Join journalist and critic Jody Rosen as he launches the paperback edition of his immensely popular Two Wheels Good: The History and Mystery of the Bicycle, named one of the best books of the year in 2022 by The New Yorker. Rosen will be in conversation with Doug Ulman, an avid cyclist and CEO of Pelotonia, the grass roots cycling movement supporting cancer research.
PELOTONIA is Gramercy’s Community Partner for this exclusive Gramercy@Home program!
Registration is on Eventbrite for this live streamed event. The purchase of Two Wheels Good waives the $5 registration fee.
The bicycle is a vestige of the Victorian era, seemingly at odds with our age of smartphones and ride-sharing apps and driverless cars. Yet we live on a bicycle planet. Across the world, more people travel by bicycle than any other form of transportation. Almost anyone can learn to ride a bike—and nearly everyone does.
In Two Wheels Good, journalist and critic Jody Rosen reshapes our understanding of this ubiquitous machine, an ever-present force in humanity’s life and dream life—and a flash point in culture wars—for more than two hundred years. Combining history, reportage, travelogue, and memoir, Rosen’s book sweeps across centuries and around the globe, unfolding the bicycle’s saga from its invention in 1817 to its present-day renaissance as a “green machine,” an emblem of sustainability in a world afflicted by pandemic and climate change. Readers meet unforgettable characters: feminist rebels who steered bikes to the barricades in the 1890s, a prospector who pedaled across the frozen Yukon to join the Klondike gold rush, a Bhutanese king who races mountain bikes in the Himalayas, a cycle-rickshaw driver who navigates the seething streets of the world’s fastest-growing megacity, astronauts who ride a floating bicycle in zero gravity aboard the International Space Station.
Two Wheels Good examines the bicycle’s past and peers into its future, challenging myths and clichés while uncovering cycling’s connection to colonial conquest and the gentrification of cities. But the book is also a love letter: a reflection on the sensual and spiritual pleasures of bike riding and an ode to an engineering marvel—a wondrous vehicle whose passenger is also its engine.
Jody Rosen is a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine. His work has appeared in Slate, New York, The New Yorker, and many other publications. He lives in Brooklyn with his family.
Doug Ulman is the Chief Executive Officer of Pelotonia, a grass roots cycling movement which was established in 2008 with the objective to fund lifesaving cancer research and has, since its founding, raised over $250 million. A three-time cancer survivor and globally recognized cancer advocate, Ulman led LIVESTRONG as President and Chief Executive Officer before joining Pelotonia in 2014, establishing that organization as the global leader in cancer survivorship. Among Ulman’s numerous board positions, he is an active member of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) and The Columbus Partnership.