Books News

The cyclist and his city

By Jessica Schneider Jun 1, 2009, 14:08 GMT

The cyclist and his city

In a world of growing traffic congestion, expensive oil, and threats of cataclysmic climate change, a grassroots movement is carving out a niche for bicycles on the streets of urban cityscapes. In Pedaling Revolution, Jeff Mapes explores the growing urban bike culture that is changing the look and feel of cities across the U.S. He rides with bike advocates who are taming the streets of New York City, joins the ...more

This new book delves into the idea of bikers and how they are affecting our cities.
"Pedaling Revolution: How Cyclists Are Changing American Cities” is the new title by Jeff Mapes.

The product description notes:

“In a world of growing traffic congestion, expensive oil, and threats of cataclysmic climate change, a grassroots movement is carving out a niche for bicycles on the streets of urban cityscapes.

In Pedaling Revolution, Jeff Mapes explores the growing urban bike culture that is changing the look and feel of cities across the U.S. He rides with bike advocates who are taming the streets of New York City, joins the street circus that is Critical Mass in San Francisco, and gets inspired by the everyday folk pedaling in Amsterdam, the nirvana of American bike activists.

Mapes, a seasoned political journalist and long-time bike commuter, explores the growth of bicycle advocacy while covering such issues as the environmental, safety, and health aspects of bicycling for short urban trips. His rich cast of characters includes Noah Budnick, a young bicycle advocate in New York who almost died in a crash near the Brooklyn Bridge, and Congressman James Oberstar (D-MN), who took to bicycling in his fifties and helped unleash a new flood of federal money for bikeways.

Chapters set in Chicago and Portland show how bicycling has became a political act, with seemingly dozens of subcultures, and how cyclists, with the encouragement of local officials, are seizing streets back from motorists.

Pedaling Revolution is essential reading for the approximately one million people who regularly ride their bike to work or on errands, for anyone engaged in transportation, urban planning, sustainability, and public health—and for drivers trying to understand why they’re seeing so many cyclists. All will be interested in how urban bike activists are creating the future of how we travel and live in twenty-first-century cities.”

The NYT notes that the author: “lays out in an easily digestible way a fair amount of material on trip patterns, traffic safety and air pollution. He quotes the relevant studies and shows how those studies have been either heeded or ignored. All this information is great ammunition for those of us who would like to see American cities become more bike-friendly but may be a tough sell for the people on the fence — the ones who’ve taken the occasional Sunday ride along a riverfront greenway or in a park, or have a vague feeling that they might possibly bike to work somehow someday.”

In addition to the NYT review, there is also an excerpt. Published by Oregon State University, this book was released in March. More info can be found on Amazon.

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