On Tour

Track plans and progress for book tour events, signings, and public author talks here — new events and logistical details constantly updated.  Or contact the author to organize a talk for your bike shop, book store, advocacy group, or keynote.

Track plans and progress for book tour events, signings, and public author talks here — new events and logistical details constantly updated.  Or contact the author to organize a talk for your bike shop, book store, advocacy group, or conference keynote.

Want to host a tour stop? Contact me via email or the press marketing office to arrange a book talk or signing at libraries, bookstores, bike clubs, or events.  I’ve done more than fifty public events or keynote speeches since the start of 2015, and another twenty private talks or presentations to scholarly audiences.  I’m happy to talk about selected topics from the history of bicycling, especially the story of the sidepath movement of the 1890s and its impact on American cities, the Victory bike rationing program of WWII, or the role of history in understanding present-day urban biking debates or bikelash.

Updated often!  Want to get on the list? I’m happy to visit bookshops, bikeshops, libraries, schools . . . and maybe group rides, coffee shops and bake shops! Especially bake shops.

2023 Events:

May 19, 2023, 5PM: “Reconsidering the Victory Bike in WWII: Policy, Transportation and Chicago History.” Northwestern University Transportation Library, Evanston, Ill. Free to the public!  More details and free registration at https://planitpurple.northwestern.edu/event/600611 

Widely-reprinted image of Leon Henderson and Betty Barrett, January 1942l.
Widely-reprinted image of Leon Henderson and Betty Barrett, January 1942. United Press International.

April 24, 2023 7PM EST: “Cycle Town USA: Unpacking Rochester (New York)’s Bike History”  Register at Reconnect Rochester

Did you know that Rochester was known as Cycle Town in the 1890s and that
one visiting journalist thought we were “the greatest bicycle town in the
country"? Join Reconnect Rochester for a deep dive on Rochester bike history.
Local history bike tour guide and Cycling Manager, Jesse Peers will share his
research findings, and we’ll have a panel discussion with three historians
who’ve also researched in Rochester for their books.
Cycle Town USA:
Unpacking Rochester's Bike History
Monday, April 24 | 7 PM - 8 PM | Virtual
Register to receive zoom link

2022 Events:

May 17, 2022:  Friends of the Chippewa River State Trail  at 7:00 pm, Shift Cyclery and Coffee Bar at 615 Graham Avenue in Eau Claire.

2021 Events:


2020 Events:

CANCELLED BECAUSE COVID May 21-28, 2020:  Spain book tour

CANCELLED BECAUSE COVID September 18, 2020: Madison Bikes, Madison, Wisconsin.  More info TBA

Madison Bikes Logo

Past Events:

October 7, 2019: “Bike Battles: Lessons from the Past to Plan for our Mobility Future” at the World Resources Institute, Washington DC. Sponsored by NUMO.  “Join WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities and NUMO for a presentation by Dr. James Longhurst, author of Bike Battles: A History of Sharing the American Road and professor of history at the University of Wisconsin. Dr. Longhurst will trace the contentious debates between American cyclists, motorists and pedestrians over the shared road, as well as what the evolution of our transportation system and the ways we are planning for our future mobility mean for the bicycle.”

October 31, 2019:  People for Bikes workshop, Santa Barbara CA

June 13, 2018:  Join the Quartier-Zukunft-Team in Karlsruhe, Germany for ““Forgotten History and the Return of the Bicycle to American Cities,” a part of “FahrRad! – Abend mit Vortrag,” open to the public and in English.  Not open to the public: “Cycling and Recycling: Tariffs, Transportation, Strategic Resource Allocation and the US ‘Victory Bike’ Program, 1932-1945” a presentation to the International Workshop “Waste Recycling, War and Occupation: A Transnational Perspective on World War II.” Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)

September 3, 2018:  La Crosse, Wisconsin with the Northwoods Ski Touring Association

September 16-19, 2018: Walk Bike Places, New Orleans, Louisiana. With HealthTide and Wisconsin Active Communities

January 9, 2018:  Transportation Research Board annual meeting, Washington DC. part of the panel “From Boom to Boom and Beyond: The History of Bicycle Transportation and Planning in the United States, 1890s to the Present”

January 9, 2018, Fairfax Alliance for Better Bicycling with Access Tysons — public talk at Microsoft Store in Tysons Corner Center, 7PM.  Details EventBrite page

April 27, 2018:  Babbler’s Bike Fest, Stevens Point, Wisconsin

Bike Battles Book Tour Stage 1: Washington, DC and Wilmington, Delaware

March 16-27, 2015

March 18 — Author talk for Washington Area Bicycle Association

March 20, 10AM — book release, informal reception, and signing at the American Society of Environmental Historians conference in Washington, DC at University of Washington Press table in the ASEH book exhibit at the Marriott Hotel

March 23, 6PM — Author talk for Bike Delaware and Wilmington Wheels & Walks  at the Brandywine Hundred Public Library, Wilmington, DE; event details on Facebook

Rochester May 2015 event poster
Rochester May 2015 event poster

May 17 – Rochester Public Library, sponsored by Rochester Bike Coalition, 3PM — RSVP on Facebook!


