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Just Ride: A Radically Practical Guide to…

Just Ride: A Radically Practical Guide to Riding Your Bike (edition 2012)

by Grant Petersen

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1139106,831 (3.56)1
Title:Just Ride: A Radically Practical Guide to Riding Your Bike
Authors:Grant Petersen
Info:Workman Publishing Company (2012), Paperback, 256 pages
Collections:Your library

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Just Ride: A Radically Practical Guide to Riding Your Bike by Grant Petersen

  1. 00
    Bikenomics: How Bicycling Can Save the Economy (Bicycle) by Elly Blue (Booktacular)
    Booktacular: Blue's book covers the topic of why you can and should make bicycling a much bigger part of your daily life. Petersen's book explains in clear and often entertaining terms how to go about doing that. Both are meant to apply to the majority of bicycling adults and both do a fantastic job in that regard!… (more)

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Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
I've recently randomly walked into a local bicycle store. I looked around and realized that I don't see any of what I call just a bicycle. All two-wheel vehicles have become specialized. They no longer have what I need. I can appreciate the low weight of a racing bike, but not for the cost of discomfort and fragility. Mountain bikes look cool, but I don't want fat tires or suspension.

In bicycles, there is so much that you don't need!

The first ~60% of the book was the most useful, talking about the basic accessories, clothing and habits. Dietary and exercise information was interesting, but I'm personally not buying the low carb diet hype, and I remained unconvinced. But as the author says, it's not that you have to agree with every point; he asks you just to consider it.

Achievement centered specialization causes weirdness, and what trickles down to regular bicycle users is not helpful. I love the Unracer. I am one. ( )
  automatthias | Jun 19, 2017 |
I was prepared to give the author the benefit of the doubt many, many times during this tedious, depressing read but when I came to the last question in the quiz that ends the book I realized that no, he IS just a man with an axe to grind. Grant Petersen hates bike racing and anything remotely connected to it, and he wants you to hate it as well.

In fact he hates most things connected with bikes, but not everything. He loves heavy frames and pannier bags. He also loves recommending “safety tips” like deliberately swerving in traffic to make car drivers take notice of you and the idea that mudflaps made out of tape and old milk cartons are a good idea. This is a man who owns a bike shop by the way.

Here is one of my favorite nuggets, certainly not the most contentious but it’ll give you an idea of the sort of read you can expect:

When talking about cycling gloves Petersen says that they’re not essential. He then goes on to say “Obviously, they protect your hands but (they) also get stinky…Yes, I can wash and dry them, but that’s too much work”. Wait, so you’re aware that gloves protect your hands but you’re recommending that people not wear them because washing clothes is too much like hard work? I’d hate to hear his theories on the importance, or otherwise, of wearing underwear!

This brilliant chapter on gloves (No 53 for those keeping count) goes on to say, “I have crashed and hurt my hand skin and wished I’d worn gloves but … gloves are just another thing to lose and look for”. Well, thanks for the positive outlook and for the considered advice. It’s not that Petersen is wrong per se, gloves aren’t for everyone, but the reasons he gives are ridiculous. Of course, his advice stems from his personal hatred of anything remotely connected to cycle racing and is not objective in the least.

There are many more erudite reviews of this book floating around on Goodreads than I can manage but I didn’t want to give this title a 1/5 and say nothing. My advice, if you are a new to cycling, is please, please read a lot more books before you take many of the ideas in this title seriously. Make up your own mind about the kind of cycling you want to do and and then read this - it will either confirm the opinions that you have independently formed or help you to understand why you disagree so vehemently with Petersen.

