Bicycling is one of life's simple joys--it's fun, freeing, and good for the planet and our health. Yet, the world of cycling can be intimidating to new riders or those looking to get back into it. What kind of bike is best? How can casual riders make the switch to bike commuting? What simple maintenance can be done at home and what does a bike mechanic need to handle? Hello, Bicycle demystifies biking life, making it approachable to all. Covering everything you need to know, from changing flats and lubing chains to picnicking and traveling with bikes, this attractively packaged guide offers something for cyclists of all levels.
ANNA BRONES is a freelance writer and the author of The Culinary Cyclist (Elly Blue Publishing, 2014) and Fika- The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break (Ten Speed Press, 2015). She runs the online food magazine Foodie Underground and is a contributor to a variety of print and online publications including BBC, Guardian, Sprudge, The Kitchn, PUNCH, and GOOD. She is also a freelance film producer- her current project is Afghan Cycles, a feature documentary about the National Afghan Women's Cycling team.
"Books Every Geek Should Read This Fall [...] Even cycling aficionados can learn a thing or two from this comprehensive guide to all things bicycles. From must-have maintenance tools (old toothbrushes are ideal for cleaning sprockets and chains) to DIY projects (how to make a wallet out of a bike tube) to tips for riding comfortably in a skirt (secure the fabric to the saddle using a clothespin), Anna Brones covers it all in a slender volume that'll fit in your bike basket." --Lucy Feldman, The Wall Street Journal
"Wanna be a bikin' babe? This book can help! Whether you're a total noob currently enrolled in adult bike lessons or have an entire wardrobe of spandex shorts, this handy guide by Anna Brones has everything you need to get, and stay, pedaling. Ditching your car for a two-wheeled commute can seem daunting, but Hello, Bicycle will hold your hand through the scary parts--and the super cute illustrations will help ease your nerves." --Kaleigh Wright, BUST magazine "Fun, fresh, and filled with actionable advice, Hello, Bicycle is a go-to resource for anyone who wants to experience the freedom and empowerment that comes with one of the greatest pleasures in life: riding a bicycle." --Leah Flickinger, executive editor of Bicycling magazine
"With Hello, Bicycle, Anna Brones delivers a quick-start guide for beginners that is both charming and thorough, demystifying everything from fixing flats and concocting delicious ride snacks to navigating the often-harrowing purchasing process. Clear and concise, her writing has the optimistic, enthusiastic feeling of a homespun, grass-roots racing series; everyone is cheering for you, and you definitely want to get involved." --Heidi Swift, editor at large of Peloton Magazine
"Showing how the bicycle can be a simple and effective game-changer in your life through inspiring essays, comprehensive tips, and even some delicious recipes, Anna Brones's guide to the two-wheeled life will help you fall in love--for the first time or all over again--with the singular joy of riding a bike." --David Niddrie, creative director of Momentum Mag
"Anna Brones has managed to pack into one book the vast potential that cycling holds, which is an astounding accomplishment. From how to change a flat to how to change the world (and look good doing it), this book has it all." --Jonathan Maus, editor and publisher of BikePortland.org
"Fun, fresh, and filled with actionable advice, Hello, Bicycle is a go-to resource for anyone who wants to experience the freedom and empowerment that comes with one of the greatest pleasures in life: riding a bicycle."
An inspirational and encouraging illustrated guide to the world of bicycles and cycling, with practical information on bike buying, riding, repairs, and maintenance.
Introduction Two wheels. A bicycle isn''t much more complicated than that. In its simplest form, the bicycle is made up of two wheels, a frame, a chain, pedals, handlebars, and a seat. It is the most beautiful of machines, as aesthetically pleasing as it is functional. Today''s bicycle isn''t too far from its first incarnation in the early 1800s. Certainly, the bicycle has evolved, but ultimately its basic form has held up, and it is this lack of changes that speak to the bicycle''s one true power: its simplicity. One of humankind''s greatest inventions was the wheel. The wheel was revolutionary; it changed everything--how we work, how we travel, how we live. Over the centuries, the wheel has been used in many machines and contraptions, but its basic form and function haven''t changed at all. And wheels--two of them, to be precise--are exactly what make a bicycle so incredible. It''s thanks to those two wheels, in line, that the bicycle is such a simple wonder. Just like the wheel, the bicycle, too, is revolutionary. The bicycle is a simple mode of transportation, a simple way to transport cargo, a simple way to get out and exercise. You don''t need any type of fuel except your own two legs to power a bicycle forward. Bike maintenance doesn''t require a computer; a few tools and a little elbow grease will get you far. The bicycle is simply fun. In a day and age where we are looking for ways to live more sustainable lives, build better communities, and be healthier, the bicycle has emerged as one of the best ways to achieve all three. If we have begun to embrace the bicycle with renewed interest, it''s because the bicycle is in many ways the easiest solution to a multitude of problems. It won''t fix every problem out there, but it''s a good start--one that individuals, urban planners, and politicians are seeing as a meaningful tool to create positive change. Why embrace a life on two wheels? Because above all, a life on two wheels is a simple life. It''s about slowing down. It''s about