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

Published: 4 January 2019

What is it about?

This book provides a historical account of the evolution of cycling in Amsterdam from the 1890s to the present. Interspersed through this story is the parallel tale of the author’s own personal experiences and gradual adaptation to Amsterdam’s cycling culture as an American moving to the city. The book’s main strength arguably lies in the richness of its documentation and historical sources, which are used to good effect throughout the text. In addition, the conversational tone and profusion of personal anecdotes and observations related to cycling in Amsterdam make it an engaging read. All of the expected historical “episodes” of cycling in Amsterdam are covered, but it is perhaps the section on the impacts of WWII on cycling which stands out the most, since it is addressed with great detail. Even if its view remains somewhat US-centric, this volume probably constitutes the best available historical overview of Amsterdam’s cycling culture.

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