Natural Health Journals

A Bike Book for Everybody

WHEN Richard Ballantine wrote his best-selling guide to bicycling back in 1972, bikes were heavy. Simple geared contraptions viewed mainly as a hip alternative to environmentally unfriendly auto travel.

They’ve come a long way since then, and Ballantine’s updated work, Richard’s 21st-Century Bicycle Book, provides an ideal link between the groovy spirit of the ‘70s and the technological and cultural revolution that has since overtaken the cycling world. Beginner or intermediate riders will find a clearly written, informative guide to choosing, buying, riding and maintaining a bike (including information on mountain bikes and the latest gear). A psychologically savvy chapter on dealing with dangerous auto drivers in urban traffic is especially compelling. But the best thing about this book is its level of enthusiasm for the sport, which some of you may riot have felt since you pedaled across the playground with baseball cards in your spokes. Available from Overlook Press ($18.95;

One thought on “A Bike Book for Everybody

  1. John Mark

    I just ran across this piece checking up on our books–I work at the Overlook Press, and I also ride my bike in to work from Brooklyn most days it’s above freezing and the streets are clear. So there’s a little bit of self promotion here, but that Ballantine book is really an amazing resource, especially the chapter on dealing with city traffic you mentioned above. I gave him a little namecheck on our blog when we were gearing up for the NYC transit strike:

    Take care & ride safe!