Paper pub. date
March 2009
ISBN 9780870714191 (paperback)
6 x 9 inches, 288 pages. B&W Photographs. Index. Epilogue.
Updated Edition August 2022

Pedaling Revolution

How Cyclists Are Changing American Cities
Updated Edition
Jeff Mapes

Updated Edition includes a new epilogue by the author

In a world of increasing traffic congestion, a grassroots movement is carving out a niche for bicycles on city streets. Pedaling Revolution explores the growing bike culture that is changing the look and feel of cities, suburbs, and small towns across North America.

From traffic-dodging bike messengers to tattooed teenagers on battered bikes, from riders in spandex to well-dressed executives, ordinary citizens are becoming transportation revolutionaries. Jeff Mapes traces the growth of bicycle advocacy and explores the environmental, safety, and health aspects of bicycling. He rides with bicycle advocates who are taming the streets of New York City, joins the street circus that is Critical Mass in San Francisco, and gets inspired by the every-day folk pedaling in Amsterdam, the nirvana of American bike activists. Chapters focused on big cities, college towns, and America’s most successful bike city, Portland, show how cyclists, with the encouragement of local officials, are claiming a share of the valuable streetscape.

“A growing number of Americans, mounted on their bicycles like some new kind of urban cowboy, are mixing it up with swift, two-ton motor vehicles as they create a new society on the streets. They’re finding physical fitness, low-cost transportation, environmental purity—and, still all too often, Wild West risks of sudden death or injury.”

—from the introduction

About the author

Jeff Mapes is a reporter for Oregon Public Broadcasting. He covered state and national politics for the Oregonian for nearly thirty-two years. He lives in Portland, Oregon, where he is a longtime bike commuter.

Read more about this author

“Writing from Portland, the hub of the American cycling renaissance, Jeff Mapes, brimming with passion, humor and salutary insight, makes an admirably clearheaded, convincing and, ultimately, humane argument for making more room for the two-wheeler, in our lives and on our roads.”

–Tom Vanderbilt, author of Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us)

"Finally, the bicycling movement gets the serious examination that it deserves.”

– Jane Holtz Kay, author of Asphalt Nation: How the Automobile Took Over America and How We Can Take It Back

“… great ammunition for those of us who would like to see American cities become more bike-friendly…"

Pedaling Revolution is easily the best book-length examination of cycling culture and its connection to big-picture issues…”

“You can’t have a revolution (pedaling or not) without information, and this book just might become one of the sparks that fuels biking’s upcoming boom.”

“Mapes puts a passionate and pragmatic face to the ‘new urban bike movement’ while connecting the dots between cycling culture and a host of quality of life issues.”

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