There’s some exciting news to announce… Carlton Reid (of Bike Biz and Quickrelease.tv) and I are teaming up to write a new book, Bike to Work. Once released, it will be the definitive guide on bike commuting.
Along with us, we’ll have several contributions from cyclists across the world.
The book will be available in both a downloadable eBook format and a printed version that will be available on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, etc. The full press release is below, but if you’re looking to hear more about it, click over to www.biketoworkbook.com to signup for the email newsletter and download the podcast.
Bike to Work Book due later this year
Bike to Work Book is to be co-published in November by Quickrelease.tv of the UK and commutebybike.com of the US. Authors Carlton Reid and Tim Grahl met through membership of the Spokesmen bike industry roundtable podcast.
Reid said: “The media message ‘Save gas, go by bike’ is a huge opportunity for the bicycle business. But reaching bike-to-work wannabes is tough. Newbie cycle commuters don’t hang out in bike places. We plan to get the Bike to Work Book in front of this new audience through an online and offline PR campaign. With gas at $5 a gallon, it’s pushing on an open door, the mainstream media is now very open to the bike commute message.”
The Bike to Work Book is a print title but it’s also leveraging the internet to reach a larger audience than possible through traditional book publishing. The print version will be available on Amazon.com and other booksellers from mid-November but the book will also be available as a paid-for rich-media e-book and there will be a free, cut-down version of the book available as a PDF, sent via iTunes. The e-formats will be available earlier than the printed book.
Reid, the editor of UK industry publication BikeBiz, has a track record in viral media campaigns. His YouTube videos for bike trade clients have had 779,907 views. A video on ‘how to wash and lube a bike’ has had 52,000 views. Some of these instructional videos will be embedded in the rich-media e-book, alongside new video shorts on topics such as where to place feet when pedaling.
“Newcomers to cycling often pedal with their heels or the middle of their feet at best. A simple video showing the correct placement of the foot will help people get more power into their pedal strokes, getting them to work even quicker,” said Reid, a qualified cycling coach.
The health and economic benefits of cycling are flagged on the book’s back cover. Tour de France commentator Phil Liggett said: “This book could save you $3500 a year. And you’ll be lighter and stronger into the bargain.” Transport psychologist Dr Ian Walker of the University of Bath said: “Cycling is an important life expectancy predictor. Because it becomes part of your daily routine, cycling to work helps you live longer. This book could be the most important you ever read.”
The 200-page, full-colour book ( 1/2 x 10in) will also contain a limited amount of advertising.
Tim Grahl said: “We tested the concept of the book with a couple of globally known bike companies and they liked what they saw.”
“The book available on Amazon is kinda fixed, we can’t modify it for different markets, but the electronic formats will be made country-specific so readers downloading the US version will get a book produced just for the US.”
“The print book is set in stone and will be mostly US in tone and spelling,” said Reid. “But the downloadable formats will be regionalised. Where Americans say ‘gas’, Brits say ‘petrol’. And the UK version will say ‘colour’, not ‘color’. The localisation of the e-book and PDFs allows us to modify comments about riding on the left or the right of the road, a possible point of confusion in a book aiming to get newcomers to cycle through traffic.”
The first show was recorded on Thursday and featured Reid and Grahl talking with two of Europe’s top bike bloggers. Mikael Colville-Anderson produces the Copenhagen Cycle Chic blog (“bicycle advocacy in high heels”); Mark Woudenberg produces Amsterdamize.com.
Colville-Anderson and Woudenberg have co-written a chapter in the Bike to Work Book: ‘The Future is Already Here’, a description of what US and UK cities can look forward to when they embrace bicycling.
“In the US cycle use is just one percent of all journeys,” said Grahl. “In Denmark and the Netherlands it’s at least 30 percent. It was inspiring to talk to these guys and just amazing to find out that the 30 percent figure is considered too low by Copenhagen and Amsterdam. The goal is 50 percent. I can’t imagine that ever happening in the US but remember that John Burke of Trek said last year that if the number of bicycle trips in the US grew from 1 percent to just 5 percent it would result in a $6.2bn industry becoming a $31bn industry.”