overviews are provided but many links and other sources are given for more detailed information specific to your situation.However:It has some errors in it. Some trivial some less so. Some are a matter of style, but some like the jumping read lights and "using a bike to work bike solely for cycling to work" are just flat wrong. This is a shame. Richard Ballentine is a ardent cyclist with a real passion for biking, that shines in many places. There is no excuse for making mistakes of the magnitude he does. These errors detract from the entire rest of the book, for if you know you can't trust some of the information can you trusts that which is new to you.Could be so much better with very little extra effort.