We love getting feedback from our readers, and believe me when I say we read every email, postcard and handwritten letter. I especially appreciate the handwritten, because it takes more time and contemplation to communicate one’s thoughts.
After taking over as editor in late March, I had some decisions to make. First, we wanted to maintain the same general vibe the magazine has exuded since its inception in 2009, while introducing some new sections. One of these includes reportage on the electric bicycle scene, one that—like it or lump it—is newsworthy and not without merit.Tweet Print
In 1968, Lloyd Kahn worked as Shelter editor for the “Whole Earth Catalog”. In 1973 he published the oversized book “Shelter”, which eventually sold 250,000 copies. Ten years ago he published “Home Work: Handbuilt Shelter”, the sequel, and in 2008, “Builders of the Pacific Coast”. Recently, Kahn published “Tiny Homes on the Move”, and we received a copy.
The 224-page book is rich with color, and not just the Roy G. Biv kind—nomadic life in the 21st century looks mildly familiar in a Lord of the Rings sort of way. The book features 90 ‘tiny’ homes, either floating in the water or rolling on the road. We felt a sort of kinship coming off our recent ‘Chasing Grins’ issue, and devoured the 1,100 color photos and rich descriptions of the families and individuals who’ve decided to live a rather unconventional—but intriguing—life away from the cliche. Bicycling is about freedom, and “Tiny Homes on the Move” takes freedom to a whole new level.Tweet Print
The marriage of disc brakes to drop-bar bicycles with fatter-than-whippet-thin-racerboy-standard tires is evolving quickly, and the exciting ‘all-surface’ category is prompting more non racers to get back on bikes, in our opinion. This is healthy for many reasons, among them the versatility this category affords.
For starters, many newer cyclists aren’t bound by tradition or category, and many would love a machine that enables them to explore. What we called ‘bicycles’ in the 1970s have now evolved into dozens of new categories, each with corresponding rules, costumes and expected behavior. The BMC Gran Fondo GF02 does away with most of that malarkey.Tweet Print
Words and photo by Kevin Murphy
Through the 1980s and ‘90s, Ross Shafer and Salsa Cycles were a force to be reckoned with. Salsa became one of the most sought-after boutique brands, which made stems, handlebars, quick releases, production and custom frames. But it wasn’t all just great product.
Shafer and his Petaluma, Calif. crew instilled a joyful soul into the brand and everything it touched. Annual festivals, fun apparel, and an ethos they lived and breathed. It was full-on fun, and moto. The incredible popularity and cult status among Salsa bicycle owners would be reason enough to tell the story of Shafer and Salsa. But there’s a hidden track on this LP.Tweet Print
Felt Bicycles develops bikes in nearly every category with worldwide distribution, an impressive feat for a company with a crew of 32 in its Irvine, California, headquarters. Its 2015 launch for more than 30 journalists from around the country highlighted several Bicycle Times-friendly models alongside the standard high-zoot carbon machines, including e-bikes, endurance, commuting, fat bikes and dirt.Tweet Print
In this issue
Coverboy Jeremy Gray shows off his bikepacking skills (and colorfully inked torso) astride a Rivendell Hunqapillar near Glorietta, New Mexico, setting the tone for our most dynamic issue yet. The cover was shot by serial adventurer Cass Gilbert, who’s also friends with feature writer Nicholas Carman, who reports on his European bikepacking experience from the North Sea to the Black Sea, and all points in between.
Our ghost editor is Ernest Hemingway, the late adventurer and author who inspired us to take advantage of our days on earth. His legacy weaves its way through the pages, which also include tips on avoiding heat stroke and taking better bike photos. We even convinced Keith Bontrager to share his mushroom foraging secrets.
By Léo Woodland, Illustration by Rich Kelly.
It’s been held by General De Gaulle’s chauffeur, by a professional, by several amateurs… yet never, so far as I know, by an American. It’s the record for the greatest distance covered in a year. And 75 years ago this winter the record was broken by the oddest man of all, and certainly the most disagreeable.
Walter Greaves had reason to think little of the world. For a start, he had only one arm. But he developed his grievance into such an unpleasant personality that one member of his old club told me he didn’t dare reflect on the old record-breaker “for fear of what I may say about him.”
The idea for a one-year distance record was born in the days when bike companies advertised the reliability of what they made. Working men bought bicycles and they wanted them as indestructible as themselves. What better proof than a bike that had gone further in a year than any before?Tweet Print
Bicycle Times contributor Nicholas Carman is organizing an evening event in Anchorage called “The Art of Bikepacking” on July 16 at 7 p.m. at The Bicycle Shop, on Dimond Boulevard. According to Carman, the evening will be part art opening, technical seminar, and inspirational storytelling. There will also be a special presentation with Eric Parsons entitled “A History of Revelate Designs”. Of course, there’ll be free food, beer, and stuff!
Read more about the event.
The 2014 Tour de France begins Saturday in the United Kingdom, and to commemorate the special event, fashion designer Sir Paul Smith has developed a surprisingly understated steel bicycle made by U.K.-based Mercian Cycles, to be sold online by mens fashion outlet Mr. Porter.
The collection is called Paul Smith 531, named after the famous Reynolds lightweight bike tubing used by Tour de France champions up until the early 1980s; the number 531 refers to the ratio of manganese (5), molybdenum (3) and carbon (1) in the steel alloy.
Click through to see video of Sir Paul talking about his love for cycling and the making of the bike.Tweet Print
I was introduced to the benefits of waxed canvas as a Rivendell Bicycle Works employee in the mid 1990s. Specifically, using Filson seconds as a way to wrap tools to fasten to my Brooks leather saddle with a handy leather toe strap. Fast forward nearly 20 years and I discover a Seattle-based craftswoman named Erica Hanson who has refined what Rivendell founder Grant Petersen called a ‘burrito wrap’, and providing tool rolls for bicycle and motorcycle use.
At 17″ x 9″, the Nomad carries much and packs tight.Tweet Print