And ultimately, if you find out that you quite like cycle racing and you can in fact name more than five pro bike riders then take heart – you’re not alone! ( )
  MartynChuzz | Feb 22, 2016 |
I don't understand who this book is for. The book is less a guide to cycling as a ranting manifesto on why the cycle racing industry and sport has harmed cycling. Especially cycling as a daily activity with few hurdles besides a reliable bike. I've seen many internet comment wars between the so-called Lycra brigade and everyone else, but I'm not on either side. I prefer live and let live, and I wish both sides took that approach too. I didn't learn a whole lot from this book, a few points about wooden bikes (hadn't heard this was a thing) and learning to turn with the body rather then the handlebars - which I understand the theory but not the application. Petersen describes himself and the people who he likes as unracers, people who ride for enjoyment rather then putting in long group rides in lycra trying to train for a big race. For a book that bemoans racers, I read far too much about racing and group rides; how training doesn't make you fit; how bikes (and tyres) are over designed and too expensive and don't work in real world conditions yet I wanted a guide for the average bicycle rider, a long way from the world of competitive road cycling. If I was a member of the lycra brigrade I would find this book even more divisive and off-putting. ( )
1 vote wifilibrarian | Feb 4, 2014 |
I admit I am biased in favor of Peterson's point of view, which is that riding your bike should be fun. This short book is an outline of everything you need to know about buying, riding and maintaining a bicycle, whether you ride it for fun, to commute or, like me, to run errands. It's fun to read, practical and witty. Read the book, buy a bike! ( )
  nmele | Apr 6, 2013 |
Just a short note: Grant Petersen's book JUST RIDE is easy to read and exudes an attitude of love for cycling and cyclists of all kinds. He even makes a point of praising the masses of UNRACERS - those riders who ride for recreation or commute to work (maybe every day). No, he is not against bicycle racing.

Along the way he advocates for all kinds of little habits that can be employed by these UNRACERS. Specifically, he says we SHOULD take electrolytes to balance PH but we should avoid sports drinks because these products are weighed down by sugar; he states a rider should use a harder saddle in most cases because the sitting bones on humans do not need extra gel or squishy foam that will only spread out and compress the derriere of riders more than it adds comfort; does not default to calling gloves necessary for most riding (though they do have a place); and says cyclists who really want to get in shape should cross-fit and study other exercises in tandem with their regular miles.

Grant Petersen is the founder of Rivendell Bicycle Works, a frame builder and customization company based in California. In JUST RIDE, Petersen tells it like he thinks it is. And he does so with love for riding. Clearly, Petersen wants each rider to enjoy their time pedaling. ( )
  jltaglich | Feb 28, 2013 |
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Grant Petersenprimary authorall editionscalculated
Takahashi, RetsuIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0761155589, Paperback)

In the same way that Michael Pollan’s slim bestseller Food Rules brought a gust of common sense to the everyday activity of eating, Just Ride is a revelation. Forget the ultralight, uncomfortable bikes, flashy jerseys, clunky shoes that clip onto tiny pedals, the grinding out of endless miles. Instead, ride like you did when you were a kid—just get on your bike and discover the pure joy of riding it.

A reformed racer who’s commuted by bike every day since 1980, whose writings and opinions appear in major bicycling and outdoor magazines, and whose company, Rivendell Bicycle Works, makes bikes for riders ready to opt out of a culture overrun by racing, Grant Petersen shares a lifetime of unexpected facts, controversial opinions, expert techniques, and his own maverick philosophy. In 87 short, two-to-three page chapters, it covers:

• Riding: Count Days, Not Miles; Corner Like Jackie Robinson; Steer with Your Hips, Shift with Your Legs

• Suiting Up: The Shoes Ruse; Ponchos—the Ultimate Unracer’s Garment

• Safety: #1 Rule—Be Seen; Helmets Aren’t All They’re Cracked Up to Be

• Health and Fitness: Why Riding Is Lousy All-Around Exercise; Saddles Don’t Cause Impotence; Drink When You’re Thirsty—Not Before

Also includes chapters on Accessories, Upkeep, and Technicalities as well as a final chapter titled “Velosophy” that includes the essential, memorable thought: Your Bike Is a Toy—Have Fun with It.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:42 -0400)

Questions and debunks over eighty myths to highlight bicycling's inherently enjoyable nature, addressing everything from clothing and accessories to health, fitness, and safety.

(summary from another edition)

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