Synopses & Reviews
"A growing number of Americans, mounted on their bicycles like some new kind of urban cowboy, are mixing it up with swift, two-ton motor vehicles as they create a new society on the streets. They're finding physical fitness, low-cost transportation, environmental purity and, still all too often, Wild West risks of sudden death or injury." from the Introduction
In a world of increasing traffic congestion, a grassroots movement is carving out a niche for bicycles on city streets. Pedaling Revolution: How Cyclists Are Changing American Cities explores the growing bike culture that is changing the look and feel of cities, suburbs, and small towns across North America.
From traffic-dodging bike messengers to tattooed teenagers on battered bikes, from riders in spandex to well-dressed executives, ordinary citizens are becoming transportation revolutionaries. Jeff Mapes traces the growth of bicycle advocacy and explores the environmental, safety, and health aspects of bicycling. He rides with bicycle 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. Chapters focused on big cities, college towns, and America's most successful bike city, Portland, show how cyclists, with the encouragement of local officials, are claiming a share of the valuable streetscape.
"Writing from Portland, the hub of the American cycling renaissance, Jeff Mapes, brimming with passion, humor and salutary insight, makes an admirably clearheaded, convincing and, ultimately, humane argument for making more room for the two-wheeler, in our lives and on our roads." Tom Vanderbilt, author of Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us)
"Finally, the bicycling movement gets the serious examination that it deserves." Jane Holtz Kay, author of Asphalt Nation: How the Automobile Took Over America and How We Can Take It Back
About the Author
Jeff Mapes is senior political reporter for The Oregonian. He has covered Congress, state government, and numerous local, state, and national campaigns. He is also author of the blog, Mapes on Politics. He lives in Portland, Oregon, where he is a longtime bike commuter.