Davey Oil: The Radical Activist Pushing Family Bikes in the Mainstream

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Davey Oil in front of his family cargo bike shop in Seattle. Photo by Josh Cohen.

If you ride bikes in Seattle, you likely know a bit about Davey Oil. As co-owner of the family cargo bike shop G&O Family Cyclery he’s played a critical role in Seattle’s family biking boom. As a longtime bike activist, he’s worked for and been involved in Bike Works, Cascade Bike Club, the Bikery, critical mass and more. Having straddled the fence between the radical activist side of the bike movement and the insider-politics advocacy side, he has a valuable perspective on the growth of cycling-as-transportation in the city. I sat down with him at a coffee shop next to the Family Cyclery for a wide ranging conversation about his roots in activism, the rise and fall (and re-rise and re-fall) of Seattle critical mass, the mainstreaming of bike politics locally and nationally, the advocacy world’s struggles with diversity, the family biking boom, and much more.

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30% Off Bicycle Story logo Tees

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Now until stock is gone, The Bicycle Story logo tee’s are 30 percent off in the online shop. I’ve got tees remaining in XS, Small, Medium, and Large and I want them out of my closet and into your hearts and homes! They are high quality American Apparel screen printed here in Seattle by a rad mom and pop shop. Get one today. When they’re gone they may be gone forever!

The 3 Month Honeymoon By Bike

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The Megamoon tour of the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route. Photo via maiamedia.co.uk.

When Hannah Maia and Patrick Taylor-Bird got married, they decided to go big with their honeymoon: a three-month bike tour from New Mexico to Canada along the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route. Maia is a filmmaker and documented their trip with this fantastic short film. It does a remarkable job of capturing the joys and challenges of bike touring. Awe, exhaustion, thrill, the need to sing out loud to distract yourself on a seemingly-endless climb. The film reminded me of past trips and got me day dreaming about future adventures.

Megamoon from Maia Media on Vimeo.

Henry Gold: Enabling Expeditions Around the World

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Henry Gold, founder Tour D’Afrique. All photos courtesy Tour D’Afrique.

Most people facing unemployment at the age of 50 would turn towards the safety and comfort of what they know to get back on their feet. When Henry Gold was in that position, he decided to lead a four month bicycle expedition from Cairo, Egypt to Cape Town, South Africa and organize a race on the same route despite having never bike toured or raced a day in his life at that point. Gold thought his adventure was going to be a one-time thing. Instead, it gave launch to his bike touring company, Tour D’Afrique. Twelve years on, the company offers 10 expeditions and races on six continents. I spoke to Gold about his history working with NGOs around the world, the African bike-manufacturing project he tried to start that helped inspire Tour D’Afrique, the joy and challenges of leading multi-month bike expeditions, and much more.

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Eszter Horanyi: The Power and Goodness of Bikepacking

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Eszter Horanyi and Scott Morris at the start of their 4,000 mile Continental Divide Trail ride. Photo via topofusion.com.

The Tour Divide is a 2,745 bikepacking race from Banff, Canada to the Mexican border in Antelope Wells, New Mexico along the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route. When Eszter Horanyi set the women’s course record of 19 days, 3 hours in 2012, she did so by averaging over 140 miles each day and sleeping just a few hours each night. Doing so on repeat for the better part of a month is a brutal challenge that pushes athletes to their mental and physical limits. It turns out Horanyi is really good at it. Over her years of bikepacking racing, she’s held or still holds records on the Tour Divide, Arizona Trail Race 300, Colorado Trail Race, Arrowhead 135, and plenty more. She stopped racing in 2013, but continues to explore mountains and valleys and remote roads by bike. I spoke to Horanyi about her entry into mountain bike racing, her bikepacking racing “career,” the self-empowerment the comes from adventuring alone, the growth of bikepacking, and more.

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