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Effective Cycling Paperback – April 20, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 824 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press; 7th edition (April 20, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262516942
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262516945
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #585,072 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"John Forester's Effective Cycling continues and expands his mission to make bicycling easy, enjoyable, rewarding and responsible. He recognizes that most US authorities put cyclists into an inferior status, and therefore into a dilemma, and conveys to them the attitude and the rules with which they can be appreciated and responsible road users. This book should be read by all cyclists, and especially by all 'authorities.'"--David Gordon Wilson, MIT Mechanical Engineering; author of Bicycling Science



"I have used previous editions of Effective Cycling as my go-to source for some 35 years. It is comprehensive, based on irrefutable logic and scientific data, and easily understandable."--Bill Hoffman, Former Director, League of American Bicyclists



"As a lifelong bicyclist, I didn't realize my eyes were wide shut with respect to bicycling matters until I first read Effective Cycling, fourth edition, in 1988 at age 30. John Forester's seminal, expansive, and tireless work in educating bicyclists and protecting the rights of bicyclists as drivers of vehicles has been incalculably valuable to me and countless thousands of others who pedal for fun and utility."--Wayne Pein, Bicycling Matters

About the Author

John Forester is a bicycle transportation engineer and the author of Bicycle Transportation: A Handbook for Cycling Transportation Engineers (MIT Press). An experienced cyclist, cycling advocate, and onetime racer, he lives in Lemon Grove, California

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Customer Reviews

This is the book that will save your bacon!
mason sinclair
The book goes on to teach proper riding techniques and traffic lane positioning skills, which, if adopted, will truly transform the way one rides a bicycle.
Condor
I highly recommend Effective Cycling for anyone who regularly rides his/her bike in an urban setting or wishes to.
Joshua B. Strom

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

65 of 66 people found the following review helpful By Serge Issakov on December 2, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found this book to be nothing short of a godsend. With over 30 years of cycling experience, I felt comfortable and competent cycling in traffic, at least in most circumstances. But this book was recommended so many times, I decided to read it anyway. At first, it didn't seem like a big deal. It all made sense, and seemed to describe how I already rode, perhaps with a few subtle differences.

But as I began to incorporate these subtle changes in my own riding the results were amazing. My relationship with car drivers completely changed. Instead of interacting with them once in a while -- only when necessary -- I became an integrated participant with the rest of traffic.

It is impossible to explain in words how just subtle lane positioning changes, and a new attitude, can make such a radical difference in one's cycling experience in traffic. But consider what Forester conveys in this simple statement: "Between intersections, position yourself according to speed; at intersections, position yourself according to destination". You may think you do this already, but based on the fact that I almost never see any cyclists do this consistently, I can almost assure you that you don't. And I'm not talking about kids and "recreational cyclists". I'm talking about experienced commuters, and experienced club riders and racers. Only a very small percentages of cyclists actually behave like a (slow) vehicle driver consistently. Much of the time on the road is spent in space "left over" by motorists, riding too far to the right, not positioning at intersections according to destination (THINK about what that means), etc. etc.
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Stephen C. Shea on June 14, 2001
Format: Paperback
I used to think I knew how to bicycle. Right. After reading this book (over 8 years ago) my eyes were truly opened as to how a truly competent cyclist should operate. Even fifteen years of regular cycling for transportation and fun did not teach my half what a single reading of Effective Cycling did about using my bicycle effectively as part of traffic flow. This book cuts through the preconceptions and misconceptions about bicycle riding. After understanding and practicing the techniques Forester gives in the book, your experience of riding will be totally transformed in a way you cannot imagine. You will feel confident about handling just about any situation on a bike--rotaries, making left turns on multilane divided roads, passing through major intersections--not because you are being foolhardy but because for the first time you truly understand how to negotiate them properly and more safely than you ever did in the past, using the same traffic principles that govern the behavior of all other vehicles on the road. I can't think of many traffic situations I didn't feel confident riding in in the 8 years since I read and began applying Effective Cycling to my riding. I can't recommend this book highly enough.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By D. Jason Penney on October 13, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is unique in its focus on the technique of sharing the road with motor vehicles. His accounts of run-ins with various government bodies are also enlightening, even though I grew impatient around the third or fourth time he recounted his experiences modifying the Uniform Vehicle Code.
His advice about equipment, diet, and the other mechanics of bicycling needs to be taken somewhat lightly. Even though this is a "second edition", much of the material in the book is considerably older. On the other hand, the fundamentals of safety (visibility, lighting, traction, lane placement, risk factors) are invariant over time.
Mr. Forester has a definite axe to grind, and this book does it quite effectively. He adds a definite splash of common sense to the fine technique of road riding: don't let other vehicles take your lane away from you, don't surprise them, safety always first, slower traffic keeps right. The safest way to bicycle on the road is not necessarily the one that educators, legislators, or law enforcement officers think it is.
This book is a must-read for any cyclist who ever shares the road with a motor vehicle.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Benjamin E. Stevens on June 27, 2008
Format: Paperback
Effective Cycling contains a lot of very valuable information. Unfortunately, half of the book is mostly repetitive axe-grinding and random opinions. I would have given the book a higher rating if these necessary half were not thoroughly interwoven with the unnecessary half.

It bothers me that Forester complains about others using unsubstantiated, anecdotal evidence, because he uses plenty himself. For one example, his brief discussion of recumbent bicycles is so absurd that it should have been left out. His double-standards regarding fact vs. opinion and logic vs. emotion greatly undermine his arguments.

That said, a reader with a critical eye and a tolerance for hot air can separate the wheat from the chaff.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By M. J. Mccaffrey on January 7, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I knew instinctively that the road belongs to me just as much as it does to any other vehicle operator. I knew the rules of the road apply to me as a bicyclist. John Forester showed me HOW these bits of knowledge apply in the real world. More importantly, he showed me how to apply them safely and (yes, I'll say it) effectively. Riding a bicycle in traffic is a matter of negotiation with all other users of the road. If a rider inspires confidence in those other users, s/he will be safe; if the rider is erratic or hugging the last inch of pavement along the shoulder, s/he will be treated as illegitimate. John reinforces my sense of a rider's right to be, even though he is thoroughly opinionated. He sometimes diverges to side topics to the point of silliness. But "Effective Cycling," a book designed to be used as a text for safe cycling courses, is a complete treatise on normalizing the bicycle (and its operator) for the real world. If you ride in that world, or would like to, this book is worth your time and consideration.
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