cover image Bikenomics: How Bicycling Can Save the Economy

Bikenomics: How Bicycling Can Save the Economy

Elly Blue. Microcosm Publishing (IPG, dist.), $14.95 trade paper (192p) ISBN 978-1-62106-003-1

Bicycle activist Blue (Everyday Bicycling) sets out to show that the diverse population of bicyclists makes contributions to society that even grumbling pedestrians and drivers should encourage. The author approaches the subject from a number of angles: bicycles are cheaper to purchase and operate than cars; using them confers heath benefits to the rider; and a suitably determined bicyclist can transport a surprising amount of cargo. Contrast this, as Blue does, with automobiles, which are comparatively costly to own and operate, impose more wear on expensive infrastructure than bicycles, and whose engines produce worrying amounts of greenhouse gases. Additionally, the annual death toll attributable to cars—a number slightly higher than firearm-related deaths—is significantly higher than that caused by (or suffered by) bicyclists. Written with the wide-eyed fervor of a true believer, Blue yearns for a future where the streets seethe with bicyclists like Seattle’s streets during a Critical Mass rally; the arguments may be less than convincing for non-cyclists, but the author’s ardor cannot be doubted. (Dec.)