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Pedaling Revolution: How Cyclists Are…

Pedaling Revolution: How Cyclists Are Changing American Cities

by Jeff Mapes

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A great overview of the history of cycling in the United States. Made me feel even better about being a cyclist, though for me it has always been about the joy of riding. Bike = peak experience. Car = stress.Overall the tone was a bit lighter than what I would prefer in nonfiction reading. It is obvious Mapes is a newspaper writer. And though Mapes does his best to remain politically neutral, it doesn't help much that some designer decided to make a big red flag more prominent than a guy on a bike on the cover. Bikes are a no brainer, bipartisan issue. ( )
  librarianbryan | Apr 20, 2012 |
A good overview of the ongoing changes to American cities as more and more people switch to bicycling as a major means of commuting, running errands, and recreation. Biking meets obvious challenges in both the safety of sharing roads with high-speed automobiles with indifferent drivers and the political hostility towards bicycling and bicycle infrastructure. The book covers many of the same points as Harry Wray's Pedal Power, but I find Mapes' work a more engaging read. Mapes is preaching to choir when I am his reader but this book sets in good detail the detrimental effect of prioritizing the automobile in our cities and the benefits of switching to a bicycle-based culture. ( )
  Othemts | Apr 4, 2012 |
Quite interesting though I wouldn't quite recommend it as a good narrative nonfiction choice for the average person, unless they have an interest in cycling. The author's a journalist and the details about how different countries and states handle cyclists and how they make decisions about roads are fascinating. A Portland book group could read this and Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us) and have an interesting discussion. :)Warning: may make you covet a Dutch style "city bike". ( )
  amanderson | Jun 13, 2011 |
In "Pedaling Revolution: How Cyclists are Changing American Cities," author Jeff Mapes provides a historical context for the social evolution of the bicycle. Better yet, he does it from the perspective of a journalist. In addition to providing factual information, he throws in anecdotes and quotes from personal interviews. He really gives his readers a human perspective on the topic.

Furthermore, by drawing on the past and looking to the future (as well as to existing bike-friendly cities around the world), Mapes explains what is necessary to make bicycling a valid and recognized form of transportation: a revolution. Once more people take to their bikes and ditch their cars, the rest of the world will see that bicycles are ideal for short trips around town. The point is made several times throughout the text: there is strength in numbers. More people on bikes equals more awareness... which leads to changes in legislature. ( )
  alevtina | Jun 6, 2010 |
Very interesting account of bike friendly cities like Portland, Davis, Madison, and NYC, yes NYC. Dicusses what is needed to make cities more conducive to cycling as a means of transportation. It takes committed activists, city planners, road engineers, city council members, mayors, and Congresscritters. Above all it takes a critical mass of cyclists on the streets riding to work, to the post office, library, store, and generally running errands by bike. ( )
  velopunk | Feb 3, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0870714198, Paperback)

In a world of growing traffic congestion, expensive oil, and threats of cataclysmic climate change, a grassroots movement is carving out a niche for bicycles on the streets of urban cityscapes. In Pedaling Revolution, Jeff Mapes explores the growing urban bike culture that is changing the look and feel of cities across the U.S. He rides with bike advocates who are taming the streets of New York City, joins the street circus that is Critical Mass in San Francisco, and gets inspired by the everyday folk pedaling in Amsterdam, the nirvana of American bike activists. Mapes, a seasoned political journalist and long-time bike commuter, explores the growth of bicycle advocacy while covering such issues as the environmental, safety, and health aspects of bicycling for short urban trips. His rich cast of characters includes Noah Budnick, a young bicycle advocate in New York who almost died in a crash near the Brooklyn Bridge, and Congressman James Oberstar (D-MN), who took to bicycling in his fifties and helped unleash a new flood of federal money for bikeways. Chapters set in Chicago and Portland show how bicycling has became a political act, with seemingly dozens of subcultures, and how cyclists, with the encouragement of local officials, are seizing streets back from motorists. Pedaling Revolution is essential reading for the approximately one million people who regularly ride their bike to work or on errands, for anyone engaged in transportation, urban planning, sustainability, and public health—and for drivers trying to understand why they’re seeing so many cyclists. All will be interested in how urban bike activists are creating the future of how we travel and live in twenty-first-century cities.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:43:18 -0400)

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