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Bicycle Reading List: Of Books and Blogs

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Interested in learning more about biking or bike culture? These thought-inspiring books and blogs will prepare you for the roads, keep you informed of urban cycling achievements and challenges, and give you a glimpse into the minds behind the movement.

Books
The Cyclist's Manifesto: The Case for Riding on Two Wheels Instead of Four (Falcon Guide)
by Robert Hurst
Ever wonder why Americans have such a love/hate relationship with the bicycle? Or why this alternative mode of transportation isn't promoted more heavily by local governments? With these questions in mind, Denver author, student and bike messenger Robert Hurst embarked on a journey to explore the history of the bicycle. By examining both achievements and failures along the way, he was able to better understand why we've come to view the most efficient mode of transportation with such suspicion and disdain. From oil independence to "cycling costumes," Hurst's compelling overview -- which could easily be described as Bicycology 101 -- shows that the future of transportation is best powered by our own two feet.

Zinn and the Art of Road Bike Maintenance
by Lennard Zinn
Having the knowledge and skills to fix your own bike is not only empowering and fun, its also cheaper and safer than relying solely on the friendly neighborhood bike shop. With clearly drawn and labeled diagrams of every nook and cranny of your bicycle, an emergency repairs section, bike tool chart, and troubleshooting guide, this well-written book deserves a space in every bike bag. If you are into mountain bikes, check out Zinn's guide to the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance too; both are classics suited for beginners to expert riders.

Pedaling Revolution: How Cyclists Are Changing American Cities
by Jeff Mapes
Amenities and laws that help bicyclists pedal safely through the streets are being implemented rapidly across the United States. But the white and green paint you see on the streets isn't solely the work of bike-loving transit officials, says political reporter Jeff Mapes; rather, this is the work of hundreds of dedicated activists. In his new book, Mapes documents how cyclists have created a movement that is changing streetscapes across the nation.


Blogs
Copenhagenize- The Copenhagen Bike Culture Blog
Arguably one of the best blogs out there on all things pedal-powered, Copenhagenize is jam-packed with bite sized posts that may interest any cyclist. Whether you're curious about bicycle superhighways for commuting, finding the best bike for the little ones in your life or using cargo bikes to launch your next business endeavor, look no further. With its awe-inspiring stories and examples of bike culture both in Copenhagen and abroad, Copenhagenize does its best to showcase how the bicycle can provide multiple solutions to many of the challenges facing cyclists (including how to secure rock-star bike parking).

The Guardian's Bike Blog
Serving up a mix of interviews, commentary and resources, Worldchanging content partner The Guardian maintains perhaps one of the most extensive bike blogs around, boasting a little something for everyone. It's on the daily list of blogs we keep up to date with, and we find it to be one of the most interesting blogs around. Seriously, where else can you read about folding bikes, brothel discounts for cyclists and where to find affordable bike insurance all at once?

The Slow Bicycle
In a world dominated by the need for speed, the Slow Movement is a great alternative to the haste associated with modern living. Launched in Copenhagen during 2008, The Slow Bicycle Movement offers a way for individuals to reconnect with others and to savor the moment ... on a bike. The blog links together cyclists from around the world who have held "slow bike races" and made other efforts to take bike culture back from the lighting-fast Spandex crowd. Packed with other interesting tidbits, this blog reminds us that sometimes, we just gotta take 'er easy so we can take back our time.

Streetsblog
Streetsblog (another Worldchanging content partner) sets a great example in the sustainability realm of the blogosphere. Formed in 2006, Streetsblog not only provides news and views on cities, bikes and policies, but it now includes films and a wiki that helps foster future-forward thinking. Their daily content provides readers with unique stories of how not only bikes, but the people who ride them, can help us re-imagine our city streets.

Zero Per Gallon
When Johnny Waldman, more commonly known around the blogosphere as Johnny5, wanted to promote the bicycle in the wake of rising oil prices, he made a sticker that read "zero per gallon," slapped it on bikes and sold it to others -- in a somewhat subtle way to stick it to the man. With ZPG's huge success, Johnny soon started up an online store and a blog. Waldman, who's also a professional writer, serves up witty commentary on mostly bike-related topics, ranging from oil (and our addiction to it) to political suicide. Although his posts are serious in nature, they're also laugh-out-loud funny. It's worth a read.


What are your favorite book and blogs about bicycling?


This piece was written by Sean Conroe, Sarah Kuck and Christa Morris.

Image credit: SleepyNeko, CC License

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Comments

Cool site, love the info.


Posted by: Bill Bartmann on 3 Sep 09

I'm surprised that you excluded the BikePortland blog (http://bikeportland.org/); it covers all things "bicycle" in Portland, is popular with Portland-area cyclists, and it has an extensive out-of-state readership.


Posted by: Phil Hanson on 4 Sep 09

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