Most collectable bicycles that are not in museums disappear into private collections. While a few museum catalogs exist this book depicts the combined efforts of ten private Australian collectors; 103 bicycles are depicted. 30 bicycles are between 1902-1930, 57 are between 1931-1960 and 16 are between 1960-2008. The book is difficult to classify. It is a book about racing bicycles that depicts the bicycles rode by Australian racing heroes. The greatest majority of them are six-day racers from before WWII; 55 of them are single speed bicycles. While there are books about French and ones about Italian bicycles this is the only one that depicts bicycles from Australia. It depicts an Australian "Trooper" bicycle from 1930 that uses a curved seat tube that Jack Taylor got famous for using 20 years later. I had not heard of Healing, Bullock, Carbine, Ixion, Neville or Webster bicycles; too many to list and all beautiful. It includes a number of bicycles I had heard of;48 of them are road bikes with derailleurs. Photographed are 2 Claud Butlers, Olmo, Carlton, 2 Hetchins, Thanet, Hobbs of Barbican, Bates, 3 Cinellis, Peugeot UO-10, Colnago, Klein and Bianchi. It mentions bicycles, racers and races I have not seen previously described. While most Americans are familiar with Sun Tour derailleurs I was unaware that the company was named after Australia's greatest bicycle race; the Sun Tour. This is the only book I have ever seen that documents the contributions of Australia to bicycling, describing Australian races, frame-makers and champions familiar to many Australians.
Each bicycle gets 2 pages with usually 4 pictures with a complete list of the equipment on it and a couple of paragraphs about the original owner, collector or races it was in. Instead of being shot in the studio most of the photographs are all outside, leaned against a wall. One collector had professional studio shots taken shown against a back background. The only problem with the book is that it will make you want more. You will find the descriptions too brief and you will want to see more close-ups of the equipment of each bicycle. It compliments any library that has The Competition Bicycle: The Craftsmanship of Speed, Italian Racing Bicycles: The People. the Products. the Passion by Guido P. Rubino ( 2011 ) Hardcover as well as The Golden Age of Handbuilt Bicycles.