A Short History of the Motorcycle
It's cold, wet and dangerous, so why do we do it? Richard Hammond's A SHORT HISTORY OF THE MOTORCYCLE attempts to explain what it is about bikes and biking that calls to some people, leaving them powerless to resist. It is for bikers, who will value the reassurance that they are not alone and that their love is shared. And it is for non-bikers too, offering a simple, clear guide to a world that is, for many, closed off and inaccessible. Wittily written and lavishly illustrated, the book consists of three sections: Bikes, Bikers and Biking. In the first, Hammond charts the history of the bike from its origins as a cheap and modest means of transport for the masses to its modern incarnations: a terrifying symbol of rebellion and menace, a high-tech racing machine and the rich kid's plaything. We look at the bikes that have propelled people across the world to work, to school and to their doom. As for the bikers ...Edwardian ladies did it, though not in large numbers. Military despatch riders did it, mostly because they had to. Young bucks desperate to prove their manhood did it, because it was the cheapest speed available. Hammond examines bikers of every type, from the happy peasant trundling through fields on their Honda Cub to the Hell's Angel terrorising Californian towns on their hog. Film stars, politicians, heroes and villains rode bikes, too. Daredevils just loved them. Eddie Kidd, Evel Knievel and a thousand others have roared and soared in front of admiring crowds of onlookers keen to experience their death-defying thrills vicariously. In the third and final section, Hammond looks at biking in close detail: the sensations, the wards and the costs are examined, with contributions from famous bikers of today and potted histories of celebrated bikers past. By the end, all of us - bikers and non-bikers - will be a little bit wiser and much more entertained.
Richard Hammond is internationally famous for co-presenting TOP GEAR with Jeremy Clarkson and James May from 2002 to 2015. All three presenters will return for a new motoring show on Amazon Prime in 2016. Hammond writes a weekly motoring column in the DAILY MIRROR. Follow Richard Hammond on Twitter at https://twitter.com/TheHamstersCage and visit his website at www.thehamsterscage.co.uk