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Read and ride with Boneshaker: A Bicycling Almanac

Posted by Jonathan "J.R" Reed on July 30th, 2009 at 10:12 am

I've just spent a lovely but overly warm summer morning hunkered down in the cool basement reading the latest edition of Boneshaker.

The small volume's attractive recycled brown cover is reminiscent of an army field manual, but with an attention grabbing color illustration of a bicycle enticing me in to the table of contents. It turns out that the postcard-sized zine is dense with inspirational words and imagery; poetry, conversation, hope, art and community.

I was inspired to set it down and go ride my bike before I even completed the preface but each page compelled me to continue reading.

The focus on pro-bike inspiration rather than anti-car politics is sure to open some minds.

Articles and other contributions from writers, readers and cyclists across North America are served up in a rapid-fire, multi-course meal of thought provoking evangelism. I finish one letter to the editor which highlights the fragility of cycling and the mortality everyone faces then I jump to a tangential review of "The Great Muppet Caper" which reinforces the spirit to pedal forward or fall to that same inevitable mortal end like a puppet without a hand. Then on to a thoughtful and very funny interview with Jonny Waldman of San Francisco's Zero Per Gallon about the cost of cycling.

Repeatedly, I read my own unarticulated thoughts about daily riding, history, transportation and our shared future. Words so in sync with my daily ponderings that they felt like cairns on the trail reassuring me that I've found the path.

I strongly recommend picking up a copy to anyone with bikes-on-the-brain -- and even more so to those without. The focus on pro-bike inspiration rather than anti-car politics is sure to open some minds. Be sure to evangelize by passing it along (it fits so nicely in a hip pocket) and filling out the subscription card. Two issues are produced annually and a one year subscription saves a dollar off the cover price.

Look for it at Powell's Books (support BikePortland by buying it through this link. The book is also carried by Reading Frenzy at SW 9th and Oak and Black Star Bags at NE 10th and Alberta.

Even better, pick up a copy in person at the official reading/riding release at Reading Frenzy on August 12th at 7pm for the new (and third) issue, 42-300. A few contributors will share their work and then attendees will go for a ride about town, aiming to end up at a pub somewhere in Southeast Portland.

Product details:
Boneshaker: A Bicycling Almanac (Issue 42-300, March 2009)
Published twice annually by Wolverine Farm Press, Fort Collins, CO
Written by "The Transportation Department"
Edited by Evan P. Schneider
128 p.
$6.00

Available at:
- The BikePortland Bookstore, online only (you can pick up at any Powell's location)
- Reading Frenzy, 921 SW Oak
- Black Star Bags, 1011 NE Alberta

Event details:
What: Boneshaker Volume Three Release Party and Ride
When: Wednesday, August 12th, 7pm
Where: Reading Frenzy, SW 9th and Oak

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  • K'Tesh July 30, 2009 at 10:47 am

    "The focus on pro-bike inspiration rather than anti-car politics is sure to open some minds."

    Reminds me of something I heard on The Night Ride back on the 11th.

    Someone started chanting "I Hate Cars!", but it wasn't picked up by others. One spectator yelled back "Then get off the road!"

    I felt that my response of "I Love Bikes!" was more appreciated by the people within earshot, on both bikes and in cars.

    With that, I leave you

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