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On Bicycles [Kindle Edition]

Amy Walker
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Once the quaint province of European cities such as Amsterdam, daily cycling is currently exploding in North American cities. People ride folding bikes to the train, slip through traffic on tricked-out fixed-gears, and carry children and groceries on their utility bikes. Commuters are giving up their cars Monday through Friday, bike lanes and bike parking are sprouting up all over, and Talking Head David Byrne has designed arty bike racks for various New York City neighborhoods.

It’s healthy for riders and clean for the environment, but is it fun? Amy Walker, who has been at the forefront of the urban cycling trend, knows that the answer is yes. She presents stories by a diverse group of cycling enthusiasts and activists that, accompanied by the illustrations of bike culture artist Matt Fleming, show readers why. They say you never forget how to ride a bike; this collection helps us remember why we ride.

Editorial Reviews


“The Whole Earth Catalog of bicycle culture.”
— Stephen Bilenky

“Much like the mythological hero who has forgotten his gift, we are a generation that is remembering that we know how to ride bicycles. This book is a treasure-filled map for those who are hearing the call to take up their bike and ride again.”
— Ross Evans, founder/inventor of Xtracycle and Worldbike

“Amy Walker has that canny ability to thread the needle of safety, practicality, and looking mightily good on a bike. This book gives you some bright and clever new tools to experience the exceptional convenience a bike can bring, not to mention that big healthy smile we get riding!”
— Gary Fisher

About the Author

Amy Walker is a cofounder of Momentum Magazine, which focuses on transportation cycling and covers all aspects of urban bike culture throughout North America. She lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2215 KB
  • Print Length: 386 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1608680223
  • Publisher: New World Library; 1 edition (August 30, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005K216CO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #176,135 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Makes me want to ride my bike October 18, 2011
By mykle
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, it will make you honk.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Biking away October 18, 2011
A wonderful compendium about cycling culture and the place of bicycles in our own culture, "On Bicycles" collects winning essays ranging from choosing a bicycle shop to dressing stylish while you are riding. Amy Walker has done a great job of picking top notch writers for this latest project. It is important to note that "On Bicycles" does not focus on the recreational rider, but rather on practical advise for incorporating the bicycle into your daily life. If you would like to use your bicycle as part of your day to day transportation options you should check out this book, if you already ride your bike around town you will find great tips and great essays.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amy Rules! November 12, 2011
I find this book intriguing: fifty essays by thirty-three authors on just about every imaginable aspect of practical cycling.

If you need to know about what to wear when cycling, or how to cycle in the rain, or what to wear when cycling in the rain, editor/author Amy Walker has it covered.

If you need to know why hub-shifting bikes with encased chains are ideal for practical urban transportation, or the advantages of riding a fixed-gear in the city, Walker has recruited experts to tell you that.

If you need to get your children safely to school, or advocate for safe infrastructure for cycling, you will find that Amy has excellent advice on those subjects too.

Finally, if your Zen self desires to be liberated as a bicycle bodhisattva, just read chapter 10.

This book is encyclopedic. Every sane cyclist must possess it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book! October 22, 2011
This book is future focused, optimistic, and will make you want to ride! I'm fascinated by bike culture and its numerous views. Amy Walker keeps it fresh and upbeat. This is breath of fresh air considering I drive AND bike, and am not interested in whining about either group. Its is a compilation of sorts with numerous contributors that really add dimension to the publication as a whole. Its a great read for experienced riders as well as someone who is just getting started and needs some inspiration.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, But Gee, Self-Congratulatory Much? July 5, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a lovely book to help someone gather her courage and start riding a bike. The articles are very Rah, Rah and provide foot-noted backup to what cyclists already know and what others already suspect - riding a bike is a blast, great for health and fitness, and is good for the environment.

My favorite piece was Carmen Mills' Notes from a Bicycle Bodhisattva; it stands out for its infectious joy. The author is convincing about how cycling frees us from the worst curses of modern culture - greed, keeping up with the Joneses, etc. She writes, "With the bicycle as my primary mode of is clear how little I really need to be content." If that doesn't get you on your bike, nothing will.

What's less appealing in the book though, is how P-L-E-A-S-E-D many of the writers are with themselves for biking. They walk - ride? - right up to the precipice of saying cyclists are better people than motorists, as if cycling alone absolves one of caring for the widows, orphans and the oppressed.

There's a super-cool indie, DIY, "having fun with no money" vibe to today's bicycle culture. What a shame if people get so turned off from the smugness they miss the pleasure of endorphins zooming through their bloodstream as they pedal 'round their cities.

Dunno. I could just be grumpy. Maybe I'll go out and ride for a while....
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Why reading this book will improve your life October 20, 2011
If you do not have a bicycle and wonder what benefits you might enjoy I would like to present to you what I think will be some of the most compelling reasons: Youth, Sex and Cake. In the spirit of "you learn something every day" I have to acknowledge that Kristen Steele surprised me when she wrote that cycling makes you better in bed - and she has all the correctly cited academic articles to support that. Of course cycling makes you fitter, and you do burn more calories when you substitute a bike for a ride in a car (or even transit), which is why more people really ought to consider commuting by bicycle. And, as Todd Litman demonstrates, that has economic benefits too. But more and better [word redacted here in case it offends against Amazon standards]
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice...
Nice stories about the cycling culture.
Published 2 months ago by jeffmckasson
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Inspirational if you are getting into biking and the culture.
Published 2 months ago by P. Ginnane
5.0 out of 5 stars NIce.
Great info. Well written.
Published 5 months ago by Kathleen
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful! Willl definitely make you get off your duff and on your...
Wonderfully fascinating, quirky, inspiring book for lifelong cyclists and newbies alike.
Published 6 months ago by Scott Olsen
4.0 out of 5 stars Bikes as life, not as a sporting event.
This book is a collection of 50 essays (not written by 50 people - several people had multiple contributions) about what life is like from the saddle. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Kelly
5.0 out of 5 stars Really very good
I am shocked at the content of this book relative to its price. I have re-read it several times and really enjoyed it. Very inspiring.Just buy it!
Published 12 months ago by jonathon l campo
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed, but . . .
Although my review may not reflect it, I actually enjoyed almost all of the 50 stories that comprise this book, 51 if you count the intro.

But . . . Read more
Published 15 months ago by Louis Mauriello
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book on bike Culture
Excellent compilations of essay about everything you should know about how bicycles could really change the world. Read more
Published 16 months ago by rajo
2.0 out of 5 stars If you're interested in politics....
Very disappointed. I was hoping this was similar to Grant Peterson's book, Just Ride. Grants book was his view and opinions about bikes and bicycling. Read more
Published 17 months ago by David D. Unger
4.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT Bicycle Information
I enjoyed many of the chapters of this book. They made it possible for me to experience a ride even though I was at home reading. Read more
Published 21 months ago by James M. Furth
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