June 19, 1978 12:00 PM

by Richard Ballantine

When the bicycle came of age again in the early ’70s, people started looking for advice on the care and feeding of both rider and wheels. Richard Ballantine (son of the founder of Ballantine Books) answered the need in 1972 with the first edition of his Bicycle Book. His update is still ideal for the novice who wants a cheap ride to the office or the veteran who is contemplating the Tour de France. Ballantine believes the bike is modern man’s way of grounding himself in a world of Concordes, taxis and escalators, and he colors his text with a bit of moralizing: “The most important effect of mechanical contraptions (excluding the two-wheeled pedaled variety) is that they defeat consciousness.” His book is filled with everything cyclists need to know, from buying a bike that fits to maintaining it without mystery or expense. (Ballantine Books, $4.95 paper)

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