Everyday Bicycling: How to Ride a Bicycle for Transportation (Whatever Your Lifestyle)

I recently had the pleasure of receiving Elly Blue’s latest book, Everyday Bicycling: How to Ride a Bicycle for Transportation (Whatever Your Lifestyle), for review. Blue’s book is written for the beginner cyclist just getting started on transportation cycling and needing advice on everything from what bike to choose, how to carry things by bike, and how to make bike commuting fit into a daily routine.

What make’s Everyday Bicycling unique is the entire chapter dedicated to family cycling and transporting kids by bike (a concept that’s still relatively new in most parts of the US). I wish this book had been out there when I was pregnant and looking into all of my options for continuing to bike after our daughter’s birth. Blue draws from the testimonies of several parents, each with unique and differing family needs and bicycling set-ups, to illustrate how cycling with kids can be amended to fit just about any wants and lifestyle.

Despite my feeling that I’d learned a lot in the past months of cycling with my daughter, using a child seat at first and a bike trailer more recently, the family cycling chapter still proved useful even for someone already in the process of biking with a child. (Blue’s got me thinking about a “longtail bike” now, something to explore when our daughter gets a little bit older).

Blue concludes the book with a chapter on advocacy and community organization. Among the topics addressed in this last chapter are the planning of community bike rides and the getting involved with local groups responsible for implementing change. And this is where her work really shines. Blue’s clearly passionate about the subject, knowledgeable about how to be a community organizer and leader, and eager to share her experiences amassed.

And that is just what I loved about Everyday Bicycling altogether: the passion and infectious enthusiasm that comes across from the author on the subject of cycling. I also loved that Blue resists the temptation to present herself as someone having figured out just the right way to go about “being a cyclist,” offering instead tips and ideas always with the caveat of getting out there and figuring things about by doing.

Everyday Bicycling is a great resource for anyone new to transportation cycling, for anyone making the move to a car-lite or car-free lifestyle with kids, and for anyone wanting to become more engaged with the bicycling community in their town and needing ideas and information on how and where to begin.


The book’s official release date is Dec. 1st, that’s when it will be available in big bookstores and online. But you can already order a copy (and get it sent to you, no need to wait until Dec. 1st), via Blue’s website or that of the publisher.

And although this is a bit last minute, if you’re in the Portland area, you can meet Elly Blue and her new book in person at Powell’s bookstore on Hawthorne tonight or during the book release party on November 29th from 6-8pm at Clever Cycles. You can also read more about the author, her previous publications, and upcoming events on her website Taking the Lane.


More reading recommendations here.

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7 Responses to Everyday Bicycling: How to Ride a Bicycle for Transportation (Whatever Your Lifestyle)

  1. Erin B says:

    My daughter turns four next week. We rocked the trailer and kid seat combination since she was born. Next year, we are going to try converting my Raleigh Sports to a x-tra cycle. I really wanted to do it this year, but she was still young enough that she would fall asleep while we biked. Since we are a one tiny kid family (and two teens, but they bike themselves) the kid seat has worked until now.

    I am still torn about if we waited too long. This last summer of biking was hard because she was heavy enough that when she turned to look at stuff, her weight change made it hard for me to maintain balance. Now we have 6 inches of snow, so I think I’m done for the season.

    • S. says:


      I had hte same concern: I like the trailer because it makes naps soooo easy. The iBert was ok for it but nowhere near as nap-handy as the trailer. I think the Xtracycle would be good for a child that doesn’t need to nap as often and whose naptimes don’t factor so large into the everyday. So I think once C is a little older, I’m going to be really tempted to explore that option. I like the idea of it being a little more compact than a trailer+bike combo but with kid and stuff hauling cpabilities. And for some reason, it appeals more to be than a bucket bike. I’d be curious to hear if you do give it a go next Spring how you like it! Let me know!

      • Erin B says:

        Sure! The big thing right now, is that there isn’t a xtracycle dealer in my smallish city…. However, my LBS is going to bring one in for me and I will be the test case for deciding if they are going to stock them regularly. Sometimes, if you can’t find what you are looking for, asking works. Since we are now up to over a foot of snow… building it will be a fun after Christmas project.

  2. Cb says:

    What a great book to buy for someone who is thinking about making the change bike commuting. I know so many people who live sooo close to work and still drive everyday and own bikes. Maybe this could be the push for them to do it!

  3. Mama Bicycle says:

    Wow, it’s a good guidance. I will read it well. I think it will be very helpful to the beginers. :)

  4. Pingback: Simply Bike » Everyday Bicycling: How to Ride a Bicycle for … | Bicycle News Gator

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