Cities across the country are trying to figure out how to get regular people—the so-called “interested-but-concerned” cyclists—out of their cars and onto bikes. From aggressive and overbearing motorists to poor road conditions to concerns about biking in inclement weather or in formal clothes, the barriers to entry can seem daunting to those just dabbling with the notion of biking. Luckily, there’s Bikeyface—the online persona of Boston-based Bekka Wright—where everyday cycling challenges and frustrations are dispelled through well-drafted cartoons that tackle issues facing veteran cyclists and newcomers alike.
Wright has taken her online cartoon blog onto the printed page with the publishing of Bike There, a 24-page mini-comic book guide to biking in the city. The book is a beginners’ guide to getting around on two wheels—it’s subtitle reads “a little picture book guide about how to get around town on your bicycle.” And it helps to tame what many newcomers see as wild streets, revealing them for the potentially pleasant ride they might provide.
The book pedals through safety tips, which gear is most important—and what you can skip—if you want to try bike commuting, how to properly signal you’re about to make a turn, and shows that getting around by bike is easier than many think it is. Bike There throws in encouragement along the way—you’d like that extra piece of cake for dessert, right?
Among the book’s suggestions are starting small on neighborhood streets before moving into a cross-town jaunt. Bike There is full of easy tips on how to ease into using a bike for transportation—such as increasing your bike range or frequency as you become more familiar with the street. The comic book format is very approachable—and beautifully drawn and rendered—making it an easy guide for all ages. As Wright put it, “this is not like one of those stuffy institutional bicycling pamphlets!”
Broken Sidewalk is pleased to offer a copy of the book to a lucky reader. For you chance to win Bike There, simply share this article on Facebook or Twitter and leave a comment describing your cycling goals in 2015, what’s locally being called the #YearOfTheBike. (Be sure to use your real email address so we can get in touch if you’re selected.) We’ll hold a random drawing on Wednesday, April 1 at 7p.m. and announce the winner that evening.
You can purchase your own copy of Bike There for $10.00 from the Bikeyface website. Also be sure to check in regularly at the Bikeyface blog for more fun bike-oriented comics.