Spring 2020 Bicycle Quarterly

It’s always exciting when a new Bicycle Quarterly goes to print. After months of work, we finally see the magazine take shape on paper, and soon our readers will enjoy their copies. We’re doubly excited about the Spring 2020 edition with its mix of engaging stories. Karen Yung reports from a bikepacking trip to the Andes of Peru – the cover shows one of her fellow adventuresses.

For our bike test, we stay closer to home. We take the Horse, an American-made modern steel bike, on a mid-winter adventure in the Cascade foothills with their countless miles of remote logging roads. As the photo shows, it was wet and muddy – and a lot of fun!

Not all our rides are covered in mud. We reminisce of a mid-summer adventure: The Oregon Cascades Volcanic Arc 400 is a new bikepacking route that travels 400 miles along the crest of the Cascade Mountains. It’s challenging, it’s beautiful, and after reading our report from the inaugural ride on this route, you’ll want to ride it yourself!

Paulette Porthault started cyclotouring in the early 1930s. During the 1940s, she rode in brevets and Concours de Machines (above). She cycled all over Europe at a time when few people traveled abroad. She was good friends with the constructeurs Narcisse, René Herse and Jo Routens. During 70 years of cyclotouring, she experienced the entire golden age of cyclotouring in France. Her adventures are the stuff of legends, and her spirit will continue to inspire us.

Natsuko Hirose explains why she loves navigating with paper maps. She compares following a GPS course with charting your course on a paper map that provides a bird’s eye view of the landscape and shows at a glance whether interesting sideroads are worth exploring.

Our Shop Visit takes you into the hallowed halls of Seven Cycles in Boston, where skilled craftspeople create amazing titanium bikes. See how the frames are crafted and learn how Seven can build them one-by-one without the long lead time usually associated with custom bikes.

Those are just a few of the wonderful stories in the Spring 2020 Bicycle Quarterly. We are preparing our mailing list this week – please subscribe or renew today (if you haven’t already) so we can include your copy when we mail out the magazines.

7 Responses to Spring 2020 Bicycle Quarterly

  1. Tim Shears March 12, 2020 at 3:39 am #

    Looks very interesting.

    I will subscribe as soon as you have digital issues.

    Printed magazines are inconvenient, unsuitable for people with bad eyesight, slow to arrive and bad for the environment.

    You have to produce the magazine digitally anyway. There really is no excuse in 2020 for not giving your readers easy access to your content in a modern, environmentally friendly way.

    • Jan Heine March 12, 2020 at 4:03 pm #

      The digital edition would have to be created specifically – the files we take to the printer fit on three DVDs, because the high-resolution images are so large. And then you have the issue of distributing the files, which requires outside (expensive) vendors. This comes up from time to time… We are too small to have both a digital and a paper edition – each needs economies of scale to be sustainable. We chose paper for its durability and enjoyment of reading. We’ve worked hard to reduce our environmental impact in many ways, so we’re not saying that four paper magazines a year per reader don’t matter, but it’s a small impact compared to other mail most people get. And digital editions have an impact, too, starting with the electricity used to run the servers.

  2. Ford Bailey March 12, 2020 at 5:55 am #

    Yay ! Just in time for quarantine ! A good opportunity to read BQ from cover to cover.

    • Jan Heine March 12, 2020 at 4:04 pm #

      Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that… but between cycling and reading, I could spend quite a while practicing ‘social distancing.’

      • PStu March 13, 2020 at 6:16 am #

        Backroad riding definitely fits my definition of “social distancing.”

  3. Brendan March 13, 2020 at 7:49 pm #

    I love BQ on printed paper, and it’s environmentally friendly superiority. LED screen (and light bulbs) emissions damage one’s vision. All of those servers and electronic reading devices at end of life will end up being scavenged by Chinese people living in cancer villages.

    • Jan Heine March 14, 2020 at 12:30 pm #

      Both digital and paper have advantages and disadvantages. We had to choose one or the other, and we chose paper. We appreciate that our readers respect that.