A 50-page sampler of the Bike to Work Book has been downloaded or viewed almost 140,000 times since the free preview went online four months ago.
The Bike to Work Book sampler was placed on PDF viewing websites Issuu.com, Scribd.com and Docstoc.com. A PDF was also sent out by podcasts The Fredcast and The Spokesmen. The current viewing stats are:
Podcast downloads: 29,029
US bicycle manufacturer Trek has called the book "one of the most important works on cycling as transport in the current age."
The full Bike to Work Book will be published for free on Issuu.com in mid-June 2009, and will be available as a print book to buy on Amazon.com in July.
The Bike to Work Book has been written for newcomers to urban cycling by two experts in bicycle commuting. Carlton Reid, is the executive editor of BikeBiz and author of many books on cycling as well as guidebooks, such as the Berlitz Discover Guide to Israel. Tim Grahl of Lynchburg, VA, is the publisher of CommuteByBike.com.
"Bicycling to work reduces pollution, congestion, and transport expenditure. Higher levels of bicycle use can improve transport choice, civilise cities and produce a healthier population. Cycling is clean, green and quiet. It's a lot less expensive than taking public transit or driving but it's also massive time saver: people on bikes know exactly how long a journey will take them door to door. There are no traffic snarl-ups to worry about, no parking space to find. In rush hour, bikes are far quicker than cars through congested cities.
"Cycling to work also makes for a fitter workforce, and reduces the number of days absent from work. Governments across the world are starting to recognise the many economic benefits of bicycling and are putting in place personal and corporate financial incentives to encourage greater bicycle use."
In the US, from January, bicycle commuters were able to get paid for bicycling to work. The Bicycle Commuter Act was added to the $700 billion bailout for Wall Street and allows companies to pay workers an extra $240 a year for bicycle expenses incurred while cycling to work.
Andy Clarke, president of the League of American Bicyclists said. “This is an equitable and sensible incentive to encourage greater energy independence, improve air quality and health, and even help tackle climate change."
In the UK, employees can join a company Cycle to Work Scheme, a government 'green travel plan' initiative to reduce the price of bicycles. This is a salary-sacrifice employee benefit that can half the price of a bike.
Details of both government schemes are in the free sampler for the Bike to Work Book.
The 50-page sampler also explodes the 24 most-used excuses for not cycling to work, such as it's too sweaty, too slow, too wet or too painful.
There's also a section on high-profile bike commuters, including James L Jones, the former US Supreme Allied Commander Europe now the US national security adviser. In the book, Jones is quoted as saying “[Commuting by bicycle] is an absolutely essential part of my day. It’s mind-clearing, invigorating. I get to go out and pedal through the countryside in the early morning hours, and see life come back and rejuvenate every day as the sun is coming out.”