BIKE NYC – The Cyclist’s guide to New York City
BIKE NYC is a new guidebook to cycling NYC written by three Urban Velo contributors. Perhaps the best known of the bunch is Michael Green, the man behind BikeBlogNYC.com. Regular readers are more than familiar with Ed Glazar, as hardly an issue goes by without one or more of his photographs. And Marci Blackman, a professional author and NYC tour guide, wrote a feature for us back in issue #18.
From great people come great things, and this book is no exception. Part history book, part guidebook, it’s also a great snapshot of bicycle culture in early 21st century New York. As a guidebook, it’s not your typical “go .2 miles, turn left on Bedford and follow the bike lane to your desitination.” Although it does have specific directions and the like, it’s a lot more like a giant magazine article about riding in NYC. It’s entertaining, enlightening and oftentimes irreverent. I don’t think I’ve ever read a guidebook that suggests that you insult the natives in order to get an authentic experience!
There’s no doubt that BIKE NYC was written at a feverish pace, with tons of passion and inspiration. Yet the book exercises considerable restraint in that the authors don’t beat you over the head with the idea that their city is the best in the world. Instead they make you fall in love with it they way they have by sharing countless facts and anecdotes and even a few secrets.
And although the authors are well connected to the bike scene, the book is truly written for everyone—from bike messengers to weekend warriors.
Since this is a review, I will level a few small criticisms. The map illustrations are beautiful, but they’re too small to be of much use. The layout is clean, but it’s very dense which would make the book difficult to reference out on the street. The matte finish paper stock is attractive and easy to read, but it doesn’t let Ed’s photos “pop”. And I would like to see larger photos, even if it meant running less of them.
But none of these criticisms stood in the way of me enjoying this book. In fact, it’s got me itching to visit NYC. Check out www.bikenycthebook.com for more info.