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Bicycle/Race: Transportation, Culture, & Resistance

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  174 ratings  ·  25 reviews
Bicycle/Race paints an unforgettable picture of Los Angeles—and the United States—from the perspective of two wheels. This is a book of borderlands and intersections, a cautionary tale about the dangers of putting infrastructure before culture, and a coming-of-age story about power and identity. The colonial history of southern California is interwoven through Adonia Lugo' ...more
Paperback, 191 pages
Published 2018 by Microcosm Publishing
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Nic Jay
Jul 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you are an advocate you may want to spend a couple hours with this book and try to understand a perspective that is rarely valued and subsequently not elevated. If you wonder why people of color don't show up to your events, this piece might give you some insight.
Jul 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book should be required reading for all bicycle activists and organizers. Our bicycle advocacy must be intersectional.

I also learned a lot about the history of Southern California. Having not grown up in California, I was never required to take California History in school. I’m glad I got to read this.

Luigi’s struggles with the LAB makes me both angry and feel defeated.
Dec 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 20s, bicycle-urbanism
This book was a touch disappointing, especially after two contacts from bikeland recommended it to me. It was impossible to find (no library had it available) so I bought a copy, ehh. I could feel her passion but I honestly didn't understand everything Lugo was referring to, even though I am fairly familiar with the work of many of the people she cited (Pucher and Buehler, Bourdieu, Anzaldua, etc.), feel competent in understanding matters of environmental justice and infrastructure-related gentr ...more
Oct 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urbanism, non-fiction
I started reading this book expecting to learn about the best practices in bike advocacy but was pleasantly surprised to read a memoir of a bike advocate. Adonia E. Lugo writes about her experience working on racial equity in bike advocacy as a mixed race Chicanx anthropologist. Bike advocacy, and transportation in general, is dominated by White engineers in the US, and focuses on solutions that disproportionately hurt racially and economically disadvantaged communities.

Focusing on urban des
Raja Ramesh
Jul 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
I found this book unexpectedly as I began a job adjacent to urban planning (and read this tweet thread: The typical urban planning toolset of "community engagement" workshops and the like felt a little incomplete when it came to promoting equity in transportation and infrastructure.

Lugo's blend of memoir, ethnography, and history helped me start to find the language to describe this intuition of incompleteness. It certainly doesn't have (or claim to ha
Aug 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is much more memoir than research/analysis. If you're not conversant with the various forms of systemic racism that are woven throughout the biking and policy communities, the memoir will be eye-opening. But if you're already aware of that, this isn't a handbook for change; look elsewhere (perhaps to marginalized bikers in your community!) for that.
Jul 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cities
This book sheds a lot of light on the important relationship between equity and mobility. It also discusses the important concept of human infrastructure. Mobility is not all about physical infrastructure, and often the human component and the equity component do not get the very necessary attention they deserve. Specifically, the book talks a lot about the lack of racial equity in bicycle advocacy and bicycle mobility projects. Some parts were a little difficult to read, but overall I learned a ...more
Sometimes messy and rambling, but always necessary. No one else is saying these things. They need to be said.
Aug 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: socialjustice
I love how Dr. Lugo frames the narrative through a memoir lens. While the book focuses on bicycle advocacy, I found it very useful to me in helping me think about my work as a transportation professional, even though I generally focus on other modes.
May 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I didn't expect to have such an emotional reaction to this book. As a peer in the active transportation sector, I expected to see another esoteric, jargon filled book filled with research on equity in Southern California. I didn't expect to find such a personal, narrative-driven conversational tour through Ms. Lugo's life, where she creates history everywhere she goes. She happens to help start the only collective to ever organize bicycle-riding day laborers in urban LA, which is now the success ...more
Jeff Knowles
Mar 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
An absolute must-read for those working to advance sustainable urban systems (particularly white professionals) that have for too long been unable or unwilling to acknowledge the role we play in gentrification. Lugo advances the idea of investing in human infrastructure above design-based bicycle facility solutions that often do not reflect the history and interests of the people they are intended to serve.
Kate McCarthy
Dec 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
A solidly documented analysis of race and racism in the American bike movement. Adonis Lugo draws the problematic parallels between active transportation development and displacement while identifying the richly diverse context of bicycling in America, particularly those overlooked by traditional bike advocates. Lugo plainly challenges what has been the conventional thought leadership in national, as well as local, bike advocacy in a way that I hope will spur conversations and cultural change.
Charles Denison IV
Oct 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed the author's perspective on growing up as someone who is non-white and experiencing transportation from the perspective of walking and bicycling within a system that clearly was not designed for it.

