Synopses & Reviews
Joyride: Pedaling Toward a Healthier Planet is pioneering transportation leader Mia Birk’s 20-year crusade to integrate bicycling into daily life. With a table scrap of funding, she led a revolution that grew Portland, OR into the #1 American cycling city.
Through a panoply of hilarious and poignant stories, Birk takes readers on a 20-year rollercoaster journey of global and local discovery and education, while bringing into sharp focus some of the planet's most pressing and hotly debated energy and environmental issues,policies, shortcomings, and solutions.
The journey begins in the heart of car culture U.S.A. with Birk's car-addicted youth in Dallas, TX. As Birk breaks away from home and a typical sedentary American lifestyle, she settles in Portland, OR, where she and a cast of larger-than-life characters lead Portland's transformation into the nation's most bicycle friendly city. You'll learn about the foibles, motivations, passion, and surprising compassion of the people who decide what a city will become, the battles they fought, their triumphs, failures, and results.
After leading the Portland revolution, Birk hits the road, spreading her vision from the California suburbs to the Cascade foothills, the beaches, plains, large cities, small towns, ex-urbs, and the heartland of rural America. Careening towards big obstacles, getting scraped and bruised by political glaciers, she overcomes old ways of thinking and finds ways to make communities -- even Dallas -- more human, healthy, safe, and splendid.
Written as a stylistic blend of memoir, rollicking stories, and lessons, Birk shows that bicycling can be a significant and incredibly positive means of transportation and an economic powerhouse for businesses who are realizing the health, safety, economic, environmental, and livability benefits of integrating bicycling and walking into daily life.
While many books today extol the pain of our world’s traffic congestion, air quality, and economic, safety, land-use, and health problems, Joyride is the antidote, offering hope to any and everyone interested in changing our world for the better, one pedal stroke at a time.
"Mia Birk is one of the most important figures in America's urban biking renaissance."
Jeff Mapes, author of Pedaling Revolution: How Cyclists Are Changing American Cities
About the Author
Mia Birk fell in love with bicycling in 1990 while attending graduate school in Washington, D.C. She was the City of Portland's bicycle program manager and is now a principal at Alta Planning + Design, specializing in bicycle and pedestrian planning projects. She also teaches planning at Portland State University. Joyride is her first book.