Review. Everyday Bicycling: How to Ride a Bike for Transportation, by Elly Blue

Review.  Everyday Bicycling: How to Ride a Bike for Transportation, by Elly Blue

In June 1992, with my bicycle I boarded a jet to Germany, leaving my home, Portland, OR behind.  In Portland, my bike was both transportation and recreation.   It continued that way for a couple of years in Germany until pressures from work and home required me to get a car.  Bicycling became an on and off recreation and fitness valve for me until this year when I left Germany and moved to the Netherlands.

everydaybicycling_copy0_lgThe Netherlands is an ideal location for bicycles with path and routes connecting all of the towns and villages.  I decided that this is the opportunity to return to my roots and integrate my bicycle into a more solid transportation role in my daily life.  It quickly became difficult, not because I wasn’t fit, not because I had the wrong bike, but because I forgot what it was like using a bicycle as primary transportation.  My gear, bike, bags, clothes were well suited for multi day tours across the European country side just weren’t up to the task of buying vegetables at the nearby market.   I also quickly realized my knowledge base and experience had become static twenty years in the past.

I started to do research on better integrating my bicycle into my daily life.  I ran across “Every Day Bicycling:  How to ride a bike for transportation” by Elly Blue, through Microcosm Publishing. This book has quickly become my baseline reference.  The book provides basic practical advice and wisdom for living a bicycle centric life.   Ms. Blue’s insightful knowledge goes from types of bicycles, gear, road safety to even bicycle based advocacy.  The sections of the book stand alone so it is easy to go back and reference the topics.

I found the section “Carrying Things by Bike” extremely relevant to me.  She went into details from her own experiences on the different manners of transporting cargo on bike.  Included was simple diagram in making your own “Bike Buckets” to attach your rear rack.  Extremely clever.  I might even try making a pair.

Woven through the book is a upbeat positive message saying anyone can ride a bicycle for transportation and that it can be integrated as a normal part of your life.

It is a good read and at $10.00 a valuable addition to my bicycle reference collection.

 

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About baileyaj

American living overseas in the Netherlands.

6 responses to “Review. Everyday Bicycling: How to Ride a Bike for Transportation, by Elly Blue”

  1. lasesana says :

    Hi! Your blog was one of my favorites to read and follow in 2012, so i nominated you for the Blog of the Year award.
    Check it out:
    http://lasesana.wordpress.com/2013/01/04/blog-of-the-year-award-2012-2nd-star/

  2. Ezra says :

    Sounds like an awesome book. I’m actually also really interested in learning about the different ways people carry things on their bikes. Everyone does it a bit differently, it’s good see all the ways it can be done. Might pick this book up!

    • baileyaj says :

      Cargo bikes, I think are fascinating. Living in the Netherlands the variety of cargo bikes and applications are incredibly diverse. As I see them I try to take photos, but I am usually to busy salivating over them.

      • Ezra says :

        Haha, I don’t see quite as many around in here NJ and NYC but every once in a while I do and they are so cool. I can’t even imagine the ones that you’re probably checking out. I know you said your originally from Portland right? I read http://transportland.org/ sometimes and they always have some awesome cargo bikes on there!

      • baileyaj says :

        Thanks for the tip on the website. It is always exciting to see what Portlanders are up to.

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