Stay At Home Special: 8 Bicycle Quarterlies for $ 50Jan Heine
We’ve been thinking how we can help when the spread of Covid has accelerated again, worse than ever. To encourage everybody to follow social distancing and stay-at-home recommendations, we’re offering great reading material at a discount: For a limited time, you can order 8 past editions of Bicycle Quarterly for just $ 50.
Here’s the thinking behind this: The development of vaccines against Covid-19 is a remarkable success. It shows what is possible when we marshal large resources for science. Now we can look forward to life eventually returning to normal. The big question is how we will fare in the next months, until the vaccines make a difference. And in that respect, there’s less reason to be proud. There’s a near-total absence of leadership from our federal government, whose job it is to protect us. They are arguing over whether half a dozen dead people voted (they didn’t) while thousands of people are dying every day. We are on our own – meaning it’s our job to protect not just ourselves, but those around us who are vulnerable.
During the spring, we advocated the use of face masks, at a time when this was still controversial. Masks were hard to find, so we worked with our local suppliers and offered them at cost. We sent out hundreds of face masks to customers and donated them to bike shops. We’re still wearing ours every time we go outside. Fortunately, masks are easier to find now, and we encourage you to wear yours when you head outside and can’t avoid being near others.
Masks are good, but we really should stay away from others as much as possible in the next few months. We’re all tired of social distancing. We want to meet family and friends over the holidays, but we have to be patient. To help with cabin fever we’d like to provide you with good reading materials. Obviously, we recommend our new book The All-Road Bike Revolution, but many of you have already read that. So we decided to renew our offer of 8 Bicycle Quarterly past editions for $ 50. Here are some of our favorites:
Two of editions that I love re-reading are the very first edition and BQ 64. The first one was dedicated to Cycles Alex Singer, and it had an in-depth interview with the late Ernest Csuka, illustrated with historic photos, plus a story of riding a classic 1962 Alex Singer in a modern 400 km brevet. It was the start of a great friendship with the Maison Singer, and the start to everything that you’ve been enjoying here.
BQ 64 was a remarkable edition, too. The story of the Japanese Passhunters from the Tokyo Mountain Cycling Club (Yama Saiken) had never been told. And what a story it was – these riders explored Japan’s mountain passes and forgotten roads, developed their own take on the mountain bike before the pioneers in Marin County came up with the idea of riding klunkers on trails, and had a lot of fun. Natsuko has been a long-time member of the club, and she spent many hours talking to the founding members and digging through their archives. Every time I look at those photos, I’m inspired.
Complementing this amazing story was our biggest adventure yet: Riding the Copper Canyons of Mexico on roads that climbed 2000 m (6400 ft) in one go, before dropping just as deep. It was an incredible ride in a beautiful country.
Both these editions are almost sold out, but we’ve got a few copies left of each.
Speaking of mountain cycling and pioneers, BQ 29 had a double-feature with Jacquie Phelan, who won the first three NORBA mountain bike championships…
… and her partner Charlie Cunningham who built her amazing aluminum-framed bike, complete with roller-cam brakes and many other pioneering features. There isn’t a more amazing couple in cycling, and their story will delight you.
BQ 62 was special, too. Natsuko and I took a 1946 René Herse tandem on a tour of the Vercors in the French Pre-Alps. It was a wonderful ride, but we knew from the onset that riding a tandem that hadn’t turned a wheel in decades would be an adventure. We’ve rarely had as much fun on a bike!
Another favorite is BQ 28 with the story of the Taylor brothers (of Jack Taylor Cycles). Mark Lawrence became a friend of the Taylors when he was in college, and he went back to talk to them at length about post-war cycling Britain, about discovering European cycling components, about the renegade mass-start races that rebelled against the time trials that were the only competition found in Britain at the time. Illustrated with great photos, it makes for a fascinating read.
A personal favorite is BQ 57. It talks about three weekends of cyclotouring in Japan, with trips to Kyoto, to the C. S. Hirose Owner’s Meeting, and to a wonderful island off the coast of Japan. Plus there’s the story of the very first modern Concours de Machines technical trials in France.
I’ve been fascinated by bicycle brakes – they’re more important and more interesting than derailleurs to me – and so BQ 26 told the story of bicycle brakes with all its twists and turns. Illustrated by Daniel Rebour’s iconic drawings (plus a few newly commissioned illustrations in the same style), you’ll read about how the Mafac Racer brakes is one of two components credited with winning a Tour de France stage (the other is aero bars), about the challenges of making brakes that were powerful and could reach around wide tires and fenders, about the history of brake levers and more.
And then there’s our 15th anniversary edition, BQ 61. On the cover is the incredible adventure across Kurakake Pass in Japan, on a long-abandoned road that time had forgotten. And inside, Peter Weigle takes you to the second Concours de Machines. He talks about how he built his incredible 20-pound bike (with fenders, lights, rack and even the pump), how we all traveled to France and rode in the event. Natsuko gives you a description of all the other bike that were entered, plus we show you a superlight Barra from the 1948 Concours.
I could go one… Each edition is special, and we’re sure you’ll enjoy all of them. If you can’t decide which ones to get, select ‘Surprise Me’ and we’ll send you some of our favorites. Or buy the first 50 BQs that are still in stock, which we’re offering for special price as well ($250).
Not all editions are included in this offer – some are sold out, and others are available only in very small numbers. To avoid selling more than we have left, we can offer them only as individual magazines, so that the shopping cart stops selling them when they are gone.
Click here to get your reading material for the last stretch of social distancing. Stay healthy and safe!
Jan & Natsuko