City Publishers in Orestad have taken the bookshop to the road. With a converted cargo bike powered by an editor or a writer they are taking books and coffee to the streets of Copenhagen. Like most countries publishers and bookshops are struggling to keep the printed word relevant and are starting to look for different ways to get themselves out there. City Publishers is a small independent publisher who publish under the motto “Books for the people”, and it is their small nimble size that has pushed them to try different things to connect with their readers, in this case via the bike. The plan is for the mobile cafe to move around the city and park itself in front of parks, business’s and bigger city landmarks.
It is the 60th anniversary of one of Italy’s best loved bike brands, De Rosa. To mark the occasion they have launched a new series called ”Sessanta” - this special edition or “Black Series” are made in the four materials of frame building, Steel, Titanium, Aluminum and Carbon all in one lush dark color. My favorite is the Aluminum version above, although I think it is a miss to not include one of the best logos in cycling on the down tube. From the launch site it reads like the frames can be custom tailored for size in all four materials, all made in Italy.
These photographs on the Billy Kirk site are almost like pieces of art. They are renowned for the quality of their hand-crafted leather products, and here they have applied that to the classic Toe Strap. The rugged design is made from 7 oz. genuine bridle leather sourced in the USA, and made to last. They also offer a variety of color options that allow you to match the straps to your saddle and grip tape. A no frill design with dull nickel plated brass buckles for adjustment. You can get them here.
I love a good surprise in the post. This week brought these wonderful prints from the illustrator Otto Von beach. They are a series called 100 revolutions that celebrate The Tour. They are lithographic prints on 350 gm silk board, 210mm x 285mm and printed by Spiegl Press of Stamford in an edition of 500 (unsigned). In his own words and ones that I could never hope to better:
“REGRETTABLY I was already entombed in my icy berth when those sixty savages of the road set forth on the first Tour de France in 1903. However, I did have the dubious pleasure of meeting the eventual winner, Maurice Garin, at the inaugural Paris-Roubaix in 1896. To commemorate the 100th edition of the Tour—and to recover the five guineas Garin charged me for his autograph—I am delighted to offer a set of six prints illustrating each of the six stages from that first race.”
These are well worth getting, very unique and beautifully executed, I don’t doubt that down the line they could become collectable. You can get them here.
One of the best things to happen in the last decade is the freedom we have been given by digital tools and computing power to open up old publishing models to all. I would never say print is dead, I love printed media, but the formats it was previously delivered in are being reinvented. The latest of these, and one that we hope gets a great tailwind is Conquista.cc. Like a lot of us they wanted more than what we were being offered and decided to see what they could come up with. At first glance it looks like an interesting model. They will follow a quarterly format, delivered free online, and a limited run of 1000 printed issues. They are an advertising supported model, but want to look at how those adverts appear throughout the publication. Advertising and content will be kept separate – no paid content or “cleverly” placed ads dropped into the middle of articles. It has been a advertising model that served well, and probably will continue for a while yet – it is just nice to see someone try something else and see if they can make it work. We wish Benjamin and all at Conquista the best of luck and good legs and look forward to seeing what they do in the future.
Here is a really interesting idea, combining a lot of things we already carry, the backpack, the tablet and the phone. A custom designed backpack has a transparent window that allows you to place your tablet facing out to the public. Using your phone on your bar-top (which I assumes all connects together via Bluetooth) you can send turn signals and messages to the table. Turn left? Just swipe the phone left and the tablet in the backpack signals to traffic you are turning left. “Have a nice day” messages to nice drivers, and “Asshole” messages to the not so nice ones. I imagine it could also be used as a light at night as well. All I can find on this project presents it as a concept or prototype so I have no idea if it is making it into production. It also looks like there is a world of patents already registered against wearable technology and backpacks, again no idea if any of them are heading towards manufacturing. It is a great idea, especially now with so many city bike programs running.
Here at last! Our Ardennes Book Project for Elcyclista Editions. The book is a collection of images captured at the 2012 Ardennes week (Amstel, Fleché and L-B-L). No passes, no “Moto’s”, no access to hotels, the images are all from the perspective of the fan, and being surrounded by the ambience of these three amazing races. We have done the book in a first edition of /50 with each book individually numbered on the special editions page inside the book. This project took some time to finish as during its making my father unfortunately passed away from cancer. It was one of the last things I showed him that I was working on, so the project holds a special place for us. We are offering the book at two prices. We always appreciate the support we get and we try to keep our prices as affordable as possible, the first price is $65 which is the cost of production and packaging. The second price if you can afford to is $70 where we will donate $5 to the Hospice that helped him through his last days. As always we are grateful for whatever support you can give us. Lets see if we can get this fella to a second editon!
I have watching an incredible amount of people riding around Brooklyn on the new Citibike program without helmets, and starting to get a little concerned for their livelihood. With no protection offered by Citibike, and most people don’t happen to carry a helmet with them, there is an obvious problem to solve. Thankfully some people are starting to think of options. In the UK the Paper Pulp Helmet project has surfaced, a low cost recyclable bicycle helmet for use with London’s Bicycle Hire Scheme. The hemet is manufactured from recycling waste newspapers that circulate the London transport network. They pulp the paper and through an Organic additive they make sure the helmet is water resistant for up to 6 hours. They make the helmets in a number of sizes and add food coloring to allow color to be associated to size. Everything is fully recyclable, so when the helmet starts to reach the end of its life it can be put right into your recycling program. All round it is a really nice and thoughtful project.
Loving this film from WELLPLASTIC Films on the Moulton Bicycle Company. Beautifully put together, it tells the story around one of Britain’s most iconic brands and still to this day one of the most architecturally beautiful bikes ever made. Watch it in full screen with headphones on, it is well worth it. I love the quote from from the founder and designer Alex Moulton “We have to get your face out of the computer“, while he designs with a Sharpie and a notebook.
“Do what you love, and love what you do” – is the motto of the Pave Culture Cycliste shop tucked away in a suburb just outside of Barcelona. It is something Javier the owner has really taken to heart. Every inch of their space is a considered design decision with no compromises, a true labor of love. From the on-brand purples flowers that great you at the door, to the collection of classic rides, everything that is there fits with Javier’s unique taste. All of these things together have created one of the best bike retail experiences I have had the pleasure to visit. The shop has a lot of the usual suspects, Rapha, Assos, BMC, Parlee, and Time but it is how they have been laid out in the Pave space that makes the difference. It is a big space, in fact they could double their stock and they would still have more space left over than most shops. But instead they carefully curate what they bring to the shop and lay the products out with room to breath, like their special anniversary Tour display by Le Coq Sportif. They also carry a few brands hard to see in the US, like frame makers Pasculli and Milani. Like all good bike shops they become a magnet for the local ride scene. Every day at noon a lunchtime ride rolls out, down the coast towards Sitges, up into the hills at the back of the shop, or towards Barcelona. Demo bikes are taken out and tried, and the in-shop showers and lockers are usually pretty full from the local ride scene stealing a few hours off work in the afternoon. If you are lucky enough (or unlucky, depending on how the legs are feeling) you will see friends of the shop like Juan Antonio Fleche or Johnny Hoogerland roll out as well. Although I have a feeling that by the looks of Javier he might put a few people in the red on the way back to the shop. If you are ever in Barcelona it is a must visit. You will be greeted warmly by Javier, get a coffee, and I guarantee you will spend money.
Note: Thank you for the bottle of wine Javier, currently half way through.