“Just Ride: A Radically Practical Guide to Riding Your Bike” by Grant Petersen is a “just do it!” spandex-free guide to bicycling.
Petersen, a bicycle racer wants to encourage “unracers” to use their bikes as transportation and recreation, not a style statement. It is a reaction against the commodification of bicycling. You can hear his June 5 interview on the website for Lake Effects, WUWM 89.7 public radio, or read a summary of the interview.
- Lycra is a bicyclists’ best friend: Dress for comfort. Dress appropriately for your destination. Bike shops sells clothes to make money, not make you a better cyclist.
- Helmets aren’t invincible: There is not much difference, if any, between the $40 helmet and the $400 helmet when it comes to safety. They all have to meet minimum government standards. Petersen advises a helmet does not make you safe. It just softens the blows. Ride like you are not wearing a helmet.
- Eight is enough: When we were kids, we had three gears; then 10 gears. Now some bikes have 30 gears. But almost any urban topography can be conquered with 8 gears. (This goes along with the three-speed theory of life. We have 21 possibilities, but habitually use only three.)
WUWM reports Petersen lives in California and owns Rivendell Bicycle Works, a maker of steel bike frames.