Tag Archives: bikes

Bikes and Zines, Plus!

Biking Resources at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh–Main

At  Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh we strive to provide information and resources that people want! Because Pittsburgh has such a large/strong bike community, the library makes sure to offer good bike-related resources to the cyclists of our fair town.

Zines

We have a number of bike-related resources in the zine collection in the First Floor–New and Featured Department. They’re shelved in a category with a divider that says–you guessed it–“BIKES.” The collection ranges from repair guides to bike trip journals to zines that deal with bikes and city infrastructure questions.

We list our zines in LibraryThing under the member name “clpzines.”  You can search the zine collection here by typing a keyword, zine title or author into the search box.  As of right now, fifty-seven of our 943 zines have a bike-related tag, such as “bike accidents,” “bike gear,” and “bike maps.” We also have Bike Pittsburgh‘s bike map and bike commuting guide.

Programming

We’re really excited to host the Bike Pittsburgh Bike Commuting Workshop on Thursday, August 18 from 6-7:30 p.m. at CLP—Main. Last year the library hosted a Bike Pittsburgh/Elly Blue and Joe Biel collaborative workshop where Elly and Joe spoke on the history and current situation of bike infrastructure in Portland, OR. We imagine doing more bike-related zine programs in the future, so please let us know in the comments section if you’d like to see this happen!

Books and Movies

We also have books–it’s true! If you look for the Library of Congress call numbers that begin with TL, located on the second floor as part of Reference Services‘ open stacks, you’ll find many bike repair manuals for both mountain and general road bikes. You’ll also find more specific info, such as a Schwinn Bicycle Service Manual from 1972, as part of the reference collection. For a more traditional, yet still bike-related, reading resource, try David Byrne’s Bicycle Diaries. Do your kids have bikes? In the Children’s Department, under that same call number, you can find Kids’ Easy Bike Care. Next, visit the Film and Audio Department, where you will find a jillion great bike-related movies, including Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, Bicycle Thieves, and Quicksilver.

If you haven’t been to the library to boost your bike love yet, it’s obvious that you need to get there.

–Jude

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Two Wheels in Film

“Ever bike? Now that’s something that makes life worth living!…Oh, to just grip your handlebars and lay down to it, and go ripping and tearing through the streets and road, over railroad tracks and bridges, threading crowds…and wondering all the time when you’re going to smash up. Well, now, that’s something!” Jack London

I have recently been inspired to give up the car & bus in exchange for the bike, the logical argument being that it’s 1) cheaper, 2) better for the environment, and 3) better for my health. Bikes are also pretty fun, something that’s easy to forget when you haven’t ridden one in a while. Of course, switching from car to bike is a big change, and sometimes a little extra inspiration is needed, which is where Robert Penn’s It’s All About the Bike: The Pursuit of Happiness on Two Wheels comes in. In this delightful little book, bike enthusiast Penn takes us on a journey to assemble the perfect bike, and while doing so explores the history, science, and culture of the bike. One thing that struck me while reading this book is just how ingenious and elegant an invention the bicycle was and still is. The first bicycles were being ridden by the masses in the late 1800s, leading to independence and mobility (particularly for women). By the end of this book I was a convert—an amateur bicycle enthusiast ready to get back on two wheels.

Of course, the library carries all sorts of books about the bicycle—books on bike culture, history, repair, and even fiction centering largely on the will to pedal. We also have movies about biking, and I’ve gathered a few of my favorites for your perusal here:………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

 Bicycle Thief

 In this film, the bike is not simply a means of transportation—it is an opportunity for work and economic improvement. Unemployed family man Antonio Ricci finds a job that requires a bike, but then has his bike stolen on his first day of work. Major bummer. He then spends the greater part of the movie searching with his son for the stolen bicycle. A beautiful film, but kind of a downer.

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Breaking Away

Dave wants to be an Italian bicycle racer someday—his only problem being that he’s not Italian. With the help of his three working-class best friends, Dave takes on the college kids in a final bike race not to be missed. And of course, there’s also that great truck racing scene set to Italian classical music. Ciao, papa.

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Pee Wee’s Big Adventure
Words fail me—this is one of my all-time favorite movies. It was a favorite with me and my brothers growing up (“Tell ‘em Large Marge sent ya!”), and it’s held up surprisingly well. This was Tim Burton’s first feature film, and the sets and costumes are a delight, along with the music score by Danny Elfman. And then there’s that bike.

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Quicksilver

This movie is kind of corny, but it’s pretty enjoyable to watch Kevin Bacon zip around on a bike in 1980s San Francisco. After losing his hotshot stock market job, Bacon takes a job as a bike messenger. He hangs out with wacky coworkers, gets involved in some low-level intrigue, and like, totally grows as a person.

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Triplets of Belleville

Madame Souza and her beloved pooch Bruno team up with the Belleville Sisters—an aged song-and-dance team from the days of Fred Astaire—to rescue her grandson who was kidnapped during the Tour de France. Lots of bicycle racing, and lots of wonderful music. Essential viewing for all ages.…………………………………………………………..

And of course, who could forget this classic moment in cinematic history?

Bike safely,
Tara

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