enjoying our surroundings. It''s about finding beauty in the everyday. It''s about going on rides with friends. It''s about finding and building community. It''s about feeling the wind on your face as you charge down a hill. It''s about the feeling of pushing one foot down and then the other, that rhythmic meditation that is so enthralling and addicting. It''s difficult to ride a bicycle without smiling. Bicycling feels good, and in our hectic, fast-paced modern lives, we need this. But despite the bicycle''s simplicity, the world of cycling can easily feel intimidating. If we haven''t ridden one for some time (for quite some time), we don''t know where to begin; we feel overwhelmed by all the things we think we are supposed to know. But here''s the thing: it''s the overcomplication of something simple that makes it intimidating. Want to get back to that exhilarating feeling of being a kid on a bicycle? All you need to do is strip away all of those overcomplications. That''s what this book is for. This book is for those of you who remember the excitement of getting your first bicycle. It''s for those of you looking at those bike commuters on your way to work and wondering if you could do it, too. It''s for anyone who ogles the bike parked at the store with a basket for groceries positioned on the front. This book is also for those of you who already ride but want to do a little more--change your own tires, plan a cycling tour, or even find the inspiration to launch a pedal-powered business. It''s for anyone who has ever said to themselves, "I want to ride more, but . . ." It doesn''t matter what comes after the "but." What matters is that you want to ride. That you are excited about the mere prospect of getting on a bicycle. I think about the "why" of cycling a lot. As someone who often rides in an urban environment--dodging buses, ringing the bell at unaware pedestrians, internally cursing the lack of bike lanes--I can''t help but look at myself and my fellow everyday cycling friends and wonder why we do it. Why throw ourselves into the middle of traffic, when we are so much less protected than if we were in a car? Why put up with buses and taxis and motorcycles, whose drivers seem as if they couldn''t care less that a bicycle is on the road with them? The rational person would look at the intensity of cycling in some urban areas and think, "What on earth is wrong with these people?" Why do we ride? Because we love it. I could say that it''s because I want to make a positive impact on my community, or it saves me money, or it gives me exercise. These are all excellent effects of cycling. But ultimately, if I peel back all the layers, it''s an activity that I do simply because it makes me happy. I love to be on a bicycle. Of course, love can often be undermined by fear. Not all of us live in bike-friendly communities, and for some people, deciding to ride a bicycle isn''t an easy choice. It''s an act that takes a lot of work. That being said, many of us live in places where we could ride more. I think part of the reason that we don''t ride is fear--fear of traffic, of the lack of bike paths, of the limited amount of shoulder space to ride on, and so on. But I also think that it''s partly because we haven''t had the opportunity to reignite our love for cycling. Because there are a lot of cyclists out there who do put up with all of this scary stuff. All that hard stuff that should put them off cycling. But they ride anyway. Why? Because at the end of the day, they just want to be on their bicycles. Someone recently told me about her trip to Amsterdam, where she spent the week on rented bicycles with her kids. "I always liked bikes, I own a bike, but it wasn''t until I spent a week riding one in an urban setting where the bike rider rules the road that I fell in love." As an urban cyclist, I would love to live in Amsterdam, where bikes aren''t just a mode of transportation, but a way of life. But I don''t live in Amsterdam. Most of us don''t. We have to learn from bike-friendly capitals like Amsterdam and Copenhagen so that we can start pushing for those same policies that encourage people to get on bikes in our own communities. How do we start doing that? First and foremost, we begin with rediscovering the love of two wheels. The point here is to get back to that initial love. That simplicity. Find it and you''ll never look back. The world of cycling is open to anyone who wants in. This book is here to help facilitate that process. It isn''t a technical guide or a book about how to train for a race. It is a book inspired by a love for cycling, and by a desire to see more people in the world doing it. It is a book for inspiring you to do more by bicycle. Where to begin? Maybe you''re wondering about what kind of bike to buy, or what gear you need in order to bike commute, or how to take things to the next level and plan a bike trip. Whatever you are searching for, this book is here to ensure a smooth transition to a two-wheeled life. It''s about embracing cycling, not just as a sport but also as a lifestyle. It''s about slowing down and living intentionally. It''s about celebrating, packing up a picnic and biking to your favorite park, throwing on your rain wear and pedaling off into the nastiest of winter storms. This book is about cycling, 365 days a year. And even if you miss a few, I want to make sure that you''re looking forward to the next time you take your bicycle out for a spin. People often say that bikes have the power to change the world. I definitely believe that they do. Why? Because they''re simple. Because cycling is easy to learn. Because bikes are found around the world. But most important, again, because cycling makes us smile. It makes us feel great--and when something makes us feel great, we want to keep doing it again and again and again. Let''s fall back in love. Let''s start pedaling.
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