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New books on the BikePortland bookshelf

Posted by on November 25th, 2008 at 1:13 pm

Read more, ride better!

We announced the BikePortland Bookstore last week, and response has been great.

Thanks to all of you who have been buying titles both from our shelves and from all of the shelves at Powell’s. Your purchases really help us keep on doing what we do. And hopefully we’ve been able to help you with your holiday shopping and general edification.

We’ve just made some new additions to the shelves, including several suggestions from readers. Head over to the Book Talk section on our forums to discuss your favorite bike books. Keep the ideas coming!

Keep in mind, when you buy anything from Powell’s (not just the stuff we’ve selected) using our super-secret partnership link a percentage of the purchase price goes directly to BikePortland.org so we can sustain and improve the stories and features we offer.

If you’d rather not have books shipped to you — you can pick them up by bike! Just choose the “In-Store Pickup” option at checkout to have the books held for you at any Powell’s location.

Take a look at the new lineup after the jump…

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New books

The Rider

by Tim Krabbé

A cult classic — an exuberant literary historical look at road racing. Originally published in Holland, by the same novelist who wrote “The Vanishing.”

The Immortal Class: Bike Messengers and the Cult of Human Power

by Peter Sutherland

Beautiful, well-designed photo essay book featuring New York City messengers and their gear, races, tattoos, and scabs. Comes with a DVD documentary on the same topic, based on footage taken 1998-2000.

Fighting Traffic: The Dawn of the Motor Age in the American City

by Peter Norton

A fascinating history of the beginning of the automotive age in US cities. Peter Norton focuses on how social forces worked to change our conception of what kind of space a street is and how we use it. This change happened rapidly, but hardly smoothly — and the outcome was hardly inevitable. As much a history of anti-car sentiments (which were rampant eighty years ago) as of cars themselves.

City of Quartz

by Mike Davis

A compelling history of Los Angeles and a spot-on critique of the trend towards “fortresses” in American architecture and city planning, and of the violent class divisions these inevitably create. Nothing in here about bicycling, or even much about transportation, but you can draw your own connections. Highly recommended.

City Limits: Walking Portland’s Boundary

by David Oates

Portland would not be what it is today without our Urban Growth Boundary, which keeps sprawl under control by placing a physical limit on new development and new roads. The boundary is 260 miles in circumpherence and David Oates walked the whole thing to find out what life is like at the margins, resulting in this interesting and useful collection of essays.

Miles From Nowhere: A Round the World Bicycle Adventure

by Barbara Savage

Barbara Savage and her husband had never done much cycling before when they set off to bike around the world. They had an amazing, and sometimes harrowing trip through 25 countries. This account has been praised as exemplary travel writing, and comes highly recommended on our forums.

The Triplets of Belleville

A weary road biker is kidnapped by an evil scientist…and only his grandmother/trainer can save him, aided by an eccentric trio of sisters. A creepy, dark musical cartoon, entirely in gibberish-French. Lots of fun to watch for adults, maybe a little too gloomy and weird for the kids.

For more reading and holiday shopping possibilities, check out more books in our bookstore or using our super-secret partnership link“>on the shelves at Powell’s.

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Travis Wittwer

Pedal Power is a great read. It gets you jazzed up for the future of bikes in America.


Nobody ever finished validating my forum account, so I can’t seem to post there – but there’s a new book coming out in December titled Bike To Work by Tim Grahl and Carlton Reid, that focuses on how and why cycling is for anyone – benefits of cycling, and debunking some myths that often surround cycling as a standard means of transportation in the US and often keep people from opting to try it. I’ve only seen excerpts of the book, but it seems like it would be a really good one for someone interested in making a bicycle a part of their daily commute, or someone looking to just change their ideas of urban cycling.

Here is a 50 page excerpt.