Summer 2023 Bicycle QuarterlyJan Heine
The new Bicycle Quarterly is at the printer. It’s always fun to see the pages come off the press. We’re there to check that the colors are exactly right. It’s much more work than putting together an online journal, but the sheer beauty and permanence of print make it worth while. Our goal is to make every Bicycle Quarterly a book that you’ll treasure and return to many times.
What struck me this time is the variety of stories in the Summer edition. Every Bicycle Quarterly brings you inspiring adventures from authors who aren’t just good riders, but also great storytellers. We round out these big features with bike tests, interesting cycling history, and technical articles. Our goal is to provide many hours of reading enjoyment for our readers, no matter where their interests lie.
Anton Krupicka’s climbing partner was curious about bicycle touring, so Anton planned a five-day trip, starting from home. Every day’s ‘mileage’ included climbing an iconic peaks in Colorado’s Front Range. Anton is a legend for all the right reasons, and his report is sure to captivate you.
Krysten Koehn toured and raced in the Iceland. Her experiences of riding across this volcanic landscape—and the amazing photos that go with her story—take us to a world of intense colors that seems to belong on a different planet. Her story will make you want to head to Iceland, too.
Leonardo Brasil takes us to his home country, Brazil, where he bikepacks an ancient route with his best friend. The two climb big mountains, stay in colonial towns, and push their way through overgrown jungle trails. Along the way, Leonardo makes a profound realization: While he came here to ride bikes with a friend, he’s found his roots and created a new sense of belonging.
Great bikes are expensive, there is no way around that. What if we use technology not just to make them lighter and faster, but also more affordable? That’s the idea of the VAAST A/1, a remarkably affordable all-road bike made from an innovative material: Magnesium is lighter than steel, titanium and even aluminum, and it’s also more flexible. Can that be translated into a bike that ‘planes’ with the best, without breaking the bank?
To find out, we enlisted this wonderful cast of characters. They’re all Japanese bike industry insiders, and most are top-level racers. They were eager to show Jan some of the best gravel roads Japan has to offer. It was a wild ride, and a perfect test for the VAAST.
Japan has a long tradition of affordable bikes designed to go off the beaten path. At a time when most top-tier bikes were racing models, Japanese makers put camping bikes at the tops of their lineups. They wanted to inspire dreams of adventure, not racing. Mainstream makers like Bridgestone, Nishiki and Miyata offered bikes with sturdy racks made from steel tubing, custom panniers, and even carrying handles for portaging (above). We take a detailed look at these fascinating machines!
The history of cycling wear is a fascinating topic that hasn’t really been explored before. In this story, we hear from early riders who complain of a lack of suitable cycling wear, especially for women. We explore the rules of cyclotouring competitions that required loose-fitting clothing (above) and find that this didn’t slow anybody down. We explore when and why wool was replaced by synthetics, and why it has made a comeback. We hear from Natsuko and Anton Krupicka about their philosophies with respect to what they wear on their bikes. It’s a fun read, illustrated with wonderfully evocative photos.
These are just a few of the many stories in the Summer 2023 Bicycle Quarterly. We’re finalizing the mailing list this week. Now is the time to subscribe (or renew) to get your copy without delay. You won’t want to miss it!