The Impossible Hero
Imprint: University of Ottawa Press
Robert “Bicycle Bob” Silverman achieved the impossible with his small but loyal band of followers in Le Monde a Bicyclette (MàB), together with a few allies. Over three decades. Montreal was transformed from one of the least bicycle-friendly cities in North America to becoming the cycling capital of North America by practising colorful cyclodramas, or street theatre with group members dressed in costume.
Robert Silverman was a cinematic and historical figure larger than life. A poet who owned an independent bookstore in 1960, he attracted an incredible gang of artists, intellectuals and musicians including Leonard Cohen and Armand Vaillancourt. He travelled to Fidel Castro’s Cuba in 1962 to join the revolution, eventually meeting Ernesto “Che” Guevara. A few years later, he worked on an Israeli kibbutz, later becoming a rare Jew to shake hands with Yasser Arafa. He studied in France and Spain and pioneered outdoor volleyball. A notable nonconformist, his activism changed Montreal’s landscape forever. Many describe him as “a prophet before his time.”
Find out how Robert Silverman, a real life Man of la Mancha, succeeded in reaching a few unreachable stars…