This morning I received an advanced copy of a long-awaited new book by Jeff Mapes; Pedaling Revolution: How Cyclists are Changing American Cities.
Mapes is the senior political reporter for The Oregonian (he also writes a politics blog) and, while I’ve known about this project for a long time, he’s kept the details secret. I’m excited to dive into this book and see what he’s come up with.
For the past few years, I’ve watched Mapes tote around his notebook interviewing folks in the local and national bike scene. But this book goes far beyond Portland’s borders. Mapes’ book shares the impact of bike culture and activism in places like New York City, Davis, Chicago, and others. He also has a chapter titled, “Learning from Amsterdam”, based on his findings from a trip he took to that bike mecca back in 2005.
As expected, Pedaling Revolution includes a lot of information about Portland. Chapter 5 is titled, “Portland Built it and They Came”.
For more on the book, here’s the blurb from the publisher:
From traffic-dodging bike messengers to tattooed teenagers on battered bicycles, from riders in spandex to well-dressed executives, ordinary citizens are becoming transportation revolutionaries. In Pedaling Revolution, Jeff Mapes traces the growth of bicycle advocacy; examines the environmental, safety, and health aspects of cycling; and explores the growing bike culture that is changing the look and feel of cities, suburbs, and small towns across North America.
Tom Vanderbilt, the so-hot-right-now blogger and author of the mega-hit book, Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says about Us), had this to say about Mapes’ book:
“Writing from Portland, the hub of the American cycling renaissance, Jeff Mapes…makes an admirably clearheaded, convincing and, ultimately, humane argument for making more room for the twowheeler, in our lives and on our roads.”
Jane Holtz Kay, author of Asphalt Nation: How the Automobile Took Over America and How We Can Take It Back, says:
“Finally, the bicycling movement gets the serious examination that it deserves.”
Mapes’ book comes a year after Pedal Power by J. Harry Wray, another book about bicycling’s rise as a cultural and political force in America.
I’ll share more thoughts about Pedaling Revolution once I’ve read it. The book is published by Oregon State University Press and it is set for release on March 20, 2009. It’s not available yet, but bookmark this page on Powells.com to buy the book and support BikePortland.org at the same time!