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In the City of Bikes: The Story of the Amsterdam Cyclist
     

In the City of Bikes: The Story of the Amsterdam Cyclist

4.2 4
by Pete Jordan
 

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Pete Jordan, author of the wildly popular Dishwasher: One Man’s Quest to Wash Dishes in All Fifty States, is back with a memoir that tells the story of his love affair with Amsterdam, the city of bikes, all the while unfolding an unknown history of the city's cycling, from the craze of the 1890s, through the Nazi occupation, to the bike-centric

Overview

Pete Jordan, author of the wildly popular Dishwasher: One Man’s Quest to Wash Dishes in All Fifty States, is back with a memoir that tells the story of his love affair with Amsterdam, the city of bikes, all the while unfolding an unknown history of the city's cycling, from the craze of the 1890s, through the Nazi occupation, to the bike-centric culture adored by the world today

Pete never planned to stay long in Amsterdam, just a semester. But he quickly falls in love with the city and soon his wife, Amy Joy, joins him. Together they explore every inch of their new home on two wheels, their rides a respite from the struggles that come with starting a new life in a new country. 

Weaving together personal anecdotes and details of the role that cycling has played throughout Dutch history, Pete Jordan’s In the City of Bikes: The Story of the Amsterdam Cyclist is a poignant and entertaining read.

Editorial Reviews

Los Angeles Times
“A funny, engaging, and exhaustively researched tribute to Amsterdam’s unique biking history….Jordan is an honest, self-effacing narrator, and there’s much that’s lovably comic about his inauguration into Amsterdam cyclo-culture.”
Christian Science Monitor
“A charming and quirky book....Jordan’s portrait of bicycle culture in Amsterdam gives a fascinating account of a viable alternative to dependence on cars.”
Houston Chronicle
“This highly readable book illuminates the bicycle’s integral role in shaping both the psyche and the actual city of Amsterdam.”
New York Journal of Books
“For anyone contemplating visiting or living in The Netherlands, In the City of Bikes is a must read.”
Shelf Awareness
“Full of personal anecdote, self-deprecating humor, local lore and a history of cycling that positively bursts with enthusiasm, In the City of Bikes is both a memoir and an ode to bicycles
Library Journal
Aspiring city planner and memoirist Jordan (Dishwasher) arrived for a semester in Amsterdam in order to find ways to make the United States more bicycle friendly, but a few weeks in the bike-crazy city convinced him to stay forever. The resulting memoir is as much a love letter to Amsterdam as a chronicle of family life on two wheels. Replete with historical detail and quirky anecdotes (bike fishing is not what you think), this tale of bicycle mania provides compelling evidence that, with some effort, we can lead the lives we’d like to. VERDICT This thoroughly researched and entertaining narrative of one family’s passion for pedaling places may encourage readers in search of a greener way to live.

(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Reviews
A history of bicycles and cycling in Amsterdam. Jordan (Dishwasher: One Man's Quest to Wash Dishes in All Fifty States, 2007) begins with his move to Amsterdam, which he undertook in order to study urban planning as it pertains to cycling. Continually fascinated by the overwhelming number of people riding bicycles through the streets, Jordan eventually began to chronicle the city's history of cycling. Pulling together information from guidebooks, newspaper accounts and other sources, the author pieces together a thorough history, from the introduction of bicycles in the 1890s to the present. Jordan clearly loves bikes and everything associated with cycling culture, which produces some truly laugh-out-loud moments, particularly as he embraces both the ridiculous and the commonplace. The author doesn't ignore less-glamorous storylines--e.g., the general nonchalance of cyclists toward traffic laws or the fact that bike regulations sparked more public outcry than anti-Jewish policies during the Nazi occupation. The chapter dealing with the Nazi occupation is particularly interesting. Jordan mentions Anne Frank but spends the bulk of the section detailing how citizens were affected by German policies targeting bikes and cyclists. While this is no memoir, Jordan includes his own personal interactions with cycling in the city, which makes what could have been a straightforward history into something more special: history that doesn't feel like history--just an enjoyable story from start to finish. An excellent choice for bikers and those who appreciate how a city's history can be changed by the simplest of passions.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061995200
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
04/16/2013
Series:
P.S.
Pages:
448
Sales rank:
359,037
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.20(d)

Meet the Author

Pete Jordan is the author of the memoir Dishwasher: One Man's Quest to Wash Dishes in All Fifty States. Pete's work has been featured on public radio's This American Life and in the New York Times. He lives in Amsterdam.

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In the City of Bikes: The Story of the Amsterdam Cyclist 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fun history of bikes in Holland. Includes German occupation, compares attitubes between cars and bikes in US vs Holland and other fun facts.
mathduster More than 1 year ago
Interesting history of bicycling in Amsterdam. Entertaining as well.