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The Bicycle Diaries: My 21,000-Mile Ride for the Climate [Kindle Edition]

David Kroodsma , Kirsten Janene-Nelson , John Kelly
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Climate researcher David Kroodsma dreamed of bicycling down his driveway in Palo Alto, California, and pedaling for months until he reached the tip of South America. When he finally planned his trip, he wanted more than just adventure; he also wanted to raise awareness about the impacts of climate change on the countries he would explore. So he set out on a well-packed bicycle with a business card, a laptop, and an eagerness to share his knowledge. His project, Ride for Climate, caught on; he gave over 100 school and assembly presentations, garnered dozens of newspaper accounts of his journey, and appeared on international television.

During nearly two years of travel, Kroodsma witnessed the world from a seat of a bicycle. He traversed unique ecosystems, coastline settlements, and glaciated mountains. "While biking," he writes, "no windshield protects you from the rain, heat, or wind, and no wall divides you from the people along the road." Countless people, from subsistence farmers to petroleum engineers, sheltered him and shared their stories. These experiences transformed and personalized his understanding of climate change, and in The Bicycle Diaries, Kroodsma shares these unexpected insights through a gripping travel narrative.


Editorial Reviews

Review

"This is the kind of adventure we need more of--someone actually taking what they know and carrying it out to the people who need to hear it. Pedaling a bike, and peddling the truth about the most important issue of our time." --Bill McKibben, 350.org

"When scientist David Kroodsma talks about global warming, people listen--because he's on a bike."--Bicycling Magazine

About the Author

David Kroodsma holds degrees in physics and environmental science from Stanford University and works as an environmental consultant and data journalist. He lives with his wife, Lindsey, in San Francisco, California. Follow his continuing journeys at www.rideforclimate.org.

Product Details

  • File Size: 5482 KB
  • Print Length: 428 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0991461606
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: RFC Press; 1st edition (March 6, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00J4YMYP2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #55,242 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
(45)
4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Authentic, Eye-Opening Tale April 14, 2014
Format:Paperback
Bicycle Diaries is a compelling story that takes the reader on a tour of the Americas that few will ever experience. I was most impressed with the authenticity of the narrative. David clearly relays the potential threats of climate change to the ecosystems and populations of the Americas, but he also comes to understand, respect, and accept the desire of poor communities to develop and struggles with how to deliver his message in a productive way. David is clearly changed by the journey and comes to promote a hopeful path forward - focused not on limiting the development of other countries but on finding a path forward that leverages innovation and clean energy to bring forth a brighter future for all.

You do not have to be a bike enthusiast to enjoy this story.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was (am) impressed with the author's candid recounting of his mostly solo bicycle journey - a very amazing, lonely endeavor. As a father who just tried to complete a century ride with his 20-something son, I was especially impressed with his father linking up with him part-way through Central America. As a research scientist/engineer with a background in the carbon & nitrogen cycle I found some of his coverage of global climate change at times pedantic and other times simplistic, but definitely very readable overall and a fantastic summary with excellent proof points for those who have only received information from mass media previously. I am currently 2/3 of the way through the book and cannot wait to finish. The only point I would take issue with is when he said something along the lines of the world (or maybe just the US?) being a safer place today with respect to war than it has been in the past – as a retired Marine officer I found this shockingly naïve . We have been involved in a ground war in the Middle East for over a decade; many of his peers have lost life and limb during this “Long War”, or if not physical injury, mental impacts that are more difficult to measure. Mr. Kroodsma is very lucky this has obviously not impacted his life directly. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in cycling and/or who want to learn more about climate change. This is one person's story, it should help the reader assess their own story.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
This is a beautifully crafted mix of personal travel-log and thought-provoking look at how climate change may impact the Americas. It's inspired me to get back on my bike and find adventures of my own! It's also convinced me it's long passed time to get serious about solving climate change, as the stakes are far too high, particularly for many of the communities and ecosystems that Kroodsma visited on his prolific journey. Kroodsma takes the climate change topic (which can seem a bit nebulous to me), and made it deeply personal through his adventure narrative of the people and places he visited. I hope he continues riding and writing for climate; the world needs more of both!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a story! March 7, 2014
Format:Paperback
I was fortunate enough to ride along with David for part of his journey. If you don't have enough time off to bike to South America, his book is the next best thing. David brings his science background along on his bike, painting a portrait of what climate change means to the people he meets in communities all across the hemisphere.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An epic journey with a purpose March 7, 2014
Format:Paperback
The author has written a powerful account of his ride to South America and across the US. Taking us along for his impressive pilgrimage, he describes the interesting people he meets along the way, and also the science behind what climate change means for the communities that he visits.

