Saturday, June 6, 2009

Bike Book Club

In Minnesota you're supposed to read more books in the Winter, because when Summer comes you had better take advantage of it, while is lasts. But I'm more of an inspirational guy and I had better read when the urge comes.

This weekend I started reading Pedaling Revolution: How Cyclist are Changing American Cities. It makes the case that bikes offer us an opportunity to change the cities we live in, for the better. It's been a good read, so far, giving me an overview of cycling history in the public square. In the "I didn't know that" catigory, Minnesota Congressman Jim Oberstar is an avid cyclist and has had a big hand in channeling Transportation dollars into bike projects, nationwide. The story of how he became a cyclist was very moving. His wife had cancer and they rode together, because they were told it would be good exercise for her. When she eventually died, riding became his solice. One tidbit that related to my home town, was that in 1906, 20 percent of the traffic in downtown Minneapolis were bicycles. Wow! If we did it once, we can do it again!

Another book that caught my atttention is Traffic: Why we drive the way we do(and what that says about us) by Tom Vanderbilt. It's about the psychology of people behind the steering wheel. Lot's of interesting facts, such as, people get into accidents because they think they are better drivers than they are. Most people rate themselves as better than average drivers. They would be, if all the idiots would get out of their way! For me this is a bike book, because it gives me insight into what we are up against, if we want to change the way we get around.

I'm just getting started on my book buying binge. If you have some suggestions, don't be shy.


AdamBez said...

I am in the same mode as you, I ordered Pedaling last Thursday, and bought 'The Cyclist's Manifesto: The Case for Riding on Two Wheels Instead of Four' on Saturday. Haven't started either yet, but I have a few flights coming up which should give me plenty of time.

anna said...

Very interesting, thanks for sharing these.

2whls3spds said...

I KNOW I am a better driver than most of the idiots on the road...which is why I don't particularly like driving anymore.

Haven't gotten my hands on any of those books job keeps getting in the way of my reading time, the rest the time I am out riding. ;-)


Lovely Bicycle! said...

Seems like I have been hearing about Pedaling Revolution everywhere, will definitely pick it up.

Looking through Amazon, I was surprised by how few books there are about the history of bicycles, as well as "look books" of vintage posters, etc. I would love to find a good, well-illustrated book about the bicycle industry 1890s-1940s.