5 Bike Books Perfect for Afternoon Reading
With winter upon many of us up here in the northern hemisphere, I’m totally lookin’ forward to putting on my fluffy socks, curling up in a comfy armchair with a steamy cup of coffee and an entertaining read or three. Here are a few bike books on my current library check-outs list!
**Quick tip for fellow library lovers: If your library doesn’t have the book you’d like, you might be able to borrow it via inter library loan or better yet, order it for your library to have in circulation for others to enjoy! Supporting your local library and checking out books is a wonderful way to help them get the funds they need to continue to be a priceless resource for all in our communities.**
On to the list!
Bikes Not Rockets: Intersectional Feminist Bicycle Science Fiction Stories (Bikes in Space)
Written by Elly Bangs, Elly Blue, Monique Cuillerier and Gretchin Lair
Initial thoughts: This. Title. And. Cover. Is. EVERYTHING!
“As you ride down the intergalactic bike path, you come to a crossroads. Which path will you take? Your choice could determine your future, or the future of all humanity, forever. These twelve stories explore a variety of intersections set in distant, outlandish, or disturbingly realistic futures and dimensions—all involving bicycles and the breaking of gender stereotypes. A bicycle race spans a rift between worlds. A teenager learns a valuable lesson from her prepper mom. A young fruit seller gets closer to her dream of becoming an astronaut. An overwhelmed mom finds unexpected solace at a bicycle collective. And much more!” (Source: Microcosm publishing)
Major Taylor, Champion Cyclist
Written by Lesa Cline-Ransom | Illustrated by James E. Ransome
Initial thoughts: The artwork in this book is stunning. What a beautiful way to share Marshall Taylor’s inspiring story with little ones!
“Marshall Taylor could ride his bike forward, backward, even perched on the handlebars. When his stunts landed him a job at the famous Indiana bike shop Hay and Willits, folks were amazed that a thirteen-year-old black boy in 1891 could be such a crackerjack cyclist. How little Marshall Taylor — through dedication, undeniable talent, and daring speed — transformed himself into the extraordinary Major Taylor is chronicled in this inspiring biography. Here is the story of a kid who turned pro at the age of eighteen, went on to win the world championship title just three years later, and battled racism and the odds to become a true American hero.” (Source: Simon and Schuster)
Bicycle Justice and Urban Transformation: Biking for all?
Edited by Aaron Golub, Melody L. Hoffman, Adonia E. Lugo and Gerard F. Sandoval
Initial thoughts: Educating myself on the ways in which this thing I love so much is not accessible to all is so crucial to enacting positive changes. I look forward to reading this book to see how I can help move the cycling community to be more equitable.
“Bicycle Justice and Urban Transformation demonstrates that for those with privilege, bicycling can be liberatory, a lifestyle choice, whereas for those surviving at the margins, cycling is not a choice, but an often oppressive necessity. Ignoring these “invisible” cyclists skews bicycle improvements towards those with choices. This book argues that it is vital to contextualize bicycling within a broader social justice framework if investments are to serve all street users equitably. “Bicycle justice” is an inclusionary social movement based on furthering material equity and the recognition that qualitative differences matter.” (Source: Routledge)
Urban Cycling: How to Get to Work, Save Money, and Use Your Bike for City Living
Written by Madi Carlson
First thoughts: Madi is seriously one of my own personal heroes. Her Instagram account inspires me on a daily basis – be it towing her kids and multiple bikes or hauling huge piece of furniture she found on the side of the road. I can wait to read page after page of advice from this real life, down to earth pro!
“Author, advocate, and urban-cycler extraordinaire Madi Carlson provides accessible and appealing guidance, giving even the most hesitant bicyclist all the tools she needs to join the cycling community. Carlson details everything from choosing a bike and gear accessories to safe riding techniques, city cycling infrastructure to route planning, and multi-modal commuting to basic maintenance. She also discusses legal issues around urban biking and commuting with children. Illustrations and diagrams of various bicycle facilities and traffic situations help show readers what is expected in each, while photographs demonstrate gear essentials and riding techniques. Tips, personal anecdotes, and profiles of bike commuters and cycling organizations from around the country provide additional advice and inspiration.” (Source: Mountaineer Books)
Bikes and Bloomers: Victorian Women Inventors and their Extraordinary Cycle Wear
Written by Kat Jungnickel
Initial thoughts: I had no idea cycle wear was a part of women’s liberation history! I also love that the website for this book has actual patterns available to make these fashions yourself. I love seeing how individuals from times past found ways around oppressive systems.
“The bicycle in Victorian Britain is often celebrated as a vehicle of women’s liberation. Less noted is another critical technology with which women forged new and mobile public lives―cycle wear. This illustrated account of women’s cycle wear from Goldsmiths Press brings together Victorian engineering and radical feminist invention to supply a missing chapter in the history of feminism.” (Source: Bikes and Bloomers)
Lookin’ for some more velo-centered reads? Check out our Pinterest board devoted to Bike Books! I’d love to hear about any must read on your winter bike book list. Happy reading, friends 🙂