RIP Richard Ballantine

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  • RIP Richard Ballantine
  • mr_average
    Member

    Sad news indeed. It would be fair to say the origins of all I know about bike mechanics and road craft stem from reading his book. Did he ever update the technique on dealing with mad dogs once we all switched from frame fit pumps to mini pumps?!

    trail_rat
    Member

    likewise mr_average. Still have a dog eared copy of the book on the shelf.

    All cycling legends have beards it would seem!

    RIP

    project
    Member

    First cycling bok i read, and loved the way he described to deal with bitty dog, ram a pump down its throat.

    heihei
    Member

    RIP.

    As others have said, was instrumental in my formative years. Mates and I would often quote the book to each other, our favourite being the cartoon of “Rushing the rise”.

    If I remember correctly, the technique for dealing with the dog was to hold the frame-fit pump out horizontally in the hope the dog would bite it. When it did, lift dog into the air and apply boot to knacker-area! Thankfully I never had to use it!

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner
    Subscriber

    What a hell of a shame.
    I reread that book countless times as a kid.

    I even had one of those jumpers.

    I still reckon it’s the most useful cycling related book I’ve ever read.
    Mostly still relevant today.

    Premier Icon richmars
    Subscriber

    Missed this until the orbit in today’s Telegraph.
    As mentioned above, in the days before the internet, Richard’s Bicycle Book was where I learnt about bikes. It’s still in my bookcase, greasy, oily marks showing how much I used it.

    Edit:
    Funeral tomorrow with a bicycle drawn hearse.

    mcmoonter
    Member

    A friend gave me a copy that was already well thumbed I added some oily prints to it before I passed it on.

    I especially liked the drawings in my wooly jumper edition of Campag Rally and Suntour Cyclone rear mechs amongst others.

    kcr
    Member

    If I remember correctly, the technique for dealing with the dog was to hold the frame-fit pump out horizontally in the hope the dog would bite it. When it did, lift dog into the air and apply boot to knacker-area! Thankfully I never had to use it!

    … and if all else fails, ram your first down it’s throat until it chokes and dies.
    An iconic book for a generation of cyclists. Still have an oil stained copy from ’79!

    avdave2
    Member

    If I were to make a list of the most influential books in my life there is no doubt that Richard’s Bicycle Book would be very near the top of my list.

    Karinofnine
    Member

    I’ve still got my copy of his book, agree with above, it was central to my early years of cycling. Bicycle drawn hearse you say? I’d like to see that. RIP.

    mcmoonter
    Member

    I just noticed that the random pic I chose has oily thumb prints on the cover. I think they must all be like that.

    Premier Icon tuffty
    Subscriber

    Sad loss, seeing the book cover on here brings back some memories of my youth 🙂
    I too remember the chapter on dealing with dogs 😀 Brilliant, and I’m a dog lover.
    RIP

    I had the awesomely early ’90s edition, replete with pink and purple lycra – on the bookshelf now next to Zinn… RIP.

    warton
    Member

    That’s a shame, still got his bicycle book. There’s an entry for MTBs just as they were starting to gain popularity. Still read it today, not for info, just for the enjoyment of it.

    petrieboy
    Member

    Quite spooky – I used to read “the ultimate bicycle book” over and over as a teenager in the 90’s (before the internet so a keen youths insatiable appetite to consume information on a given subject was tricky)

    My copy has long since vanished (probably loaned out and never returned) but it entered my mind last weekend and I got straight onto amazon to buy a (used) copy which arrived yesterday!

    RIP

    bencooper
    Member

    RIP

    Several of his books are on the bookshelf at the shop – it was the exploded Windcheetah in the Ultimate Bicycle Book that first got me interested in recumbents.

    I only briefly met him in person a couple of times, but I’m sure he’d be amused that his most memorable bit of writing was about the best technique to kick a dog in the nackers 😉

    sweepy
    Member

    I liked his emergency stop technique, but never had the need or courage to try it- simply turn your handlebars through 90 degrees and grab a handful of front brake, then relax as your collapsing fork gently deposits you on the ground 🙂

    pegglet
    Member

    deeply honoured to attend Richards funeral today. he indeed clocked out on a human powered hearse. good Jewish shindig afterwards! big thanks to Richard for lending me one of his batch of six TomRitchey mountainbikes beginning of ’83. the start of my life long atb love. big hugs to sherry and his children……..

    Premier Icon jamj1974
    Subscriber

    You didn’t know it Richard, but you taught me so much about the hobby I love. Thank you.

    orangeboy
    Member

    My 90s copy is one book I go back to over and over ,
    It’s right up there with my Sutherlands folder and mike burrows design book

    Edric 64
    Member

    Richards Bicycle Book was my first cycling book in 1978 when I was 14 it soon became dogeared and covered in grease and the gear ratio chart was well thumbed and had various ratios circled as I pondered which gears to use on my Suntour ultra 6 and then 7 speed block.

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