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Writing Bicycles: The Historiography of Cycling in the United States

Evan Friss

This article examines the historiography of cycling in the United States, highlighting notable works produced within the last couple of years. The author also considers several themes that are not well represented in the current literature. In particular, he suggests that scholars might focus on issues related to planning and policy, the environment, and youth studies.

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New Directions in Cycling Research: A Report on the Cycling History Roundtable at T2M Madrid

Manuel Stoffers and Anne-Katrin Ebert

Writing late in 2009 for Mobility in History, Manuel Stoffers, Harry Oosterhuis, and Peter Cox observed that research publications on the history of bicycling were scarce—especially publications on cycling as a mode of transport, past and present. Their article was itself an indication of increasing academic interest in the history of cycling as transport, as distinguished from the history of cycling as sport, and the technological history of the bicycle and bicycle production.

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The Historiography of Cycling Mobility in Spain in the Twentieth Century

Esther Anaya and Santiago Gorostiza

Compared with work in other European countries, the history of bicycle mobility in Spain is still in its infancy. In pioneering work, some historians have dealt with the nineteenth-century origins of cycling in Spain, particularly its athletic aspects. Other historians have reviewed the main cycling competitions in the country: the Volta a Catalunya, organized in 1911, and the Vuelta a España, begun in 1935. Utilitarian cycling, however, has received less attention. A few authors have highlighted the bicycle’s importance in Spain over most of the century, but none have examined the evolution of utilitarian cycling in Spain during the twentieth century. Although archival sources are ample, their diversity and wide dispersion in various government archives, especially at the municipal level, are research obstacles.

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"A Denial of Our Boasted Civilisation

Cyclists' Views on Conflicts over road Use in Britain, 1926-1935

Peter Cox

In the interwar period, cyclists, the most numerous road users, came into increasing conflict with motorists. The debate around road safety and casualties reveals significant differences between the social and political capital available to different classes of road users, despite their legal equality. Drawing on the coverage of the conflict by the Cyclists' Touring Club (CTC) through their monthly Gazette and on the parliamentary record, this article examines how cyclists understood the problem of increasing accident rates and the solutions proffered in press and parliament to address them. The paper considers cyclists in terms of class, representation, power, and status. It further examines how these factors shaped perceptions of the issues at stake in the safety debate in relation to the governance of road space and the appropriate behaviors and responsibilities of road users.

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When Bicycles Become both Attitude and Form

Rosanna Dematté

From June 17 to August 21, 2011 the University of Innsbruck (Austria) hosted the group exhibition “L’Italia alla finestra: Außen- und Innensichen” (Italy at window: Outside and outside views), commemorating the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy. The bilingual title focuses on the necessity to consider a country from several perspectives. Seven artists from Italy and Austria, belonging to different generations, were invited to the baroque cellars of the Imperial Palace of Innsbruck to give their perspective and present their work.

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Brazil: Modernity and Mobility

Martin Cooper

The study of mobility in Brazil remains a diverse field of inquiry, with (as yet) no unified research agenda. This article reviews recent scholarship, principally by Portuguese-speaking Brazilian academics, between 2010 and 2013. A broad range of topics exists, from urban planning, infrastructure, bicycling, walking, migration, and tourism (including for sex, for cosmetic surgery, and for slum visits). The article suggests that the range and work of current academics publishing in English-language journals is encouraging; however, steps still need to be taken to break down remaining language barriers between Portuguese and English scholarship.

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When One Becomes Two

Man–Machine Hybridization in Urban Cyclists with Broken Bikes

Lou Therese Brandner

their bicycles due to them being under repair. The research project 3 follows a qualitative approach, attempting to understand bicycle–human hybridization as a social phenomenon in depth on the basis of accounts of cyclists who are temporarily

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Cycling in a Global World

Introduction to the Special Section

Ruth Oldenziel and Adri Albert de la Bruhèze

During their transnational circulation, bicycles became glocalized as local users tailored them to fit local laws, customs, user preferences and cultures. Bicycles thus acquired many different local meanings as users incorporated them into daily lifes and practices in diverse global settings. To show the importance of 'normalized use', i.e. rural bicycle use, in which cycling became enduring, sustainable, new, old and new again, we need globally grounded histories of mobility.

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Book Reviews

Lucy Baker, Paola Castañeda, Matthew Dalstrom, Ankur Datta, Tanja Joelsson, Mario Jordi-Sánchez, Jennifer Lynn Kelly, and Dhan Zunino Singh

City: Bicycle Infrastructure and Uneven Development (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2019), 328 pp., 24 photos, 11 maps, 9 tables, $27 Bicycles, fixed-gear bikes, “hipsters” on bikes, white cyclists, and bike lanes have for some time been

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Contested Spaces

Bicycle Lanes in Urban Europe, 1900-1995

Ruth Oldenziel and Adri Albert de la Bruhèze

Today most cities emphasize the construction of separate bicycle lanes as a sure path toward sustainable urban mobility. Historical evidence shows a singular focus on building bicycle lanes without embedding them into a broader bicycle culture and politics is far too narrow. Bicycle lanes were never neutral, but contested from the start. Based on comparative research of cycling history covering nine European cities in four countries, the article shows the crucial role representations of bicycles play in policymakers' and experts' planning for the future. In debating the regulation of urban traffic flows, urban-planning professionals projected separate lanes to control rather than to facilitate working- class, mass-scale bicycling. Significantly, cycling organizations opposed the lanes, while experts like traffic engineers and urban planners framed automobility as the inevitable modern future. Only by the 1970s did bicycle lanes enter the debate as safe and sustainable solutions when grass-roots cyclists' activists campaigned for them. The up and downs of bicycle lanes show the importance of encouraging everyday utility cycling by involving diverse social groups.