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The CIBA Lectures: Around the World on Two Wheels

January 11, 2013 by Reader's Connection

Sicily, Myanmar, the Middle East, and all around the world – by bicycle. As a non-cyclist, it sounds daunting, exciting, and terrifying to me. To members of the Central Indiana Bicycling Association, any one of these journeys may be a dream come true.

The Library will be hosting CIBA’s annual lecture series on selected Wednesday evenings from January through April. Held in the evenings in the Clowes Auditorium of the Central Library, the speakers will share stories of their treks to faraway places which will undoubtedly include hair-raising adventures as well as awesome experiences.

Here is a sampling of the library’s collection of books for bicycle enthusiasts:

Just Ride

Just Ride: A Radically Practical Guide to Riding Your Bike by Grant Peterson is a brand-new book highlighting the basics: equipment, health, safety, and attitude.
Here’s a bit of Dave Eggers’s review in the New York Times.

The accepted orthodoxies are upended, one after another. Petersen is skeptical of special biking shoes. He is pro-kickstand, pro-mud-flap. He thinks a wide, comfortable saddle is O.K. He doesn’t see why anyone needs more than eight gears. He thinks fragile carbon-fiber bikes and ­super-narrow tires are impractical for just about everyone (“Getting paid to ride them is the only good reason I can think of to ride that kind of bike”).


Bicycle Diaries

Talking Heads founder and all-around genius David Byrne  has traveled the globe as a musician and artist, taking his folding bike with him wherever he goes. Byrne offers his own brand of unique viewpoints in the fascinating Bicycle Diaries.

His website devotes a page to the book, full of links to, for example, a Chicago Tribune interview:

Q: The striking thing about your book is how it feels like a casual ride, how the ride itself is only a way of approaching the culture of the places that you are riding in, and you digress into prehistoric Australian animals, a shrine surrounded by water bottles in Buenos Aires, the gorges in downtown Rochester, N.Y., a tour of Imelda Marcos’ palace, and so on.

A: That’s how my days go. You do one thing, and you’re in the process of going A to B, but it leads to a new line of thought. When you’re on a bike, you start wondering about basic things like, “Why is that like that? Why is that part of town the way it is? Why is the advertising you see the way it is?” You notice more, and you can range pretty far once you get on a tangent.


Where the Pavement Ends

The title pretty much says it all: Where the Pavement Ends: One Woman’s Bicycle Trip through Mongolia, China, and Vietnam. Author Erika Warmbrunn describes her courageous 8,000 mile journey through eastern Asia.

From the book’s website:

Erika Warmbrunn of Seattle spoke neither Mongolian, Chinese nor Vietnamese. She had few supplies and knew almost nothing about bicycle repair. But she had a bike manual, a compass, a few tools and an abiding trust that the remote people she would find would share their modest meals and tiny homes. They did, and they and their customs, not the hardships of the journey, are her story. … The English author H.G. Wells once said, “Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race.” Warmbrunn’s is the sort of book that renews confidence in humanity, at least those humans who live off the tourist routes. – Jim Beamguard, The Tampa Tribune

–posted by Susanne


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