A Small Thing: BQ Fund Drive to benefit Black Lives Matter

A Small Thing: BQ Fund Drive to benefit Black Lives Matter

We want to do more than just say nice words. We want to help make change that is real and lasting. With that intent, we’re renewing the tradition of Bicycle Quarterly fund drives to address urgent needs. For 24 hours, from 0:00 on June 2 until 24:00 (Pacific Time) on June 3, 2020, we’re donating $ 36 for each Bicycle Quarterly subscription to Black Lives Matter.

That’s the entire cost of a U.S. subscription. For international subscriptions, we’ll also donate $ 36. If you sign up for 2 or 3 years, the donation is the same, but you’re helping us to stay in business, too. If you’re already a subscriber, you can renew early, and we’ll make the same $ 36 donation.

Simply subscribe today, and we’ll make the donation. Your subscription will start with the Spring 2020 edition, unless we run out, in which case you’ll have to wait until the Summer edition comes out at the end of the month.

Tell your friends to help us spread the word. It’s a small first step, but we have to start somewhere. Thank you!
Click here to subscribe and join the fund drive.

Update (6/5/2020):

Thank you to all who’ve subscribed and renewed in our fund drive for Black Lives Matter. The response has been overwhelming: 251 subscriptions/renewals. We just donated $9036 to Black Lives Matter.

Donating money and becoming more aware of the issues is only a first step. There is much do to, and we’ve got to start now. Thank you!

—Natsuko & Jan

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Comments (29)

  • Brady

    Thanks for doing this, Jan. A question: Are you intentionally repurposing the color scheme of “blue lives matter” propaganda or is the white on blue on black an oversight? Black Lives Matter uses yellow where this uses blue…

    June 2, 2020 at 4:13 am
    • Jan Heine

      We wanted to do something in real time, and the only logo we could find online had a white background – which did not seem appropriate. So we reversed the color scheme. We’ll fix it when we have a moment.

      June 2, 2020 at 8:36 am
  • thomas

    Dear Natsuko and Jan,

    I did not agree with all the posts in the last view weeks, but for that one I want to speak out loud:


    Kind regards,


    June 2, 2020 at 4:15 am
  • Scott Henry

    Maybe when this is done you could have another fundraiser for the police officers who have been attacked, shot and killed at the hands of these masses. Those same police officers are the ones that are there for you, giving you their lives every single day. Riots or not.


    June 2, 2020 at 11:11 am
    • Jan Heine

      We value our police officers, and we’ve had very positive encounters with some of them when we needed them. And if they become marginalized, we will speak up for them. I’ve also had negative encounters with police who used bicycles as weapons on a peaceful protest on the anniversary of the WTO in Seattle. That was a very shocking experience – I testified to the city council who investigated, but in the end, nothing changed. But since I am white and Natsuko is Asian, we usually don’t need to be afraid of the police.

      And that is one issue we are dealing with right now. While there is no doubt that the police everywhere in the U.S. has fallen into a culture of machismo (I am trying to find my photo of a police motorbike in Seattle with a license plate surround that says ‘Tes-tee-clees’) and racism – the issue here is the much more ingrained racism in our society. It goes far beyond a few bad police officers. It’s exemplified by the fact that people think it’s OK that George Floyd was killed because he may have had a fake 20-dollar bill, or he may have been drunk. It’s exemplified by the fact that Ahmaud Arbery was suspect because he was running through a neighborhood. (I do this all the time, with little thought that I might get killed, by I am white.) It’s exemplified by the fact that the cocker spaniel lady knew that when she told the 911 dispatcher that an ‘African American man’ was threatening her life, it was going to elicit a different response from the police.

      I am especially struck by Christian Cooper’s case. It’s not as tragic as the others, but it really shows how deeply ingrained racism still is.

      June 2, 2020 at 12:35 pm
      • Scott Henry

        This doesn’t include last night, so it’s good that you think this isn’t marginalizing them.
        In the last 96 hours…
        -A Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Officer was shot in the back of the head while struggling with a rioter
        -An active shooter opened fire on law enforcement at a Las Vegas courthouse
        -4 St. Louis Police Officers were shot by an active shooter
        -A New York Police Officer was struck by a vehicle
        -3 Buffalo law enforcement officers were struck by a vehicle in front of the police station
        -3 Davenport law enforcement officers were ambushed and 1 was shot
        -132 officers were injured in Chicago during a riot
        -9 Pittsburg officers were injured by objects during a riot
        -Several officers in Rhode Island were injured during riots
        -An active shooter opened fire at the Oakland Police Department
        -2 officers were struck in the head with projectiles in Santa Ana
        -2 Richland officers were shot in Virginia
        -1 officer was struck in the head by a brick in Albany
        -4 Prince William County Police Officers sustained head injuries from projectiles
        -7 officers were injured in Sacramento
        -Several officers were shot at and injured in Lynchburg
        -Several Champaign Police Officers were injured
        -3 Oak Law Police Officers were injured
        -21 officers were injured in Salt Lake City
        -At least 50 Secret Service Agents were injured by Molotov cocktails in Washington
        -3 Denver Police Officers were ran over by a vehicle
        -33 New York Police Officers were injured during riots
        -6 Athens Police Officers injured during a protest
        -2 Capitol Police Officers were injured during a riot in Harrisburg
        -12 Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Officers were injured during riots
        -21 Minneapolis law enforcement officers injured in riots
        -1 Federal Protective Services Officer was shot and killed.

