When pre-orders for "Roads Were Not Built for Cars" went online late on Wednesday night every single £34.95 hardback had been sold by 7am the next morning. The book is a culmination of four years of research by BikeBiz executive editor Carlton Reid. 100 hardbacks were printed, none are now available. 1000 softbacks were printed and 900 of these are now pre-sold, too.
"It’s gone a bit bonkers," said Reid. "It looks like the first edition will be sold out before I even take delivery."
The book is not published until September 22nd. It was originally promoted on Kickstarter.com, seeking funds of £4000 – it eventually raised more than £17,000. Kickstarter backers get their copies of the book next week. The book will also be available for Kindles and there’s a multi-media iPad version too, with videos, audio files and hundreds of period illustrations.
Edmund King, the President of the Automobile Association, wrote the foreword for the book. He hailed it as a "fascinating insight into the origins of roads" that will "break down some road ownership issues and help promote harmony for all road users, whether on two wheels or four."
Professor David Cox, CTC’s Chair of Council, said the book was a "significant contribution to social history."
The book’s subtitle is "How cyclists were the first to push for good roads & became the pioneers of motoring." It details the hidden history of cycling’s pivotal contribition to early motoring, including how cycle technology was instrumental in the creation of cars. For instance, Reid shows how Carl Benz bought the parts for the world’s first automobile in the House of Bicycles, a Frankfurt bicycle shop.