In Pete Jordan’s new book In the City of Bikes: The Story of the Amsterdam Cyclist (HarperPerennial), he talks about his experiences as a cyclist living in the world’s biking capital. After having lived and biked in cities all over America (including Pittsburgh), in 2002, Jordan moved to Amsterdam upon becoming fascinated with the Dutch capital’s cycling culture. Because no one had ever previously explored the history of the city’s cyclists, Jordan spent years researching the subject, learning about how the massive Nazi theft of Amsterdammers’ bikes during WWII, about how the city’s cyclists popular reputation as hard-headed anarchists dates back more than a century and how radicals in the 1960s came up with a public share bike program whose idea has spread to cities worldwide.
The result is a book that has marveled the Dutch public. Amsterdam’s daily newspaper has called the book “brilliant;” a national radio show host declared it “an absolute must-read.”
This event is free and open to the public. This is also the same person who did Dishwasher Zine back in the 90s.
Bump for tonight – anyone else going? And seriously, you should read the book either way, it’s a great history of cycling in the Netherlands and plenty of it is applicable from an advocacy standpoint here.
I give it a big thumbs up, he’s an entertaining guy. He had a few stories that weren’t in the book and I talked to him for a few minutes afterwards…
I still dream of doing what he did – just picking up and moving there. It’s been a year since my vacation there already and that desire hasn’t really gone away. I guess that’s not surprising considering every day I’m out riding on the streets or reading about another cyclist getting run over just drives the point home. It’s not really the normal kind of “oh, living here would be cool” wanderlust, but something that would have a really material impact on my life expectancy.