        June 3, 2020 at 5:09 am
        • Jan Heine

          Before I reply, I would like to express my shock over all who’ve been killed or injured in recent days on both sides of the struggle, wish the latter a speedy recovery and express my condolences to the friends and family of the former. This isn’t anti-police, it’s anti-police brutality and, more importantly, anti-racism. I also wish that our leaders both urge calm and make meaningful promises to address the concerns that led to this. The latter will be hard, since promises have been made for decades.

          I approved your comment, even though it doesn’t seem related to this post. This post is not about riots, it’s about supporting a struggle. If we had supported that struggle earlier, the riots might not be happening. Beyond that, knowing how law enforcement counts these numbers, most of the injuries on your list are minor and many are self-inflicted. It would be a more credible list if it contained only those seriously injured, and not those who scratch their leg while they get out of their patrol cars.

          People are upset because George Floyd and others were brutally killed, not because they were slightly hurt. If you compiled a list like yours of the victims of police violence, every person who’s been arrested would be on it, since handcuffs probably leave marks on your wrists.

          When we read headlines like “Washington State Patrol apologizes after officer tells his team, ‘Don’t kill them, but hit them hard’ in reference to Seattle protesters” we wonder what it will take to change the culture that pervades many of our police forces. If anything, now is a time for police to respect the rights of the protesters and to de-escalate, not ‘hit them hard.’

          Despite all this, we abhor violence against anybody, including police officers. While we understand that peaceful protests are easily ignored, we also feel that killing or seriously injuring police officers is counterproductive to the struggle. We also wonder how much of that violence is perpetrated or instigated by forces that want to hurt, not help, the protest movement. When I lived in Germany, there were protests against a new third runway at the Frankfurt airport that went through a nature preserve. The protests went on for years, and public opinion favored not building the runway. Then two police officers were shot and killed at a protest (by a sharp-shooter from a great distance). The shooter was never found, but the protesters were blamed, the protests lost support, and the runway was built. Whoever the shooter was, what they achieved was to stop the protests.

          We hope that the country will not just return to peace, but also increase racial justice. Our fund drive should be viewed in that light. I don’t expect you to support it, but I urge you to work toward the same goals in your own way.

          June 3, 2020 at 8:40 am
    • Owen

      Scott, respectfully: Most law enforcement officers have excellent health care and benefits negotiated by their very powerful unions. If they are injured or killed in the line of duty they or their surviving family members are usually well provided for. This cannot be said for many victims of police brutality. Violence against law enforcement is unquestionably wrong, but by the same token law enforcement already has the financial resources it needs.

      June 2, 2020 at 2:54 pm
  • Owen

    Bravo! Just renewed. Also I really appreciated “The Couple on the Train” post–it’s so important for us to hear these African American stories and individual experiences. I hope the couple you encountered found a better life out here in the West.

    June 2, 2020 at 11:40 am
    • Jan Heine

      She became the school board president of one of the biggest cities in the U.S. They seemed like a happy couple, and we had a delightful lunch (or was it dinner?) with them.

      June 2, 2020 at 12:36 pm
  • Alex

    Thanks Jan & Natsuko – Haven’t been a subscriber in a few years but this has now brought me back.

    June 2, 2020 at 2:48 pm
  • J Schwartz

    Thank you
    Just subscribed

    June 2, 2020 at 3:25 pm
  • anthony Joseph Sands

    Just Subscribed!


    June 2, 2020 at 3:31 pm
  • William

    Thank you Jan. Already a subscriber, donating directly instead.

    June 2, 2020 at 3:52 pm
  • William Scott

    Thanks for doing this. Just subscribed for two years.

    When you look at the police response to BLM vs. the guys with automatic weapons and confederate flags who show up to protest pandemic control, it is fairly clear what is going on.

    On May 20th, the Guardian reported that the SARS-CoV-2 fatality rate for black Americans is three times higher than that of their white counterparts. “More than 20,000 African Americans – about one in 2,000 of the entire black population in the US – have died from the disease.”

    Don’t let anyone give you any crap about your decision to do this. And thank you!

    June 2, 2020 at 4:27 pm
  • mitchell

    Excellent idea. Just renewed.

    So much wrong going on in my beloved country right now…..

