Machineries Of Joy / Richard Ballantine

I live in a bit of a cultural bubble, in which much just passes me by. So I’d never heard this or seen the video when it was suggested to me by another Karl. It’s uplifting stuff that makes me smile:

But we were talking about the sad news that Richard Ballantine, author of the classic (“million selling”!) Richard’s Bicycle Book died last Wednesday.

My copy of Richard’s Bicycle Book came second hand from Alnwick’s Barter Books, and when I got it home, I found a four-leaf clover pressed between the pages. It’s the 1984 reprint, which has this image on the cover:

Yep. That’s definitely how I remember the late 70s & early 80s. Facial hair was fashionable without being ironic, knitwear that would make Sara Lund pause was everywhere, men wore Clarks shoes, bikes were made out of steel and you fixed your own.

So long, Richard. Enjoy that last long ride.

Posted in Bike Culture
3 comments on “Machineries Of Joy / Richard Ballantine
  1. Sad to hear of the passing of Richard Ballantine.

    I used to bump into him at BHPC events – a robust character who I didn’t necessarily agree with all the time, but certainly a decent bloke who meant what he said.

    But what’s this about facial hair being other unfashionable or ironic ? Do I have to choose one or the other ?

  2. KarlOnSea says:

    “Robust” is certainly one way to describe his attitude! I’ve just re-read the first half of his book, in particular the chapters on dealing with traffic & the hazards of dogs…

    As for beards, I think you’re safely in the clear. Like the hope I have for my clothes, you’ve had your beard long enough that you can wear it without irony and in the certain knowledge that you’re definitely down with the kids.

  3. And straight handölebard were for mummys boys, ditto indexed gears apparently.

    I’m bearded and unfasionable. I reckon I’ve gone through irony and I’m now cool again. This is a minority view, but I don’t care.

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