Good Seed: Everyday Bicycling

I am so excited to review this book. It is hard to share every single thing I know about bicycle commuting. I always think I’m covering all the details and yet, I know I miss the things I take for granted or assume that everyone knows.

Enter Everyday Bicycling by Elly Blue. For such a small book, it packs a LOT of information into it and it covers details I never would have thought of! Clothing, saddle styles, locks, weather conditions, family cycling, maintenance, choosing a bike, hauling cargo… You name it – it’s covered! Blue even talks about bicycling while using a silicone cup – I mean it when I say she hasn’t left a stone unturned!

Please excuse this Amazon stock photo! My camera is broken! :(

Please excuse this Amazon stock photo! My camera is broken! :(

I would say that the best thing about this book (other than its depth and breadth of information) is the tone. It is extremely encouraging and easygoing. There’s no right or wrong perspective presented here. As with any good cycling guide, it encourages the reader to just get out there and try. It also has the true Portland attitude that anyone, anywhere, any time can successfully commute on their bicycle! (Yes, author Elly Blue is based in Portland – no surprise there!)

My favorite lines from the book:

-Bicycling changes the pace of your life.

-Bicycling can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be.

-How fast or slow you want your bicycling life to be is a choice that will help determine what kind of bicycle you ride, what you wear and even where you work, what you buy and how you socialize.

-Some parts of this will be thrilling, others blissful, others deeply frustrating. (I love it when bicycle commuters are honest. It’s mostly fun, I can tell you that, but sometimes it just sucks!)

My favorite section of the book is where Blue discusses how to move on a bicycle. Like move to a new house. With your furniture. I know some people here in Deschutes County who have done it. I know it’s possible. But it seemed like a crazy dream to me. After reading this book, it seems like a genuine possibility. (And Blue makes allowances for using a truck for the items like mattresses and refridgerators. Though again, most things can be moved by bicycle!)

I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in learning the ins and outs of bicycle commuting. As far as I’m concerned, it is the ultimate guide for new bicycle commuters or even bicycle commuters who want to step up their game. If you’re looking for a last minute Christmas present, this is perfect! And it’s a great way to support our fellow Oregonian bicycle commuters and small publishers (for those of you in Oregon, like me).

Now for the fun part. I noticed that Beth Terry at My Plastic-Free Life often reviews items and then passes them along to a lucky reader. Yep, giveaway time!

I’ll make this easy. Just leave a comment here about your bicycling plans for 2013. Do you plan on commuting to work via bicycle once a week? Do you plan on dusting off your old bicycle and just taking it for a spin around the block? Riding to school with your kids? Starting a bicycle train for the local schoolkids or a bicycle gang for yourself and your peeps?

One comment per person and only residents of the US and Canada are eligible. Giveaway ends on December 16, 2012. Spread the word!

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6 thoughts on “Good Seed: Everyday Bicycling

  1. Great review! I’m going to add this book to my wishlist. Mark and I talked about getting bikes when we moved to our new apartment (especially with the bike trail right behind our home), but we haven’t done it yet. One of the biggest concerns for us has been how to store them. I think when the weather warms up again, we’ll talk about it again and figure out how we could make it work. Maybe hang them from the ceiling on our balcony? Thank you for letting us know about this book!

  2. Pingback: Tonight’s post, which is not about bicycling at first, though I try to make up for it later « BikingInLA

  3. Hey Yancy!
    This post has inspired me… Since moving to Missouri from San Diego in March of this year, I haven’t been biking AT ALL! I used to only use bikes and public transit, but when I moved I left my awesome bicycle behind and there is little to no public transit here. Recently my boyfriend and I picked up a bike at a garage sale for $5. It needs a bit of work, but it does function so I think I’ll go for a bike ride tomorrow! I hope to get another bike soon so both of us can go places together.

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