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Effective Cycling [Paperback]

John Forester
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
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Book Description

April 20 2012

Effective Cycling is an essential handbook for cyclists from beginner to expert, whether daily commuters or weekend pleasure trippers. This thoroughly updated seventh edition offers cyclists the information they need for riding a bicycle under all conditions: on congested city streets or winding mountain roads, day or night, rain or shine. It describes the sheer physical joy of cycling and provides the nuts-and-bolts details of how to choose a bicycle, maintain it, and use it in the most efficient manner. Effective Cycling covers the bicycle itself, repairs and maintenance, basic and advanced cycling skills, and how traffic is organized. It describes cycling with friends, bicycle tours, increasing physical endurance, racing, and even finding a cyclist as marriage partner. Throughout, author John Forester emphasizes that cyclists should consider themselves drivers of vehicles in traffic. That means obeying the rules of the road, because when all drivers obey the same rules, they don't have collisions. Forester explains why cyclists should not be afraid to cycle in traffic, and he urges them to resist being shunted off into government-sponsored bike paths as if they were incompetent children. Cyclists fare best, he says, when they act and are treated as drivers of vehicles. Effective Cycling will help owners of bicycles dusty from disuse become active cyclists and veteran cyclists improve their techniques and achieve their cycling goals. Each section moves from basic to advanced topics; readers are encouraged get on a bicycle and practice each activity after reading about it.

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"John Forester's Effective Cycling continues and expands his mission to make bicycling easy, enjoyable, rewarding and responsible. He recognizes that most US authorities put cyclists into an inferior status, and therefore into a dilemma, and conveys to them the attitude and the rules with which they can be appreciated and responsible road users. This book should be read by all cyclists, and especially by all 'authorities.'"--David Gordon Wilson, MIT Mechanical Engineering; author of Bicycling Science

"I have used previous editions of Effective Cycling as my go-to source for some 35 years. It is comprehensive, based on irrefutable logic and scientific data, and easily understandable."--Bill Hoffman, Former Director, League of American Bicyclists

"As a lifelong bicyclist, I didn't realize my eyes were wide shut with respect to bicycling matters until I first read Effective Cycling, fourth edition, in 1988 at age 30. John Forester's seminal, expansive, and tireless work in educating bicyclists and protecting the rights of bicyclists as drivers of vehicles has been incalculably valuable to me and countless thousands of others who pedal for fun and utility."--Wayne Pein, Bicycling Matters

About the Author

John Forester is a bicycle transportation engineer and the author of Bicycle Transportation: A Handbook for Cycling Transportation Engineers (MIT Press). An experienced cyclist, cycling advocate, and onetime racer, he lives in Lemon Grove, California

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book should be on every cyclist's bookshelf! Nov. 11 1995
By A Customer
Whatever your involvement in cycling, you'll want to read
*Effective Cycling*. You'll learn about every aspect of
riding, from selecting equipment to touring to riding in
traffic. Find out what kind of accidents really happen
to cyclists, so you can learn how to avoid that sort of
accident, and stop worrying about accidents that almost
never happen. (Like being hit from behind.)

Forester is one of the world's foremost experts in traffic
cycling, and he designed the *Effective Cycling* program
which is taught by the League of American Bicyclists. A
similar program is the Can-Bike Skills program of the
Canadian Cycling Association. Both courses teach traffic
cycling skills and use *Effective Cycling* as the text.

I consider the "riding in traffic" chapters to be most
important. You'll learn where to be on the road (which lane?
how far from the curb?) and where to be within your lane (right?
middle? left?) - all of which depends on what sort of road
you're riding on. You'll learn how to change lanes properly
in any traffic condition, how to gain cooperation from motorists,
how to prevent acccidents from happening to you, and how to
avoid an accident that's coming your way by using emergency

If you are going to buy only one cycling book, *Effective
Cycling* should certainly be the one. While you're at it,
buy a gift copy for every cyclist you love.