May 20 — La Crosse WI — Pearl to Pearl Bike Ride and Book Signing, sponsored by Driftless Region Bicycle Coalition and People’s Food Co-op, with promotion from Wisconsin Bike Fed — join the Facebook event!

4-6 PM:  Riders assemble at “Free Wheelin’ Wednesdays” at Pearl Street Brewery, 1401 St Andrew St, La Crosse
6 PM:  Bike Riders depart for Pearl Street Books
6:30 PM: Book signing and reception at Pearl Street Books,  323 Pearl St, La Crosse.  Books available for purchase.

June 4 – Chicago — Seminary Co-op Bookstore, sponsored by Blackstone Bicycle Works and Active Transportation Alliance, 6PM — RSVP on Facebook!

Title: “The Transcontinental Bike Path that Doesn’t Exist: Chicago and the Forgotten Sidepath Movement of the 1890s”


Bike Battles Book Tour Stage 2: Pacific Northwest

Seattle -> Portland 2015


June 17 — Arrive in Seattle

June 18 — Eagle Harbor Books, Bainbridge Island,  7:30 p.m. Join on Facebook!

June 20 — Seattle Public Library, with University Book Store, and Cascade Bicycle Club3 p.m.  See event on the SPL Calendar or join on Facebook.

June 23 — Oregon Historical Society with the Bicycle Transportation Alliancenoon — join on Facebook or get the flyer!
June 23 — Garden Home Community Library, 7PM. Join on Facebook!
June 24 — Depart PDX

 PAST EVENTS: Bike Battles Book Tour Stage 3: 2016

January 21 — Lawrence University — Appleton, Wisconsin, 7PM, Main Hall 201

January 30 — Northfield, Minnesota — “Soup and Cycles,” the annual meeting of BikeNorthfield; First United Church:  Book Signing 5-6PM, Book Talk 6:30PM — Faribault Daily News story

February 12 — La Crosse, WI — “Bicycles and History: WWII, the Victory Bike and How History Shapes Culture, Behavior, and Policy,” part of UW-L Continuing Education’s Learning in Retirement “Cabin Fever” series — free for LIR members, $5 otherwise —  1-3 p.m. | 332 Cartwright Center, UWL

 April 4 — University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point, at CPS 116, April 6 at 6pm, and is sponsored by College of Bike Battles UWSP Poster SmallLetters and Science, Department of History and International Studies, Center for Land Use Education, School of Health Promotion and Human Development, and Department of Political Science.

May 20 — Active Transportation Summit with UWL Continuing Education, La Crosse WI, Hall of Nations, Centennial Hall, UW-La Crosse campus.  “Join us at the Midwest Active Transportatitransportationon Conference for one day of active learning, networking, collaboration and continuing education.  We are celebrating the bonds of all who share an interest in empowering people in our communities by increasing awareness, implementation and coordination of active transportation.”


May 21 — La Crosse, WI, Wisconsin Bike Federation’s Wisconsin Bike Summit:  “The 2016 Wisconsin Bike Summit will be held . . .  at the Radisson Hotel.  The Summit is scheduled to complement the UW- La Crosse Extension  Midwest Active Transportation Conference to be held on May 20th. Registrants of both events will receive a discount.  We are pleased to welcome our featured speakers –   Mayor Tim Kabat will provide Opening Remarks and our Keynote Speaker is Dr. James Longhurst, Associate Professor of History at UW-LaCrosse and author of Bike Battles: A History of Sharing the American Road.”


June 23 —  Minneapolis MN; “Get Out of the Road! The Legal Battle over the Highwheel in America, 1870-1900” – Fireside Chat. Thursday, June 23, 2016. 6:30pm – 7:30pm Hennepin History Museum — 2303 3rd Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN, 55404 Cycling Museum of Minnesota. $5.00 AT THE DOOR, FREE FOR HHM MEMBERS.

July 16, 2016 — Madison, WI:  American Family Insurance Dreambank, 6PM.

October 27, 2016 — La Crosse.  Wisconsin Downton Action Council

December 3, 2016 — Faribault, MN:  Faribault Flyers annual meeting


March 30, 2017 — Presentation as a part of the Wisconsin Bicycle Federation‘s “Bike Walk Civics” webinar series

May 19, 2017 — Welcome address at the Midwest Active Transportation Conference, a project of U Can 2 and University of Wisconsin La Crosse Continuing Education.  Registration required.

June 15, 2017 —  “The Forgotten Victory Bike in WWII,”  6:30pm, Whitefish Bay Public Library, 5420 N. Marlborough Drive, Whitefish Bay, WI 53217 | 414.964.4380 Part of Whitefish Bay TALKS, a monthly speakers series.  Register online at http://www.wfblibrary.org

June 22, 2017 — Missoula, Montana — 5:30-7:30 PM, author talk with Q&A and book signing to follow at Imagine Nation Brewing, hosted by Bike Walk Alliance of Missoula (BWAM!).  RSVP at the Facebook event.

September 28, 2017 — Appleton, Wisconsin — 7-9PM, in Steitz Hall at Lawrence University — public talk “Victory Bike Battles in WWII – New History, Lessons for Today” — more information at Facebook event.

November 10, 2017 — Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania — 7PM, with Healthy Ride Pittsburgh and BikePGH.  — more information at Facebook event.