On Bicycles: 50 Ways the New Bike Culture Can Change Your Lifeby Amy Walker, Kristen Steele Published 20 Sep 2011
|On Bicycles: 50 Ways the New Bike Culture Can Change Your Life.pdf|
|Publisher||New World Library|
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Bike culture is exploding in cities like Portland, OR, New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Montreal, and Vancouver, BC. Whether people are riding folding bikes to the commuter train, slipping through traffic on streamlined single speeds, or carrying children and groceries on their cargo bikes, bicycles are making urban life more dynamic and enjoyable — simply better.
Amy Walker has been at the forefront of this trend as cofounder of Momentum magazine, which chronicles and inspires urban bike culture and transportation cycling. In On Bicycles, she gathers a wide-ranging group of cycling writers to explore the ways that biking can change, and is changing, people’s lives. From utility bikes that are becoming the primary mode of transportation for entire families to the artistic creations of freakbike riders, On Bicycles has something for everyone who has ever ridden a bike.
* cargo bikes * bike parties * a history of bike advocacy
* the bike-craft boom * folding bikes * recumbents * biking with kids
* handmade bikes * car-free streets * relocalizing * bike style
* collective bike shops * women and bikes * and many more
"On Bicycles: 50 Ways the New Bike Culture Can Change Your Life" Reviews
This is a collection of fifty four-to-eight page essays on various aspects of bicycling, organized in four sections. The essays in the first section, "All the right reasons," are the part of the boom intended for those who may be new(er) to subject of "bike culture" (which I take to mean urban cycling as a significant part of one's lifestyle). Otherwise I think the intended audience would be people who have some knowledge and interest but want to know more - a blurb states, "the 'Whole Earth Catalog' of bicycle culture for the current era."
The editor, Amy Walker, is a co-founder of a cycling "lifestyle magazine," Momentum Magazine, that advocates "smart living by bike." Momentum is a little too youthful for my taste but this book is broader than that. Walker also wrote several of the essays.
The essays are good, and reasonably thoughtful. I came away with some new information and some new things to think about, which I like. The essay "Cycling for all abilities and needs" makes good points about problems with the so-called vehicular cycling approach for many folks, for example.
I had heard of some of the authors - Jeff Mapes, author of Pedaling Revolution, has several essays here.
Even though the book was published in 2011, some of it is already somewhat out of date. A chapter on bike sharing is probably the most glaring example, but an essay about bikes with internal hubs (that remove potentially messy and complicated derailleurs from the bicycling equation) describes a lack of popularity for these hubs that is not nearly so true today.
Perhaps the only complaint I have is that the underlying feeling is almost like this bicycle culture lifestyle is a religion that will require conversion and a significant commitment, when I know from personal experience that you can move in this direction more slowly if that is more appealing - and economical. On the other hand, nothing in any of the essays seemed completely outlandish or annoying and much was interesting or entertaining.
This book's so good that I wrote some of it! But seriously, this is a wide-ranging collection of essays both personal and erudite about what bicycling means, how it relates to an examined life and an anxious planet, and above all how to do it in style. Wisdom, advice, musings and digressions, a touch of revolutionary spirit and a ton of encouragement and good advice. Much of it is written by Momentum Magazine contributors (hello!), and super-editor Amy Walker has five or six nice essays in there herself.
It's also a gorgeously designed and illustrated bon-bon of a paperback. The cover photo doesn't clue you in that the corners are sanded to a nice roundness, the better to weather a trip in your pannier squooshed against your bouncing groceries. Looks good on a shelf, fits nicely in the hands.
If you're trying to convince yourself or someone else to become a bicyclist, this book is the help you need. If you've been biking for ages, you'll sympathize with the authors. If you're a car, you'll probably just explode.
I'm not accustomed to reading books like this, but since I'm a relatively green biker, I thought I'd give it a whurl. On Bicycles was very informative and inspirational. This is the kind of book that I will gift to someone that is thinking about becoming a biker, buying a bike or just likes bikes. I love that there is a biking community and that this book is proof of that seeing as how it was written as a community effort. I must admit I keep it in my bike bag and just carry it around with me on bike rides. Thanks to all the authors and Amy Walker. Very helpful.
If you like Momentum magazine and I do, then you will like this book. The book is broken into a lot of short articles that covers every topic concerning bikes that most people would be interested on.
This book was a great combination of inspiring stories and practical how-to information. The market for this title is probably a bit niche - best suited for the individual who is excited about cycling and wants a basic introduction to the ins and outs - but it is perfect for this person. In short, specific chapters experts introduce the readers to a variety of bicycle related topics and share their enthusiasm for cycling. The reader can happily jump around and read the chapters that interest them - they all stand alone. From different kinds of bikes and bike shops to getting started with cargo and travelling with children, this book covers exerting a novice rider interested in cycling as transportation might want to know to get started
good encyclopedia-like book all about bikes in early 21st century. has lots of links to online info, good index, and fair to poor illustrations, but short, to the point chapters written by experts (mostly from canada and usa) about all things bikes like : types (freak, cargo, commuter, road race) ; culture (kids, collectives, car-free streets) ; laws/changes (workplace changes, advocacy, safe routes to schools, share the road, parking)