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

3.73 (576 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

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 todayPete 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.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 448 pages
  • 132.08 x 198.12 x 33.02mm | 362.87g
  • HarperCollins Publishers Inc
  • HarperPerennial
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0061995207
  • 9780061995200
  • 235,591

Review quote

"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." -- Los Angeles Times "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." -- Christian Science Monitor "This highly readable book illuminates the bicycle's integral role in shaping both the psyche and the actual city of Amsterdam." -- Houston Chronicle "For anyone contemplating visiting or living in The Netherlands, In the City of Bikes is a must read." -- New York Journal of Books "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 -- Shelf Awareness "[W]hat could have been a straightforward history [is] 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." -- Kirkus Reviews "Jordan brings depth and color to a niche subject, delivering an engaging cultural history. By the end, readers will understand that the bike is to Amsterdam what the car is to America. Both are more than modes of transportation: they're a substantial part of their riders' identities." -- Publishers Weekly
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Back cover copy

When Pete Jordan arrives in Amsterdam to study how to make America's cities more bicycle-friendly, he immediately falls in love with the city that already lives life on two wheels. His new bride, Amy Joy, joins Pete, and despite their financial hardships and instability, she eventually finds her own new calling as a bicycle mechanic as Pete discovers the untold history of cycling in Amsterdam.

From its beginnings as an elitis t pastime in the 1890s to the street-consuming craze of the 1920s, from the bicycle's role in a citywide resistance to the Nazi occupation to the White Bikes of the 1960s and the bike fishermen of today, Jordan chronicles the evolution of Amsterdam's cycling.

Part personal memoir, part history of cycling, part fascinating street-level tour of Amsterdam, In the City of Bikes is the story of a man who loves bikes--in a city that loves bikes.
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About Pete Jordan

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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Rating details

576 ratings
3.73 out of 5 stars
5 22% (128)
4 41% (234)
3 27% (154)
2 9% (51)
1 2% (9)
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