Book event tonight: A chronicle of life in Amsterdam, the ‘City of Bikes’

Pete Jordan, a former Portland resident who lived in Amsterdam for the past eleven years, has written a book about the experience. In the City of Bikes: The Story of the Amsterdam Cyclist (Harper Perennial 2013) came out a few days ago and Jordan is back in Portland tonight for a reading.

Here’s more about the book from

“When Pete Jordan arrives in Amsterdam to study how to make America’s cities more bicycle-friendly, he immediately falls in love with the city that already lives life on two wheels. His new bride, Amy Joy, joins Pete, and despite their financial hardships and instability, she eventually finds her own new calling as a bicycle mechanic as Pete discovers the untold history of cycling in Amsterdam.

From its beginnings as an elitist pastime in the 1890s to the street-consuming craze of the 1920s, from the bicycle’s role in a citywide resistance to the Nazi occupation to the White Bikes of the 1960s and the bike fishermen of today, Jordan chronicles the evolution of Amsterdam’s cycling.

Part personal memoir, part history of cycling, part fascinating street-level tour of Amsterdam, In the City of Bikes is the story of a man who loves bikes, in a city that loves bikes.”

As someone who will be in Amsterdam next month (I’ll share more details Monday), I can’t wait to read this book. It’s already getting good reviews from the L.A. Times and the Wall St. Journal (that excellent review was written by none other than Lovely Bicycle blogger Constance Winters).

You can meet Jordan and learn more about his experiences in Amsterdam tonight at 7:30 pm at an event sponsored by Reading Frenzy and hosted by the Independent Publishing Resource Center (1001 SE Division St.). Admission is free with purchase of a book or a $3 donation to the IPRC but no one will be turned away for lack of funds.

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