ROADS WERE NOT BUILT FOR CARS is a free e-book about roads history, focusing on the period 1880-1905, which saw the Bicycling Boom and then – pop – the start of Motoring Mania.
Motorists are the johnny-come-latelies of highway history. The coming of the railways in the 1830s killed off the stage-coach trade; almost all rural roads reverted to low-level local use. Cyclists were the first group in a generation to use roads and were the first to push for high-quality sealed surfaces and were the first to lobby for national funding and leadership for roads.
Without cyclists, motorists wouldn’t have hit the ground running when it came to places to drive this new form of transport.
Apart from the pneumatic tyre, ball bearings, differential gears, roads, motoring, car ads, and aviation, what have the cyclists ever done for us?
‘Roads Were Not Built for Cars’ is a history book, focusing on a time when cyclists had political clout, in Britain and especially in America. The book researches the Road Improvements Association – a lobbying group created by the Cyclists’ Touring Club in 1885 – and the Good Roads movement organised by the League of American Wheelmen in the same period.
The book will be published in a Kickstarter limited edition at the end of 2013 and, thanks to research grants and advertising support, soon thereafter text PDF versions of the book will be free to read online and free to download. The free distribution model will be used in order to get the book seen by as many eyes as possible. To get notification of the paid-for and free publications place your email address in the box on the roadswerenotbuiltforcars.com website.