It’s beginning to warm up outside. That means more people bicycling for fun or to commute. My bike is the main way I get to work, and I love going on longer rides when I can. I’m always looking to expand my understanding of cycling, from the upkeep of my bike to the culture surrounding it. There are a variety of books about cycling at the Iowa City Public Library to either inspire or increase your skills.
Bike maintenance is tricky, but we have a lot of resources to help. I’ve progressed from not knowing how to fix a flat to being comfortable doing minor adjustments. Books like the “Bicycle Repair Manual” by Chris Sidwells cover just about everything you’d need to keep your bike going. It even has a handy maintenance timetable that lists which page in the book to read about how to perform the maintenance. We have many other titles that will help you out with maintaining your bike.
Commuting and urban cycling can be scary if you’ve never done it before. Luckily, there are books about navigating the roads. “The Urban Cycling Survival Guide” by Yvonne Bambrick is indispensable if you are biking on the street alongside cars. Bambrick gives advice such as riding predictably and communicating to drivers clearly. She also goes into signaling, turning in traffic and staying out of cars’ blind spots. It’s a great read for someone thinking about starting to commute with their bike.
Long bike rides are a lot of fun, and RAGBRAI is an absolute blast. The annual ride across Iowa is coming through Iowa City this year, so it would be a great time to try it out if you haven’t before. It’s good to go on longer rides to get your body ready to be in the saddle for extended periods. Books like “The Big Book of Bicycling” by Emily Furia have sections on training for long rides. While something like this isn’t essential, I do think it helps a lot.
If these titles sound too advanced, there are books like “Hello, Bicycle” by Anna Brones and “The Ultimate Bicycle Owner’s Manual” by Eben Weiss that are beginner friendly. There are all these cycling books and more at the Iowa City Public Library.