It's very clear that those are who designing our streets have pretty large blind spots in regards to how different groups of people use the street and need the street to function. I think they are well intentioned, but their own perspectives and experiences are not complete, and their
Sep 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
I find myself reading all of this US bicycle literature as a result of being unable (due to the pandemic) to really get involved with anything on the ground here. I can't say how much of this book is transferrable to different infrastructures/attitudes/policies in different countries (indeed, so much of it was variable between the different US cities mentioned in this book) but one thing remains clear, both in the US and in Western Europe: White supremacy reaches virtually everywhere, and inters ...more
Erica Howland
Jun 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
This is a must-read for white bike advocates. Part personal narrative, part explanation of existing debates within the advocacy community, Bicycle/Race examines oft underrepresented voices within the biking community, including Adonia Lugo's own experience as a mestizaje bike researcher and activist. I plan on educating myself further on issues of race and class in bike research, history, and advocacy.
Zack Subin
Mar 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography, urbanism
I learned a lot from this book and it will certainly be source of information for my own advocacy.
My only complaint was about narrative flow-- sometimes it felt a bit meandering and included a lot of recounting of blow by blow and references to a lot of people by first name without being reminded of the context, especially in the latter half.
Matt Stewart
Feb 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Adonia Lugo shares her journey in bicycle advocacy with a perspective that has been missing from our mission, and as she shares in her book, marginalized by those in power. This is essential reading for everyone who dreams of a transportation system that promotes safety and comfort for vulnerable road users.
Oct 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
After I read this book I understood the politics behind the bicycle lane advocates in Seattle. I’m sympathetic towards the author’s efforts to get the bike community to acknowledge and include less advantaged people who might rely on a bicycle as their primary means of transportation.
May 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: urban
The last few chapters of this book are particularly important for anyone with privilege working in urban, environmental, and social justice spaces. Lugo, through her own experiences, details so many of the racial and equity barriers that will take conscious dismantling from all of us.
Aug 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned-e-book
Thought provoking read on racial justice and mobility justice as it relates to bicycle advocacy. Very personally centered and the author’s individual experiences make this a quick and enjoyable read. Lots of questions to consider and very few answers, but a good introduction to these concepts.
Aug 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Must read book on equitable bicycle advocacy. Adonia Lugo epitomizes many of the things I've felt and observed as a cyclist. She is a strong advocate of mobility justice and grassroots movements despite the unwelcome-ness of these topics in D.C. i found this book very inspiring.
Jul 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
If you do work in bike advocacy, urban planning or mobility justice, you MUST read this book.
Jul 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Eye-opening. I didn't expect it to be so personal, but I guess that was tokenism on my part. Dr. Lugo's voice is essential. I'll keep this book, recommend it, and refer to it in the future.
Jan 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I'd give this six stars if I could.
Susie Weller
Sep 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Very pleasant to read, with nice pacing. The chapter sizes were digestible. Great autobiographical information about the bike movement on the west coast.
Ryan Woolley
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“In the US imagination, Southern California is a still-wet canvas where seekers who make their way here can paint whatever picture they like against a backdrop of natural beauty. My California is different. I grew up feeling watched by ghosts.” 0 likes
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