Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Robert's Mini Bike Book Review: Shift Happens! Critical Mass at 20 Edited by Chris Charlsson and LisaRuth Elliott

Review by Robert Leone

If you feel your perspective on activism and advocacy rides, or just plain riding, is getting stale, you should rejoice in this book. Forty-one essays describing activism rides, not just from one city, but from several continents, give a vitally needed non-local perspective on how people ride in support of riding. It's also nice to read about some victories (as years of involvement and protest led to a bicycle facility in a Mexican city, as others celebrate the freedom to ride in Rome, and so on). One measure of how widely varied activism rides, and their riders, can be the essay-separating illustrations of activism ride promotional handbills and posters: They range from thickly hand-lettered examples of “xerocracy” to professional, profoundly thought-out models of graphic design. One sample, from Bilbao, Spain, not only appropriates a bicycle ideogram but even has sponsorship logos across the bottom! Again, if you're feeling stale about bike advocacy, get a copy of Shift Happens to read, rejoice, rejuvenate, and ride.

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