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Friday Review: RIDE: Short Fiction About Bicycles

December 23, 2011

When I become interested in something, I tend to get a little obsessive about it. For example, last year before my first ultra-marathon, I devoured every book I could find on the subject (the fiber was good for my training). It’s the same with my current bike commute obsession. Shopping on Amazon, looking for any bike book not about Lance (I don’t consider myself a cyclists), I came across RIDE: Short Fiction About Bicycles. One of the authors, Kent Peterson, I knew from researching Dahons. I still read his blog regularly, enjoying both his writing style and life lessons. And with the kindle ebook price of only $2.99$3.99, I figured what’s to lose?

To me, bicycling is about sheer enjoyment. After a long commute, it’s not my legs, back, or ass that are sore but my face. I don’t smile often during the day and those muscles have atrophied from years of neglect. Similarly, I expected all of the stories in RIDE to have the same uplifting and positive undertones. This assumption turned out to be incorrect. It took reading through nearly two-thirds of the book before “death” wasn’t on the authors’ minds.

This wasn’t a bad thing – it led to some great story telling. Reading through these stories is like hanging out in your LBS listening to the anecdotes of the seasoned graybeards. You can’t quite decipher if the tales are personal, happened to a friend of a friend, or just totally made up. But it doesn’t really matter, they’re still worth hearing.

I’m still relatively young but far from an optimist. It’s possible that years of stolen saddles and wheels, being driven off the road by motorist, and broken promises by local government to install bike infrastructure have turned these authors into cynics. Maybe I just don’t get it yet. But, I hope RIDE 2 will take a more whimsical approach to its story telling (Red Dot was my hands down favorite) and highlight the joy of riding.

In addition to RIDE: Short Fiction About Bicycles being available for the kindle, it’s also on the nook and iBooks but since I don’t have an affiliate account with either of them, I’ll make you do the legwork.

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