The Surprising Promise of Bicycling in America Book

by Jay Walljasper and Melissa Balmer

In October of 2017 we released the digital report "The Surprising Promise of Bicycling in AmericaTo make the insightful and useful information easier to share we decided in late fall 2017 to begin working on expanding it into a book.

 Our current draft cover illustrated by Melissa

Our current draft cover illustrated by Melissa

Update: August 15, 2018

The book will be coming out in print and as an ebook in late October 2018, and print in late November. The book will be available for both wholesale and retail.  

Table of Contents (New!)

Prologue: Why This Book?

1. Bicycling for Everyone

2. The Bike Movement Catches a Tailwind

3. Reasons 1-6: The New Universe of Bicycling

1) Increase of Equity & Social Diversity

2)   The Rise of Grassroots Groups

3) Safe Routes to School & Beyond

4) Bike Planning & Advocacy as a Profession

5) The Growth of Women in Bike Advocacy Leadership

6) Casual Bicyclists as the New Core of the Movement

4. Reasons 7-10: The 21st Century Rides on Two Wheels

7) Connected Bikeway Networks

8) Bikeshare

9) Electric Bikes

10)  The Evolution of Mobility

5. Reasons 11-13:  Why Bicycling Will Continue to Grow in Popularity

11)  Biking is Healthy

12)  Biking Can Save the Planet

13)  Biking Foster Vital Communities

6. The Bright Future Ahead

Excerpts from the Book







The Authors

About Jay Walljasper

Jay is a writer, speaker and consultant specializing in how to create stronger, livelier, friendlier communities.  He is Senior Fellow at Project for Public Spaces and an Urban-Writer-in-Residence at Augsburg College in Minneapolis.  His books include America’s Walking Renaissance; The Great Neighborhood Book: A Do-It-Yourself Guide to Placemaking; and the e-book How to Design Our World for Happiness.

Since 2010 he has chronicled the boom in bicycling and walking in a wide variety of appearances and publications, ranging from Christian Science, Monitor, City Lab, Huffington Post, Mother Earth News, and Wired.  He’s also worked with People for Bikes, League of American Bicyclists, Rails to Trails Conservancy, Alta Planning, and America Walks.

A long-time journalist, he was editor of Utne Reader magazine for 15 years (during which it was nominated three times for a National Magazine Award for General Excellence) and a contributing editor of National Geographic Traveler, focusing on sustainable cities.  More at

About Melissa Balmer

Melissa is a writer, artist, media relations specialist and the Founder/Director of

As the former Media Director of the California Bicycle Coalition, and a media relations specialist, she has placed her clients and the Pedal Love team in media outlets such as the Associated Press, Cosmopolitan Magazine, Public Radio International's "Living on Earth," Reuters, Sierra Club Magazine and more. She has written for Momentum Magazine and Cycling Industry News.

Thank You to Our Supporters!

  • Theresa Bixby - Long Beach CA
  • Anne Poarch/Basket and Bike - Richmond VA
  • The Bluezones Project - Minneapolis MN
  • The Bike Doctor Bike Shop - Vancouver Canada
  • David Morris - Long Beach CA
  • Katherine Roberts/GrrrlFriday - San Francisco CA
  • Harriet Barlow - Minneapolis MN
  • John Case - Oceanside CA
  • Theodore Hanson - Williamsburg VA
  • Allan Crawford - Long Beach CA
  • Bikie Girl Bloomers - Los Angeles CA
  • Maria Boustead/Po Campo Bags - Brooklyn NY
  • Beth Nobles - Denver CO
  • Gene Tierney
  • Hallie Smith - Richmond VA
  • Laura Doyle - Long Beach CA
  • Monica Garrison/Black Girls Do Bike - Verona PA
  • Neal Peirce - Washington DC
  • Tom Gliszewski - Chicago IL
  • David Clement - Long Beach CA
  • Jamie Morgan - Coeur d'Alene ID
  • Melanie Curry - Berkeley CA
  • Ethan Fawley
  • Henry Hsieh
  • Sheldon Mains
  • Stephen Haydel
  • T Fisher
  • Deana Acklin
  • Daniela Rindler
  • Diane Buchwalder
  • Ernestine Beecham
  • Mark Muller
  • Daisy Smith
  • Sara Sundquist
  • Sharon Pearson
  • Donna Harrington
  • Krista Phillips
  • Kyle Lawrence
  • Sunil Khera

Would you like to support the creation of the book? Send Melissa a note.