Know someone who, with a nudge and good information, might start cycling more to get around? And for whom you still need a holiday gift?
You might consider one of a couple of recently published guides to cycling aimed at just this kind of person. I confess that I have not had the chance to read either one of them yet, but both authors are known quantities in this area, and the reviews are generally quite positive.
The newest one is Everyday Bicycling by Elly Blue, a Portland cyclist who has written for BikePortland and Grist. Urban Velo says the following about the book:
Blue takes cycling and makes it digestible to cyclists and would-be’s in a friendly, laid-back tone. Absent of any authoritarian voice, this is the book I wish I had years ago, when getting acquainted with the elements of cycling meant drifting through online forums, bike shops and co-ops, gleaming bits and pieces of the big picture over time. “Everyday Bicycling” is comprehensive without being daunting, an ideal read for anyone who wants to learn how to integrate cycling into their lives, or just brush up on the basics.
The other book is Just Ride by Grant Petersen, maker of Rivendell bicycles. Click here for a New York Times review. Like Blue, Petersen offers practical advice for practical riding, but it’s also about what you don’t need to cycle for fun or transportation, namely lycra shorts, a $2,000 bike with skinny tires, or a jersey with logos on it. Some think Petersen goes too far in his opposition to this kind of thing. As someone who is seen now and again in lycra on a road bike, I might be inclined to agree. But I really appreciate what he’s trying to do: move cycling away from being a special “sport” for athletes with special equipment back to something everyday people with regular bodies and budgets find appealing.