Bicycle Book by Bella Bathurst

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Synopsis

"You can keep the internet. You can keep the computer and the mobile phone. In the bicycle humanity has its most perfect invention of the last three hundred years and in Bella Bathurst the bike has found the best and brightest booster so far." BORIS JOHNSON Two wheels. A frame. Two pedals. What could be simpler than a bicycle? And yet the bike -- old, and cheap, and slightly comic -- continues to inspire a passionate following. Since the millennium its use in Britain has doubled, and then doubled again. Thousands now cycle to work, and more take it up every day. In trial after trial, it is the bike which reaches its urban destination faster than the car, the bus, the underground or the pedestrian. Self-reliant and straightforward, cycling has recycled itself. It is an antiquated idea, and its time has finally come. But what is it about the bicycle that so enchants us? And why do its devotees become so obsessed with it? Acclaimed and prize-winning author Bella Bathurst takes us on a journey through cycling's best stories and strangest incarnations, from the bicycle as weapon of twentieth-century warfare to the secret life of couriers and the alchemy of framebuilding. With a cast of characters including the woman who watercycled across the Channel, the man who raced India's Deccan Queen train and several of today's top cyclists, she offers us a brilliantly engaging portrait of cycling's past, present and world-conquering future. The result is a story of passion and obsession, of exultation, endeavour, and risk. Above all, it is the story of partnership between man and machine, perfectly balanced -- a story of love and souplesse.
 

About Bella Bathurst

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Bella Bathurst is a writer and photographer. Her first book, 'The Lighthouse Stevensons: The Extraordinary Story of the Building of the Scottish Lighthouses by the Ancestors of Robert Louis Stevenson', was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and won the Somerset Maugham Prize. Her novel 'Special' was published in 2002 to wide acclaim, and her most recent book, 'The Wreckers', was shortlisted for the Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger Award. She has written for the Observer, Telegraph, Sunday Telegraph and Guardian, among many others.
 
Published March 1, 2011 by HarperCollins Publishers. 356 pages
Genres: Sports & Outdoors.

Unrated Critic Reviews for Bicycle Book

The Guardian

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She examines a road system where, thanks partly to a parallel cycle network and partly to the "bizarre" notion that cyclists have a legal and moral right to exist, the accident rate per 100km cycled is 0.8 – a tenth of that in the UK.

Apr 15 2011 | Read Full Review of Bicycle Book

The Guardian

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She examines a road system where, thanks partly to a parallel cycle network and partly to the "bizarre" notion that cyclists have a legal and moral right to exist, the accident rate per 100km cycled is 0.8 – a tenth of that in the UK.

Apr 15 2011 | Read Full Review of Bicycle Book

Scotsman.com

BMX riders like Edinburgh's Danny MacAskill (whose 2009 YouTube video of his improbable rides around the city's railings and walls has been watched by an astonishing - and astonished - 24 million people) showed that the cycle's range could be extended even further into the heart of the city.

Mar 25 2011 | Read Full Review of Bicycle Book

Artswrap

We interrupt the horror to bring you this...

Nov 09 2014 | Read Full Review of Bicycle Book

Scottish Review of Books

If there’s an air of familiarity about The Bicycle Book, it’s because there have been a number of books like it, such as Richard’s Bicycle Book, a cycling manifesto, written by Richard Ballantine thirty years ago.

May 13 2011 | Read Full Review of Bicycle Book

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