Standing in my local feminist bookstore, I definitely chose True Trans Bike Rebel for its cover. The cover is glorious – it is pastel blue and pastel pink and features a happy-smirking anthropomorphic cat on a bike. I am always there for cute trans furry art, so that was my choice!
Buying a book/zine about bikes felt weird because I am not a bike person. But that didn't keep me from really enjoying this read. Funnily enough, I just looked up that one other book about bikes that I once read and liked – it was Everyday Bicycling by Elly Blue, who also edited True Trans Bike Rebel together with Lydia Rogue.
First things first, the kitty does appear inside the book as well. There is a paper-doll-like thing on the inner covers (very cute! dress the kitty!), and there is even a whole comic about it, "True Trans Bike Rebel" by Trista Vercher.
Other than that cat, I really enjoyed the range of perspectives in these texts. I somehow expected a bunch of tough "I always rode bikes and they are my life" queers, and there's nothing wrong with that, but I can't relate to it much either. What I found was much more nuanced and cozy-feeling. People seem to have a lot of different experiences with different kinds of cycling, and I enjoyed that so much. The stories are not always fluffy, a lot of them have some pretty painful parts. Their scratchy, fighty, deeply aware-of-shit energy made me feel hopefully close to them, though, bikes or not.