The Bike and Beyond

The Bike and Beyond

Life on Two Wheels in Aotearoa New Zealand

The bicycle is a time machine, a link to the past. But sometimes the bicycle also feels like a link to the future – not the future we once imagined, the one with flying cars and replicators, but more like the one the Victorians might have pictured: streets crowded with bikes, strange ones of all kinds.

The bicycle – cheap, healthy and little-changed in more than a century – is, for Laura Williamson, more than just about sport or transport. Riding a bike brings moments of joy, liberation, revolution and change. From cycling suffragists to the Christchurch rebuild, life on two wheels spins us out beyond well-trod paths to a fresh and fast-moving take on New Zealand.

What are BWB Texts?

BWB Texts are short books on big subjects by great New Zealand writers. Spanning contemporary issues, history and memoir, new BWB Texts are released regularly, and the series now amounts to well over fifty works.

All recently published BWB Texts can be purchased in print and digital formats using the ‘Buy’ or ‘Preorder’ buttons on this page. You can also subscribe to the series – a great gift idea! Find more information about subscription offers here.

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Print publication:
Ebook publication: Oct 2016
Pages: 104
RRP: $14.99
ISBN: 9780947518011
DOI: 10.7810/9780947518011

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'Rides bikes, writes books' Marjorie Cook, The Wanaka Mirror, 16 November 2016

Bike'vember Blog, 16 November 2016

'Laura Williamson pays homage to cycling' Marjorie Cook, Southland Times, 15 November 2016

Laura Williamson on RDU 98.5 FM, 2 December 2016

Glenda Turnbull, 'Book Launch, Reading and Screening', Wanaka Sun, edn 792, 17-23 November 2016, p.11.


'Overall I enjoyed reading this eclectic collection of slices of cycling life in NZ (and beyond)', Cycling in Christchurch, 11 January 2017

'It packs a lot into 98 pages, and should be read by anyone interested in cycling culture and history', Alastair Smith, Cycling Action Network, 30 November 2016


'I’ve just finished reading Laura Williamson’s book, The Bike and Beyond: life on two wheels in Aotearoa New Zealand. It is about cycling. But although there is a brilliant, breathless rundown on Jack Bauer’s almost tour de force in the Tour de France, it’s not just about serious lycra-clad biking, it’s about the history, the quirks, the diversity, the originality and the simple joy of being out and about on two wheels. It’s beautifully written and it reminds me that getting on a bike is not just for sport, but a mode of transport, a way of being free.' Liz Breslin, Otago Daily Times, 17 November 2016