    June 2, 2020 at 7:41 pm
  • michael ross

    im subscribing!! thank you for taking a stand, the right stand. these are complicated issues….there is no one magic solution, but identifying the depth of the problem is necessary. by the way, grant petersen of rivendell wrote beautifully to these issues as well on his blog. also…eric michael dyson, eddie glaude, mark lamont hill, cornell west and many others have studied the related issues of race and class for decades; they deserve our attention. what “white” people have done to “black” people throughout usa history is unforgivable.,..

    June 2, 2020 at 8:48 pm
  • Philip Williamson

    Subscribed for two years. Thank you.

    June 2, 2020 at 9:01 pm
  • patrick smith

    Thanks, subscribed this morning as soon as I saw this post!

    June 3, 2020 at 5:32 am
    • Jan Heine

      Thank you! We’ll include your subscription and all others that missed the cut-off by a few hours in the fund drive.

      June 3, 2020 at 9:10 am
  • Benjamin Van Orsdol

    Sent a subscription to my uncle. Thanks Jan. It’s nice to see a business stick it’s neck out for a just cause. Cheers

    June 3, 2020 at 7:21 am
  • Luke H

    I just saw the post this morning, and signed up for two years. Missed the date but hope some portion could be contributed.


    June 3, 2020 at 8:54 am
    • Jan Heine

      No worries, we’re extending the deadline. Thank you for your support!

      June 3, 2020 at 10:25 am
  • Samuel McCune

    Hi Jan, I am a long-time avid reader of your magazine. I am heartened by your generosity, but I wonder if we will begin to hear from more cyclists of color in your magazine?

    June 3, 2020 at 12:38 pm
    • Jan Heine

      We’ve covered stories mostly based on their merits, rather than try to address diversity issues. Looking for a variety of different voices, that has quite naturally led to racial diversity amongst our contributors. Obviously, we have a lot of Asian voices in the magazine, with Natsuko as the editor, and our frequent stories about Japan, with features not just about riding in Japan, but also portraits of Japanese framebuilders and collectors. An Asian-American voice was Karen’s story about bikepacking in Peru in the latest edition. I really enjoyed Gregor’s bikepacking story about Eritrea and his encounters with local cyclists there.

      We’ve been thinking about ways to consciously increase the diversity in the magazine further, so there are some other things in the works. For example, we’ve been talking to JaBig (who happens to be black) about his round-the-world tour to benefit World Bicycle Relief, before his trip was cut short by Covid-19. Even so, we’ve been enjoying his unique voice and been thinking about how to share it with our readers. However, I am reluctant to list these riders’ ethnicity here: We publish their stories because they are unique, fascinating and inspiring, not to fill some quota.

      As a company, Rene Herse Cycles lost Kenneth, who is African-American, at the end of last year. You may have interacted with him – he handled our subscriptions among other things. He had come to us straight out of college, and he’s now found a his dream job. We are all excited, and we miss him.

      Nonetheless, we all realize that cycling is a predominantly white sport (at least in the U.S.), and while we don’t want to suggest that more people of color should ride bikes if they don’t want to (which would be yet more condescending racism), we must ensure that everybody feels welcome and at home in our sport and our magazine. And so we’ll continue to our efforts to feature a diversity of voices and faces in the pages of Bicycle Quarterly, on our blog and in our social media feed.

      And please don’t misinterpret this comment: We know that racism is prevalent in our society, and nobody – ourselves included – is immune from this sad fact. I agree with you that all the beautiful words of solidarity and all the abstract statements of culpability that we have seen in recent days don’t mean much without a concrete plan to address the systemic injustices behind these problems.

      June 3, 2020 at 11:45 pm
  • Samkrueger101

    Thanks Jan – renewed for 3 years

    June 3, 2020 at 4:18 pm
  • Corbin Hines

    I have nothing but respect for the vast majority of police officers who diligently do their difficult and frequently dangerous jobs properly and well. They have to make instantaneous decisions while ensuring their own safety and the safety of others. I am happy there are those who are willing to serve. Some individuals abuse their power and authority, or allow their personal biases to influence their treatment of others. Clearly no person should be mistreated, abused, or killed solely based on their ethnicity or origin. I did not expect to find this subject matter on this blog, but Jan and Natsuko’s comments have been thought provoking and they are to be commended for making what I hope turns out to be a substantial contribution toward education and awareness. I have just added my new subscription.

    June 3, 2020 at 9:20 pm
    • Jan Heine

      Thank you for your thoughtful words. Indeed, we’ve encountered many friendly and respectful police officers, and we are certainly not anti-police.

      June 3, 2020 at 11:45 pm
  • Derek

    I’m tired of hearing how dangerous it is to be a cop. Google most dangerous jobs in America and police officer doesn’t even make the top ten. Industrial workers are injured or killed more often by dangerous equipment and machinery. Most police work is just talking to people and writing stuff down. When violence is committed against them, that is not an excuse for them to continue to be racist.

    June 4, 2020 at 8:42 am

Comments are closed.