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Essays, resources, and personal stories at the intersection of bicycling and women's health. Book available now through Microcosm!
Essays, resources, and personal stories at the intersection of bicycling and women's health. Book available now through Microcosm!
201 backers pledged $5,388 to help bring this project to life.
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About

$5,388

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One of my favorite things about bicycling is that it reminds me that I have a body, and that my body wants few things more than to feel like it's flying. 

That said, some moments on the bike are better than others. And the more you know, the more of those grand, soaring moments (or at least uneventful rides to work) you can enjoy. Knowledge is power—which is why we've put together this encyclopedic book, intended to give you the knowledge and encouragement you need to get out there and fly. 

About the book

First there was a zine. Back in 2011, "Our Bodies, Our Bikes" was the 5th zine in the quarterly Taking the Lane series. It was funded on Kickstarter and its print run of 1,000 copies sold out in less than six months. 

Ever since, I've been planning to do a book. At the beginning of 2014, April Streeter, my friend and the author of the great cycling guide book and history Women on Wheels, took me out for coffee and told me she was going to help make my publishing business boom. I couldn't say no.

One of the first things April and I did together was sit down at her kitchen table and map out the OBOB book in permanent marker on huge sheets of newsprint. That morning, it went from an amorphous idea to a full-fledged book project, complete with production timeline, budget, and editorial plan.

And now all the moving parts are coming together. The very final content deadline is August 15th; we'll spend the next few weeks furiously editing and writing to fill in the gaps. The end result: A totally inspiring collection of anecdotes, essays, factual information, motivation, art, and a whole lot of heart.

What's inside

Here are some topics you'll find in the book, most in the form of personal stories by a range of awesome contributors:

  • Cycling while pregnant (including Katie Proctor's infamous essay about biking while in labor)
  • Looking professional by bike
  • Dealing with street harassment
  • Sexist bike ads
  • Gender identity and family bicycling
  • The politics of women's bicycle racing
  • Body weight and body image
  • Reproductive rights
  • Disability
  • Building up your strength
  • Aging by bicycle
  • Crotch health
  • Menstruation
  • and much, much more.

And last but not at all least, another great cover by Katura Reynolds is coming soon (you may remember her as the brains behind the space shark cover on Bikes in Space, or from her various essays in issues of Taking the Lane; she'll have one in this book as well).

About the rewards

This project is all about the books! OBOB will be a paperback book with a spine, approximately 200 pages, cover price around $15, offset print in the United States. There will be no ebook. There will be no print on demand version. Just the real deal, delivered by way of the United States Postal Service.

This new book will be similar in size to our two previous nonfiction books, The Culinary Cyclist: A Cookbook and Companion for the Good Life by Anna Brones, and Pedal, Stretch, Breathe: The Yoga of Bicycling by Kelli Refer. We think you'll like them all.

We'll also have some vinyl stickers to go along with all the rewards. "My Body, My Bike" is one for sure. We've partnered with the amazing ladies of Sustainable Cycles to produce a sticker that will allow you to let the world know how much you bike/heart your menstrual cup. We're open to more ideas! There are only excellent coalitions to be built here, folks.

About the publisher

Our Bodies, Our Bikes is edited by Elly Blue and April Streeter, published by Elly Blue Publishing, which produces feminist books about bicycling, written by a huge range of rad people, and funded by readers like you. Thank you!

Risks and challenges

We've done a number of successful publishing projects on Kickstarter before, and if we do say so ourselves, we're pretty good at putting out the small fires that invariably pop up. There's a lot of chances for things to go wrong in publishing, but by approaching this project with a solid budget, an inflated timeline, and a sense of humor we are confident that we can deliver you this awesome book that will inspire you to hop on your bike.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Our gratitude and a couple of topical stickers.

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    A copy of the Our Bodies, Our Bikes book and a couple of stickers.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Two copies of the Our Bodies, Our Bikes book and some stickers (for more than 2 copies, add an extra $12 to your pledge for each extra copy)

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Three of our books that help you take care of yourself: Our Bodies, Our Bikes, Pedal Stretch, Breathe: The Yoga of Bicycling (by Kelli Refer), and The Culinary Cyclist (by Anna Brones). And stickers!

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Philanthropist level! Everything at the $100 reward level, plus the satisfaction of helping get empowering information out into the world, plus I'll buy you coffee and thank you in person next time you're in Portland or I'm in your town.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Collector's edition: the Our Bodies, Our Bikes book and a copy of the out of print zine from 2011. Also the Culinary Cyclist and Pedal, Stretch, Breathe. And stickers, of course.

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Funding period

- (25 days)