Friday, August 8, 2014

Micro Bicycle Book Review from the Woman Who Brings You Weekly Bike News and Snark

Un terrible semaine.  Deux grosses pertes.  Nos couers sont lourdes.  Au revoir nos heros.

First, read anything by Eban Weiss, writing under the name Bikesnob NYC.
All of his books are funny, irreverant, and worth your time.  Will he teach you how to repair things easily or talk your way out of a sidewalk cycling ticket?  Probably not.  Will he delight and amuse?  Absolutely.  Great for the urban cyclisy who can walk her bike to the shop for repairs, have a latte while the mechanic works her magic, then head on to the shops without ever having to sit in the wet grass to fix a flat.  
iBooks store.
Chronicle Books.  
pp. 225

Random, lovely photo in memorium.

A fast review of cycling books you should consider.

The Bike Owner's Handbook
By Peter Drinkell
Cicada Books Limited
pp. 111
$9.00 to $20.00 depending on the seller

Why I recommend it:
It fits in a pannier or back pocket.  It has clear instructions on how to repair things.  The format considers the content.  In other words, it is clear and concise, can be referenced like a car manual in the event you blow a tire or have to fix things by the side of the bike lane.  Its prose is humble.  Carry this book, an extra tube, some tools, and a small but powerful flashlight.  The world will be your oyster, my cycling friend.

The Bike to Work Guide: Save Gas, Go Green, Get Fit
By Roni Sarig with Paul Dorn
Adams Media
pp. 200
$2.95 used and upward up for new
Available on Kindleunlimited

Why I recommend it:
When you want to start biking to work, the planning can seem daunting.  What to wear?  What to bring?  What if?  Every concern you may have is in here, and the solutions to those concerns are clearly addressed.  Don't read it if you are a procrastinator.  It will make you into a do-er.  This is a book to read sever weeks before you set out to begin your commute.  It is not a manual for roadside repairs like The Bike Owner's Handbook, but it does help you think about repairs.  It belongs on the nightstand where it can be pondered.

Bicycle Magazine's The New Cyclist Handbook
Edited by Ben Hewitt
Rodale Press
pp. 147
$8.95 and upward for new

Why I recommend it:
Just like Sarig's Bike to Work Guide, it helps you plan.  It is less for the urban sartorialist cyclist, more for guy in the suburbs with kids who knows the only way he will get a workout in that day is to ride.  It also helps current riders plan for that fitter more ambitious time in their lives.

Bicycling Magazine's Every Woman's Guide to Cycling
Selene Yaeger
New American Library 2008
pp. 302
$11.00 and upward for new

Why recommend it:
See above.  Same thing, but it is for women.  I like the frank conversation about what might happen to your behind.  It is a good read for any woman planning to get out there.  More time and more practical comments on safety should be added to the next edition of this book.  #Everywoman'sguidetocycling

Re-Cycling: Taking up Bicycling Again as an Adult
Bruce Wynkoop
pp. 75
$11.00 and up for new

Why I recommend it:
Languid.  Practical.  Basic.  If you have been sitting around on the couch for a year (or perhaps years) binge watching, then you woke up, and had a cycling epiphany, this just might be the book for you.  Basic tips including what you need and why, and why cyclists do things that may seem mysterious to drivers or pedestrians.  It feels self-published, but its tone is humble and sincere.   #Re-cycling

Bikenomics: How Bicycling Cans Save the Economy
Elly Blue
Microcosm Publishing
pp. 191

Why I recommend it:
Okay, I confess.  I think Elly is a leader in the revolution.  But I also used to be a book reviewer and her writing style is energetic, persuasive and visual.  I want her arguments to be true, and I believe she is right on most points.  Most importantly, this is a conversation we need to be having as a nation.  It's part of the lingua franca.  You cannot be left behind.  Buy it.  Read it.  Begin to think about how cars have contributed to isolation, obesity, and climate problems.  And think about how we can change the way we live in furtherance of our economy, health, national security, and economic sustainability.  #bikenomics

So if I see you in the bike lane, or the book store trying to find the right cycling book for you, let's be smug.   And let's be grateful that we had Robin Williams around making us laugh for over three decades.  Smugly.  Fondly.
Elisa P.

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