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.
About 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.
Table of Contents
Authors Note ix
1 Even a Man from America Can See a Few Things: The Arrival 1
2 Lucky Few: The 1890s 17
3 Piggy Hunters: The Bike Thievery 35
4 King of the Street: The 1920s 53
5 It Made My Head Swim: The Elephants, Centaurs, Punks and Nuns 71
6 A Matter of Individual Expression: The Land of the Automobile vs. the Land of the Bicycle 95
7 Problem Children: The 1930s 115
8 Which One's the Wrench?: The Settling Down 145
9 We Were True Libertines: The First Two Years of the Occupation 157
10 Smash Your Bikes to Bits, Slice Your Tires to Pieces: The Mass Bike Confiscation 189
11 You No Longer Think, You Just Pedal: The Final Years of the Occupation 209
12 Give My Father's Bike Back: The Occupation's Legacy 235
13 After You Passed: The Mystery Rider 251
14 It's Chaos with the Bicycles: The 1950s 265
15 A Bike Is Coming: The New Additions 287
16 A Bike Is Something, Yet Almost Nothing! The 1960s 293
17 A Big Success: The Urban Myths of the White Bicycles 315
18 A Typical Amsterdam Characteristic: The Bike Fishermen 327
19 Death to the Car!: The 1970s 343
20 It's a Joy to Be on a Bike Again!: The 1980s Onward 365
21 Let's Ride: Looking Back and Looking Forward 385
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Fun history of bikes in Holland. Includes German occupation, compares attitubes between cars and bikes in US vs Holland and other fun facts.
Interesting history of bicycling in Amsterdam. Entertaining as well.