Book Review: In the City of Bikes by Pete Jordan

11 03 2013

Title:  In the City of Bikes: The Story of the Amsterdam Cyclist

Author:  Pete Jordan13623832

Genre: Non Fiction/Travel

Publisher: Harper Perennial

Release date: April 13, 2013

Links:  From the Publisher

My Rating: 4 of 5 stars

Summary:  Pete Jordan has always loved biking.  When he gets the opportunity to study abroad in Amsterdam, he finds the biking city of his dreams.  Pete shares the story of how he and his family came to live and love this bike crazy city, and how Amsterdam became that way.  Full of stories of quirks and kinks of this European metropolis’s cycle fanaticism, it is one part history, one part travel log and one part memoir.


If you love to travel and learn interesting and unusual facts about various places, this book is for you.  The story of the Amsterdam Cyclist is rich in history and humor.  The Dutch are VERY serious about cycling.  Jordan takes readers on a history of the bicycle in the Netherlands and how it grew to be a necessary vehicle in a time when America was growing it’s car market.  The cyclists took over the streets.  Who would think that a city would need a bike garage?  Even during WWII, cyclists offered soft resistance to the Nazis through a variety of means – and never got over the German’s pilfering their rides. Many more idiosyncrasies and the history behind them dot the pages of this book. The Dutch do love their bicycles!

Jordan parallels the story of this movement with his family immigration to the Netherlands.  A tale that has it’s own irony and humor.  Watching them grow and change through their time in the city, was rather like watching Amsterdam itself fall in love with cycling.

Recommend for rabid cyclists and lovers of history and travel.

I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher.  All opinions expressed are my own.




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