Richard's New Bicycle Book: best art, best vibes
January 05, 2005
[$10] There are quite a few general bike books. And even Richard himself has written quite a few.
His latest two are very nice. His latest "Richard's 21st Century Bicycle Book" is spiffy and up-to-date. His second to the last one "Richard's Ultimate Bicycle" is huge and full of gorgeous DK photography. (DK invented the large-format book-style of superb photos knocked out of white backgrounds with text mostly in the form of captions.)
But his "Richard's New Bicycle Book" is still his best---and the best all-time general American bike book.
It's full of BIG and wonderful bike art and detailed sketches. It describes and depicts the whole rainbow of wonderful bicycling. His newest book revives some of the same sketches that made his older book so great, but they're MUCH SMALLER. It's just so nice indeed to see this artwork printed full page. That's what it deserves...and got in this book.
This book is also wonderfully opinionated, yet generous. It's personable, is what it is.
It does a wonderful trick in that it makes it seem like history is alive and connected to today and also as if the diverse cycling scene really represents one coherent spirit. Both of these things are true---but many books and most bike media today don't give us this impression. It's an honest, candid, and realistic book.
So what if it's a bit out of date. Many of these bikes and their parts are still out there being used, needing maintenance. Bikes aren't really rocket science---a grasp of older, simpler, easily described mechanisms and approaches to tools and repair puts you in good stead for learning about newer stuff.
It's a must-have for bike buffs, basically. I usually have a couple copies around that I can spare.
7.25"x9.25", paperback, 350 pp., good condition---a bit scruffy, but quality paper---softish but strong.
Related Articles & Good Stuff
Views From a Wider Range of OYB