Cycling is a key everyday mode of mobility in the developing world and parts of northern Europe, and one which is increasingly being promoted by governments of car-dominated societies such as the UK. Yet whilst the complex and hugely valued practice of cycling addresses important issues in social theory including sustainability, healthy lifestyles and urban quality-of-life, it has been remarkably unexplored by social scientists. This book redresses this gap by bringing together an interdisciplinary team of academics with a strong interest in research into cycling. In doing so, it provides an overview of the significance of cycling to contemporary social and political debates and of the diversity of state-of-art approaches to cycling research. The book is divided into main sections: the technology of the bicycle; everyday uses of the bicycle; the cultures of bicycle users; and the spatial dynamics of bicycle use. It throws light on a range of contemporary debates while also substantially extending the scope of cycling studies.
'This is a very timely book by an impressive list of contributors and it will go a long way to put cycling very firmly on the serious policy agenda.Cycling has an enormous amount to offer to a broad range of societal and policy objectives ranging from improving health to local economic regeneration and combating climate change.This book exposes the full glory of cycling's potential and is most welcome.' John Whitelegg, editor of World Transport Policy and Practice '...so diverse that even those that feel well versed in the history of one of the world's most celebrated inventions will find lots to entertain and new information...every reader will have favourite chapters but all give valuable insight to areas that are not generally known about...an insightful read that leaves one feeling positive about the future, with a good look at the past and how cycling has fitted in...recommended reading for those that like to see how cycling was at the centre of much technological and social change in the past and how it may become so again in the future.' Cycling and Society 'Cycling and Society would make a learned addition to any cyclist's bookshelves, and should certainly be in the library of any institution dealing with social history or urban and transport planning.' Velovision, Issue 28, December 2007 'This volume offers a very positive step forward - providing greater needed academic scrutiny to the subject of cycling - and promotes the notion that cycling can and should take a greater role in transport policy discussions.' Carbusters 'Historians of technology should find the text well written and provocative.' Technology and Culture '... the diverse contributions are inspiring, effectively demonstrating the central point of the volume, raising pertinent questions and suggesting interesting possibilities for further research.' Transfers