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An insightful, balanced and eminently readable manual about cycling



Everyday Bicycling
How to ride a bike for transportation

From a review in Bicycle Quarterly Vol. 11, No. 4 (Summer 2013):

If I had to select a “Bicycle Book of the Year,” this might be it. It’s a much-needed, easy-to-read and yet comprehensive primer about riding a bike in the city.

Bicycles appeal to many people, but few non-cyclists appreciate that there is more involved than balancing on two wheels and staying away from cars. There is much to learn about cycling, and Portland bike blogger Elly Blue sets out to teach you what you need to know.

The result is an insightful, balanced and eminently readable manual about cycling. For example: “Here are three maxims for riding a bicycle on the road: Put safety first, for yourself and others. Be courteous second. Third, be legal.”

Blue has a rare gift of being to the point, yet remaining conversational. She weaves her own experience into the text as she covers many important topics. Where to ride: How to select the best route, where to position yourself in a lane, and the different ways to make a safe left turn. Lights: advantages of battery-powered and generator lights.

Under the heading “Complicated bikes for a simple life”, Blue writes that a simple racing or fixed-gear bike may not be the best choice as a transportation bike: “If you want to keep things truly easy and change your daily habits and wardrobe as little as possible, consider a more complicated bicycle. A bike with […] built-in lights, fenders, a chain guard, a rack and flat-resistant tires will simplify your transition to bicycling immensely.”

Everyday Bicycling discusses different load-carrying solutions and how to carry children on a bike. There is even a chapter about teaching your children how to ride and how to become involved in bicycle advocacy.

All this is covered in a small paperback of just over 100 pages. The content is thorough and well-researched, yet the reader never feels burdened with difficult-to-understand concepts or lengthy explanations.

The book is aimed at beginners, yet even experienced cyclists may find things to learn in its pages. Every cyclist should have this book, first to read themselves, and then to give to friends and acquaintances who are new to cycling or might want to start riding a bike. At $ 10, it’s inexpensive enough to hand out freely among those you care about.

Publisher: Microcosm Publishing
Year: 2012
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 127 pages
Dimensions: 5.25" x 6.75"

Price: $10