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William:Immortal Class was a pretty interesting slice of the messenger scene in Chicago. There was some discourse on how much of that life the writer actually lived, but non-the-less, a great read.
Cecil:Nowtopia: How Pirate Programmers, Outlaw Bicyclists, and Vacant-Lot Gardeners are Inventing the Future Today!by Chris Carlsson (one of the original instigators of Critical Mass)
Joyride tells the dramatic and enlightening behind-the-scenes story of how a group of determined visionaries transformed Portland into a cycling mecca and inspired the nation.With just a table scrap of funding, Mia Birk led a revolution that grew Portland, Oregon into a city where bicycling is a significant part of their transportation system. She then hit the road, helping make communities across the nation more healthy, safe and livable.Joyride: Pedaling Toward a Healthier Planet is an inspiring story that puts the power for community change and personal transformation into anyone s hands.
Mental Speed Bumps: The Smarter Way to Tame Traffic is a practical, down-to-earth guide for residents, parents, health professionals and city planners that turns conventional wisdom on its head.• Find out how to use mental speed bumps to instantly slow drivers without them being aware that they have slowed.• Learn why removing all traffic signs, white lines, speed humps and traffic lights dramatically slow traffic and makes streets safer.• Discover why building the social life of the street is the most effective way to tame traffic.Now everyone has the power to tame traffic.
Sarah Goodyear wrote: It's a freewheeling and fun tour of the surprisingly powerful effect bicycles had on a women's position in society in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Take a look at a few of the images from the book.
markphilips:Sam mentioned this book on another thread...I might get a copy as well as it has some great reviews on Amazon
An.dy:edit:Would anyone be interested in loaning out books? It seems likely that the library doesn't have a lot of these books, would anyone like to "check out" their books for a few weeks at a time? Thoughts?-Andy
markphilips:Linus shares his wisdom
wpstoll:That's a good one. I photocopied several route slips from the book and brought them along on my tours of the West Coast. Suggested routes keep tourists on the low road instead of sending them over awful climbs like the Adventure Cycling maps often do.
The average English cyclist, I discovered, is scrupulously observant of the law. One night I was riding home through the blackout in Oxford when a fellow cyclist, coming from the opposite direction, stopped to inform me that my light was not sufficiently screened. The card behind the glass was an inch too short. Another time, near Derby, I was reminded by a passing cyclist that the white stripe on my back fender was not of the required length. It should be six inches, not five. Still another time, on a deserted road near Birmingham, I overtook a cyclist on the wrong side. The aggrieved party caught up with me, put his hand on my shoulder, and proceeded to give me a lecture. All this in dead seriousness.
CAR - FREE IN LOS ANGELES,CAI live in Los Angeles, CA where I'm director of online sales for a small company. I've been completely car-free for five years. I made the choice foremost because owning a car is increasingly costly and frustrating -- traffic congestion, taxes and fees, smog, parking. Plus, time spent in cars is of very low quality -- because of social isolation separation from the environment, and the low sensual quality of most road and highway infrastructure.In stark contrast to that, living car-free is liberating, exhilarating, helps you meet more people, and creates a greater social interaction. Life without a car is more varied, rich, and intense. And you have more sensory, intellectual, and social, stimulation. You also stay thinner, look better, have a lower heart rate and higher endurance. I also eat better, fresher food because I shop at local farmers' market. I find I can get 95 percent of everything I need within a short bicycle ride. If I wanted to, I could rent a car every weekend and still come out way ahead.I have all the friends I did when I had a car, and new ones too. But unlike my friends who drive, I go to more places and do more stuff than anyone else I know because I never worry about parking problems.Advice: just commit yourself to it and it becomes easy. --Richard Risemberg, 52, director of online sales
