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The Cyclist's Manifesto: The Case for Riding on Two Wheels Instead of Four (Falcon Guide)

3.3  ·  Rating Details ·  106 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
Why we’re entering a different phase in the history of energy, why we can’t afford to ignore it—and why the bicycle provides a uniquely empowering way of dealing with it

The Cyclist’s Manifesto makes the most powerful case to date for a simple fact: America can no longer afford to ignore the bicycle as a tool for serious transportation. Robert Hurst takes off his gloves to

Paperback, 224 pages
Published May 5th 2009 by FalconGuides (first published January 1st 2009)
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Shannon Appelcline
Jan 04, 2015 Shannon Appelcline rated it did not like it
Shelves: non-fiction
For a manifesto, this book spends remarkably little time laying out a "case". Instead, it meanders through history and politics with little effort to link them into a larger narrative. Worse, the author doesn't seem to know how to argue a case. When he claims that bike lanes are obsolete, he doesn't support his point at all (and for good reason: it's a laughable assertion). Just a short time later, when he tries to argue for breaking laws while biking, the foundation of his claim is a ...more
Jeff Youngstrom
Aug 05, 2015 Jeff Youngstrom rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone interested in bikes and transportation
Shelves: non-fiction
Hurst writes about bikes as they fit into mostly US history, and mostly as they pertain to transportation. I don't really have a head for history, but Hurst brings out those little ironic or amazing details that make history fun and memorable.

The "Manifesto" part of the title comes in when he debunks practically every article of faith on both sides of the car vs. bike debates. And I love him for it. He disses bike lanes and vehicular cyclists. Points out that cycling is a little more life-threat
Dec 12, 2013 Bart rated it really liked it
It feels a bit odd to give only four stars to a book I so thoroughly enjoyed.

Hurst's discussion of bicycle accident statistics – what they mean, and what they don't mean – is the best I've seen anywhere, and I look forward to digging into his extensive footnotes on this subject. His discussion of the pros and cons of a cyclist's obedience to standard (i.e., automobile) traffic codes, and the tenuous connection between lawful riding and safety, is also the best I've seen. Likewise, his nuanced di
Jun 02, 2013 Michelle rated it really liked it
This book was given to me in 2010 as a going away present from the executive director of my old job. I didn't pick it up for two years and I was disappointed that I let it sit on my shelf for so long. I found myself highlighting whole pages and dumbfounded by the amazing historical facts that Hurst found, especially about Major Taylor. " In one early race on the roads around Indianapolis, he reached the finish far in the lead, driven mainly by fear of physical attack his competitors had promised ...more
Jan 13, 2016 Jtomassetti rated it really liked it
Shelves: bicycling
THE CYCLIST’S MANIFESTO by Robert Hurst is not a how-to book, or a novel or a history. Robert Hurst is a experienced bicycle messenger who has completed over 80,000 deliveries in heavy city traffic. The book puts forth modern perspectives on American cycling. For example how American cyclist think, what the non-cycling public think about cyclists and how American cycling history got to where it is now.

Hurst supports sharrows instead of bike lanes. He points out that cyclists following the rules
Oct 21, 2010 Diane rated it it was ok
Shelves: history, non-fiction
A friend who is an avid bicyclist asked me to read this book. There is quite a bit of useful and interesting information hidden in it. For example, why are cars and cycles held to the same rules: Car and cycles became popular at about the same time and went about the same speed so seemed to just be manifestations of one form of transportation. Also an interesting bit of information on bicycle accidents - not as many as you would think if you take out childhood bike accidents. However, the style ...more
Mar 28, 2015 Scott rated it it was ok
This is clearly a manifesto in its worst form: the argument is completely unorganized, with little regard for the form and structure of a convincing piece of writing. Thankfully it doesn't wallow in passionate ideology as much as it could have, yet the author replaces it with a conversational style that was readable and adequate, but hardly makes the case it claims to in the title.

Despite this, I do agree with much of his argument, and the case is clear in my mind. The historical digression of t
May 06, 2014 Rachel rated it liked it
This had the potential to be so much more, unfortunately Hurst spent far too much time on lame history and discussion of negative associations with cyclists. My main issue, however, was his side argument that the safer European cycling infrastructure is inferior to the potential for thrill allowed in United States. I'm sick of reading books that are written by childless males for childless males. When is the cycling community going to branch out to families with discussions of how to make ...more
Jan 19, 2014 Mike rated it really liked it
Very entertaining. It is written like a long editorial touching on the history of the bicycle, bicycle accident research, bicycle culture, and finally an argument for the bicycle as an answer (not "the" answer) to America's energy problems. I don't think the title is very appropriate, but I can't think of a better title that would sum up what its about. Reading this book is like taking a long meandering bike ride through varying themes and ideas.

If your a bicycle aficionado like myself you are g
Jun 27, 2009 Janet rated it liked it
Shelves: 2009, nonfiction
Entertaining and unusual book. Opens with a brief history of cycling starting back in the 1890s, touching on the politics, women's suffrage, racism in bike racing, and the invention of the automobile. Who knew the bicycle was critical to the assault on Singapore in WWII? Touches on the oil supply, politics of energy, bike safety, bike lanes, and even a brief comment on Critical Mass. All this in less that 200 pages, in a very fresh voice.
Feb 10, 2013 Philip rated it liked it
Very enjoyable and well-written book if you enjoy cycling, but the title had me expecting something else, i.e. advocacy for cycling. Instead, I found - and enjoyed - a majority of the book dedicated to the history and evolution of various uses of cycling; everyday transportation, racing and even warfare, for example.
Mark Hill
Jul 12, 2010 Mark Hill rated it it was ok
It was not what I was expecting but that obviously isn't the author's fault. The book is a capsule history of the bicycle, more or less, and it's popularity. Some advocacy issues are addressed, but my impression is that the author feels that most bike advocacy issues are misguided
May 22, 2010 Leah rated it really liked it
Shelves: wishlist
I really enjoyed this book. It is an easy and short read packed with lot's of cycling information and history. A definite for cycling commuters, but possibly not as enjoyable for the occasional cyclists.
Syahid Abdullah
Apr 13, 2011 Syahid Abdullah rated it liked it
why is bicycle the option? it consumes energy and it is ours directly. who would work their ass off and later pay for the gas and work and again. and that's not the proper cycle. meh.
Jan 12, 2010 Paul rated it it was amazing
Awesome! Hurst has eloquently put it out there. I'm already pretty much right there with him, but what will you do?
Mark Hiser
Jun 12, 2011 Mark Hiser rated it liked it
The organization of the book seemed kind of loose too me, as though the author wanted to take on too many facets of his subject. Individual sections, however, were interesting to read.
Mar 17, 2011 Ann rated it it was ok
Shelves: own-it, 2010
A typical American vision on cycling as a means of transportation. No new elements came up in this book.
Feb 10, 2010 David rated it did not like it
Not really a manifesto, and not really interesting, either. I'm sure this was just a book that Amazon bundled together with David Byrne's when the person who gave me both picked it out. Junk.
Mar 26, 2010 Josef rated it it was amazing
an excellent discussion of how we got where we are today, and how cycling as transport can improve your life, and help out with many of our larger issues.
Feb 28, 2010 Kate rated it liked it
Recommends it for: aspiring bicyclists
Recommended to Kate by: Rd delivery bins
Shelves: biking
"It let me out into a new world, greater, more mellow, more god-like, and it did me no harm at all."
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Oct 10, 2013
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“If you can find a way to add some adventure to a mundane daily commute, I suggest you do that. Life is too short, my friends.” 0 likes
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