A fascinating look at the story behind the many abandoned bicycles in the area around Tijuana, The Coyote's Bicycle is filled with a cast of unforgettable characters and fresh insights into the history of border crossings. Recommended By Mary Jo S., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
It wasn’t surprising when the first abandoned bicycles were found along
the dirt roads and farmland just across the border from Tijuana — the
area’s residents were accustomed to all kinds of refuse and detritus — but
the bikes kept coming: mountain bikes, touring bikes, BMXs, and beach
cruisers, all piling up, day after day. They went from curiosity, to
nuisance, to phenomenon. But until they caught the eye of journalist
Kimball Taylor, only a small cadre of human smugglers — coyotes — and
migrants could say how or why they’d gotten there. This is the true
story of 7,000 bikes that made an incredible journey and one young man
from Oaxaca who arrived at the border with nothing but the clothes on
his back, built a small empire, and then vanished. Taylor follows the
trail of the border bikes as they make their way through a surprisingly
diverse spectrum of society’s most powerful institutions, and, with
the help of an unlikely source, he reconstructs the rise of one of
Tijuana’s most innovative coyotes.
Touching on issues of immigration
and globalization, as well as the history of the US/Mexico border, The
Coyote’s Bicycle is at once an immersive investigation of an outrageous
occurrence and a true-crime, rags-to-riches, coming-of-age story.
"What an improbable, richly peopled saga! Kimball Taylor follows his hunch so deep into the world of polleros and
the borderlands where they do their human smuggling that you’ll forget
you’re reading non-fiction. El Indio, his clients, the authorities, and
the harsh country they all do battle with — not to mention all the merry,
ubiquitous bicycles rolling through the story — this completely
original concoction reads like Latin American magical realism, except
it’s reported-out and grounded in fact. Wonderful stuff." William Finnegan, author of Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life and Cold New World: Growing Up in a Harder Country
For readers of Jon Krakauer and Susan Orlean, brings to life a never-before-told phenomenon at our southern border, and the human drama of those that would cross.
About the Author
Kimball Taylor is the author of Return by Water: Surf Stories and Adventures, as well as, Drive Fast and Take Chances: Fair Warning from Surfers. He's a long-time contributor to Surfer Magazine. Taylor has co-authored history books on Pipeline and Jeffrey's Bay. Taylor holds a BA in Journalism and a MFA in Creative Writing. He has taught writing courses at San Diego State University and is an alumnus of The Squaw Valley Community of Writers.