Forester's *Effective Cycling* techniques work. I ride in
busy city traffic every day and it's easy and fun.
This I owe in large part to *Effective Cycling*.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This book probably saved my life June 11 2003
By A Customer
This is it -- the bible you need if you're going to be a cycle commuter, or just someone who rides more than 10 miles on a weekend. JF takes you the next step from simply pedal pushing, puts you in the league of pedal "twirling", and shows you how to:
1. Be a vehicular cyclist (ride on the road with cars without getting killed, honked off the road or intimidated.)
2. Ride on "longer" trips -- more than the few miles you can do without any clue -- by eating right, drinking right, and pedalling right.
3. Cycle commute, and enjoy doing so -- what you need and what you don't.
4. Basic repair and maintenance.
and, most importantly, how to "grow" as a cyclist. There are so many things that I know instinctively now (e.g., how to keep cadence high) that enable me to go further, easier, safer and faster that I wouldn't know where to begin.
If you're the kind of cyclist who wants to use their cycle to live better, this is the book for you. Mine's grease stained and well thumbed. (Also an enjoyable read.)
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I used to think I knew how to bicycle. Right. After reading this book (over 8 years ago) my eyes were truly opened as to how a truly competent cyclist should operate. Even fifteen years of regular cycling for transportation and fun did not teach my half what a single reading of Effective Cycling did about using my bicycle effectively as part of traffic flow. This book cuts through the preconceptions and misconceptions about bicycle riding. After understanding and practicing the techniques Forester gives in the book, your experience of riding will be totally transformed in a way you cannot imagine. You will feel confident about handling just about any situation on a bike--rotaries, making left turns on multilane divided roads, passing through major intersections--not because you are being foolhardy but because for the first time you truly understand how to negotiate them properly and more safely than you ever did in the past, using the same traffic principles that govern the behavior of all other vehicles on the road. I can't think of many traffic situations I didn't feel confident riding in in the 8 years since I read and began applying Effective Cycling to my riding. I can't recommend this book highly enough.
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4.0 out of 5 stars It's About Safety and Politics... Oct. 13 2000
This book is unique in its focus on the technique of sharing the road with motor vehicles. His accounts of run-ins with various government bodies are also enlightening, even though I grew impatient around the third or fourth time he recounted his experiences modifying the Uniform Vehicle Code.
His advice about equipment, diet, and the other mechanics of bicycling needs to be taken somewhat lightly. Even though this is a "second edition", much of the material in the book is considerably older. On the other hand, the fundamentals of safety (visibility, lighting, traction, lane placement, risk factors) are invariant over time.
Mr. Forester has a definite axe to grind, and this book does it quite effectively. He adds a definite splash of common sense to the fine technique of road riding: don't let other vehicles take your lane away from you, don't surprise them, safety always first, slower traffic keeps right. The safest way to bicycle on the road is not necessarily the one that educators, legislators, or law enforcement officers think it is.
This book is a must-read for any cyclist who ever shares the road with a motor vehicle.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars For home bike mechanics and cycling activists alike
This book has some of the best information out there about cycle commuting. If everyone used Forester's techniques and advice, I'm sure cycling accidents and fatalities would... Read more
Published on Nov. 18 2003 by S. Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars The Bible For Vehicular Cyclists!
John Forester is the patron saint of bike commuters and VC types. I have been cycle commuting for 24 years now and still need to pull my copy of Effective Cycling from the shelf. Read more
Published on Nov. 5 2001 by mason sinclair
4.0 out of 5 stars Ride in traffic? Must read.
John Forester's Effective Cycling is an excellent guide for any beginner (or advanced for that matter) cyclist who is interested in almost all aspects of riding and maintaining a... Read more
Published on Dec 8 2000 by T. Culberson
5.0 out of 5 stars The how-to book for cycling
Seven years ago, I decided to pull my bike out of the basement, tune it up and start riding to work. That has been one of the best decisions I have ever made for my health. Read more
Published on July 28 2000
5.0 out of 5 stars John Forester opened my eyes
I knew instinctively that the road belongs to me just as much as it does to any other vehicle operator. I knew the rules of the road apply to me as a bicyclist. Read more
Published on Jan. 7 2000 by M. J. Mccaffrey
3.0 out of 5 stars Opinionated but useful
Forester does have his predjudices, and not many experienced cyclints would agree with all his opinions. Read more
Published on April 13 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars An unique, opinionated, wide-ranging treatise
Where else can you find a book on cycling that deals tells you why a Presta valve is really superior to a Schrader value, the social relationships of cycling, riding in traffic,... Read more
Published on Jan. 31 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars A 'must-read' for any cyclist!
I found the chapters on riding in traffic to be invaluable. I commute to work every day, and ride recreationally on weekends. Read more
Published on July 30 1997
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-have book for cyclists
If you ride a bike, you must read this book! As a born-again cyclist, this was the first book I read - the information it contains on cycling in traffic will save you years of... Read more
Published on Dec 10 1996
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