With good weather, it is the best ride in the world. From San Diego to Palomar Mountain is 60 miles with a 6000-foot climb. The scenery is typical southern California: orange groves at the lower altitudes, pine forest at the higher. At the top of the mountain, Mother Bailey's makes a fine overnight. All the makings of a nifty weekend. We started on a beautiful morning in the spring of 1948.Of the five of us, Joe was the oldest and the most remarkable. Already in his fifties, he was a physical marvel with legs of steel and the lungs of a distance runner. Joe learned to ride a bike at the turn of the century. Perhaps that is why his favorite machine was so odd. It had wooden rims, an ultra-short wheelbase, and a fixed gear of 84 inches. Nobody but Joe could ride it. But Joe always looked very comfortable on it.In spite of its unconventional design, Joe's bike was capable of astounding feats. I remember riding with him on a day when the sun broke through and made us go into a sweat. Joe announced that he was going to take his shirt off. I prepared to stop. Not Joe. Without slackening speed or swerving an inch, he let go of the handlebar, raised his arm over his head, pulled off his shirt, folded it, and tucked it under his saddle. Before I could recover from my amazement, he reached into a back pocket, pulled out a pipe, cleaned it, filled it, and lighted it. And me, huffing and puffing.Grades did not faze Joe, even on his 84-inch gear. "Funny how you can take the sting out of a climb by thinking of something totally different," he once said to me. "When I was a young fellow, I always used to look at the top of the rise and ask myself how long it would take to get there. But now I look at my front wheel and start on a mathematical problem. The longer the grade, the more complicated the problem. I have solved some toughies that way.""Don't you ever run out of problems?""Why, no. Of course, it isn't always a mathematical problem. It could be some other kind of problem. Like a problem at home. Sometimes I struggle for days trying to figure things out, and the answer comes to me in a flash while I am riding my bike."In his attitudes to bikes, Joe was a purist. Derailleurs he regarded with suspicion. Not that he ever said an unkind word about them. But you could tell that he disapproved. Derailleurs were for fuddyduddies. At that time I had an old Cyclo, and it made quite a noise. Joe could imitate this noise to perfection. "Rrrrrrr - shift" Joe was always one second ahead of me. Everybody would start laughing.
Although Joe never used derailleurs, he spent much time fixing them for others. Not only derailleurs but flats, brakes, cranks, rims, spokes, freewheels, and everything else. I remember how he worked all morning on my front derailleur on a trip down the coast. Miles from help, Joe found a road construction gang and borrowed enough tools to make the repair. Finally, the job was done. "Thank you for letting me do that little job," he said. "I always wanted to know how those things work."
"You have done a lot of riding, Joe," I said to him on one of these occasions. "What is your recipe for safety?""Constant alertness," he said. "After many years of coping with traffic, I find myself thinking of a car not as a mechanical object that obeys the laws of gravity but as a slow-witted animal with poor vision and faulty hearing. The animal responds only to other animals on the road. Cyclists are beyond his range of observation."
A little rain never stopped Joe. And a big rain didn't either. Halfway on the Palomar weekend, ominous thunder clouds began to gather. WE debated. Continue or turn around? Cyclists are optimists. We pushed on.It started to drizzle. We ate our soggy sandwiches and wished we had brought our capes. Now began the climb. The higher we got, the harder the rain came down. I heard a cracking sound. Joe's pedal had snapped. His legs were stronger than his bike. A broken pedal was more than Joe could fix by the side of the road. "You go on," he said. "I'll go back to Rincon. I know a garage where I can fix this."We parted company. Ahead stretched a half-flooded road with not a living thing in sight. The rain was now so heavy that we could barely see the next turn. We slogged on. Although it was barely three o'clock, daylight was rapidly vanishing. I began to worry whether we would even find Mother Bailey's. None of us had ever been there.At this point, we heard a car coming up the grade. It was a truck, driven by a ranger. We stopped him. How about a lift? An hour later, we were drying out over a crackling fire at Mother Bailey's. Joe, we were sure, had gone back to San Diego.Far from it. He did call his wife to bring him a new pedal. Then, although he was now two hours behind, he started up that wicked mountain. Oblivious of the appalling conditions, he beat his way through total darkness, pelting rain, and howling winds. At the top, the rain turned to snow. Joe knew the area like the back of his hand. But how do you find an isolated ranch when it's pitchblack and there is nobody to ask? Drenched and half-frozen, Joe stumbled around until he spied a ranger's cabin. The cabin was deserted, but Joe wormed his way in. The cabin had light but no heat. His bedding roll was too wet. The cabin did have two mattresses. Joe used one to lie on and the other to cover him. Then he went to sleep.The next morning, while we were sitting down to a magnificent breakfast at the ranch, there was a knock at the door."Sorry, fellows. I hope you did not worry about me."We hugged him.