I've got a fantastic book.
Bike Cult, by David Perry.
Unfortunately, it's out of print. It was published in 1995; ISBN 1-56858-027-4. Paperback, 570 pages with lots of black-and-white illustrations.
It's available at the Boise Public Library; that's where I first encountered it and spent 4 weeks with it. But it's an encyclopedia; if you love bicycles and bicycling, you need it handy. So I found one on the eBay. (It, and my Rand McNally's, are at my bedside.)
It has pretty much everything you'd want to know about bicycling - bike history, design, transportation, politics, sport, advocacy. I intend to share some information contained therein, from time to time.
Bicycle in Hawaiian: ka'a paikikala (Don't forget!)
Do you know when popular bicycling got its start? According to Bike Cult, the number of cyclists in America grew from 100 in 1878, to about 50,000 in 1889, to over five million by 1898... mainly because more women were riding bicycles.
"Smooth" roads were first developed mainly to accommodate bicycles.
"[The bicycle] stood for independent locomotion, movement through a world which most urban Americans had hitherto seen only through the windows of a streetcar or train, or on foot. Free locomotion became an attribute of the individual. It offered, in short, an individual unstructured experience of the environment, combined with healthy exercise and a very mild exhiliration from rapid motion.
"The bicycle had, and still has, a humane, almost classical moderation in the kind of pleasure it offers."
- J. B. Jackson, founder of the journal Landscape