<em>The Art of Urban Cycling</em> by Robert Hurst

This is a book about how to bike in the city. There are a couple of dogmatic schools of thought about how you're supposed to bike in the city (the Vehicular school and the Invisible school) and Hurst pretty much dismantles them both. He is very pragmatic, about where to bike, when to bike, how to stay safe, and how to relate to other vehicles. He has a very calm, accepting philosophy about how things are and argues that you are better off working within reality rather than spending a great deal of time being angry at it. In that sense this is an excellent guide to how to live, as well as how to bike.

He did piss me off at the end by dissing my bike (I will paraphrase because I don't have the book with me: "Comfort bikes seem to be designed for people who want to bike while maintaining as much of a feeling of sitting on the couch as possible.") Okay, that's kind of why I bought my bike, but it still smarts.

Having said that, though, later he talks about how your bike should fit, and says that your weight should be equally distributed on your hands, your feet and your butt, and it's when beginners don't realize that that they are uncomfortable and decide to stop biking. Well, duh, I bought my bike with the big seat so that I could sit all my weight on my butt, and lo and behold, it's never really comfortable.

So next time I go out I will try and balance my weight better (I think I will have to adjust a bunch of stuff, because right now the handlebars are pretty high and the seat is pretty low.) I think, though, that that means biking is a lot more work than I thought it was. On the other hand, that means that if I bike more it will make me much stronger and fitter than I thought it would.


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