A great and accessible read, highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Armchair Bike Adventure September 11, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I love these kinds of adventure stories. I had to get past a lot of views that I did not share with the author to get to the good parts, his amazing adventure through some difficult terrain. Since I live in South America I was interested in his insights into all these different cultures. I thought he did a great job not being an "ugly American" . There was only one point, culturally, I thought he missed. The time he was very upset at one man for playing his music so loud at night, late into the night. That is SO a part of Latin America. There are no "quiet hours". If he had looked around no one else was bothered. But I felt his pain because I have a hard time getting used to that too. What I did appreciate, though, was the author's honesty even about his own views on climate change. I appreciated when he grappled with the larger implications of the oil industry. Although he did not like to see the harm that that kind of industry can make he honestly looked at everything he had and saw that because of the oil industry we can have bikes, nylon, helmets etc... So I liked the book and enjoyed riding vicariously with him through Latin and South America.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
Really enjoyed this book. Entertaining reading, learned about environmental issues along the way, and was inspired to go traveling and to visit many of these countries.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An insightful, entertaining, and education ride! August 24, 2014
By JAGray
Format:Paperback
Fill up your tires, make sure your pedals, gears, and brakes are in excellent working condition and prepare for an insightful, at times humorous, and educational ride as David Kroodsma embarks on a life changing journey from California to the southern tip of the South America. Traveling by bicycle, exploring rural roads and bustling cities, Kroodsma embarks on a mission to raise the profile of the climate crisis in nearly every country in the Americas. Along the way, he discovers the challenges and triumphs of community and culture, of struggling farmers and wealthy engineers, and an evolution in his own way of thinking. His story, full of vivid descriptions of the people he meets and their environmental and cultural contexts, is peppered with just the right amount of climate- and economic-related facts to assist with the narrative of his mission. The Bicycle Diaries is more than a personal adventure story; it is an excellent peak into how tackling the challenge of climate change requires an integrated look at addressing poverty, education, climate, and global interconnectedness. In an age of planes, trains, and automobiles, Kroodsma helps demonstrate why the bicycle deserves to take a much more prominent role in all of our lives.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but a bit Preachy
I did manage to finish the book, but it took some effort.

It's well-written, but the author tends to go on a bit overly much about global warming. Read more
Published 4 days ago by David Miller
4.0 out of 5 stars A good balance of adventure and climate change awareness
A nice even balance of adventure and facts on climate change. What an enjoyable story, that benefits by helping make the reader more aware of our impact on the environment and... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Brian R Young
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable
A very interesting book that certainly opens one's eyes to the living conditions south of the border. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Rick B.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read
Great vicarious adventure here. Combine that with environmental science on the ground and you have a unique, informative read. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Susan
4.0 out of 5 stars I really enjoyed taking the trip with him
I really enjoyed taking the trip with him. He was very detailed in his writing and kept you interested in the trip and tried hard to show the reason why he wanted to make people... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Carolyn White
4.0 out of 5 stars credibly informative
Author has a talent for story telling. The facts and observations of the journey are a plus. Enjoyable reading. The bike tips at the end were a pleasant surprise.
Published 3 months ago by D. Bowler
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing journey for a notable cause
An amazing journey for a notable cause...loved David's fascinating adventures and heartwarming interactions with the locals. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Judith M Hanna
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Read.
Great read. Felt like I was along for the ride. Admire David for his perseverance toward his goal.
Published 3 months ago by kathynruss
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Very interesting.
Published 3 months ago by Judith Richard
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A wonderful diary of a trip I would never take. Very well told story
Published 3 months ago by C. Saunders
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More About the Author

The founder of Ride for Climate, David Kroodsma has logged more than 30,000 miles of loaded bicycle touring. He has worked as a climate journalist, as a consultant for philanthropy, and as a climate researcher. In 2009, he won an international competition to represent Hopenhagen at the climate conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, and write for the Huffington Post. David holds a B.S. in physics and an M.S. in interdisciplinary environmental science from Stanford University. He lives with his wife, Lindsey, in San Francisco, California.

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