Category Archives: Everything Else

The Tour du St-Laurent Cycliste

60 Cycles by Jean-Claude Labrecque, National Film Board of Canada

The Tour du St. Laurent was an amateur stage race in Quebec held 12 times between 1954 and 1965. The race varied in length over the years, but essentially followed the Saint Laurence River from Quebec to Montreal and back. Filmmaker Jean-Claude Labrecque made this short film about the 1964 edition of the race. It has an interesting 60s surf-film feel to it with ambient sounds from the race, an electric guitar soundtrack, and almost no talking. If you’d like to learn more,  the Cycleops blog has an in-depth history of the race.

The Resourceful Cyclists of Havana, Cuba

Cuba’s bicycling culture was born in the economic crisis that followed the dissolution of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s. Severe oil and gas shortages gave rise to the use of bicycles as transportation in the country, a trend that continues today. Kauri Multimedia produced a short documentary about bicycling in Havana and resourcefulness necessary to keep bikes running in a country without access to new parts.

Havana Bikes from Kauri Multimedia on Vimeo.

Throwback Thursday: Niagara Falls and Tandem Bike Tour Follies

Mary and Ed. Photo courtesy Mary Gersemalina.

Every week, the #ThrowbackThursday meme fills Twitter and Instagram feeds with photos of friends’ childhoods, drunken college antics, and old vacations and adventures. On The Bicycle Story, #ThrowbackThursday is an opportunity to revisit great bike adventures from year’s past. Today, Mary Gersemalina of Chasing Mailboxes shares a throwback to her first bike tour.

It is June 2005, and my boyfriend Ed and I are going on our first bike tour together. Our route starts in Rockville, Maryland, and from there we will pedal for eight days straight until we reach our final destination of Niagara Falls, Canada. We will not be camping as we’ve chosen the way of the credit card tour.

Our bike of choice for this adventure is a Cannondale mountain tandem. We have been riding tandem together since for the last six months and really love it. Our tour group consists of a small group of around ten cycling friends (including three tandems!), one of whom is our informal tour leader. A genius at routing, she has carefully plotted out our route and overnight stops.

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The Best of 2013

A ride around Lake Washington with friends on Christmas morning. Not out of the ordinary, but a highlight to my year, nonetheless. Photo by Josh Cohen.

Last year was interesting for me as the editor of The Bicycle Story. Growing demands at my real job, a variety of side projects (including the forthcoming Cycling Sojourner Washington bike-touring guide!), and my own questions about the site’s direction as it entered its third year, left me with less time and, frankly, less motivation to produce interviews and articles. Nonetheless, 2013 had some of The Bicycle Story’s best content yet and readership continued to grow steadily throughout the year. So thank you to all the readers and supporters and willing interviewees. I greatly appreciate the folks that continue to read interviews and continue to share their stories with me. 

With all that said, 2014 looks bright. You can expect more (and hopefully more frequent) interviews garnering insight into the minds and lives and issues of cycling’s adventurers, advocates, racers, movers and shakers. In addition, I hope to roll out a new feature or two on the site.
In the meantime, have a look back at the top five most read interviews of 2013.
1) The All-Powerful Bicycle Lobby: Conspiracy, Control, and a 1% Mode Share – An interview with the mystery person(s) behind the popular Bicycle Lobby Twitter account. Satire or a glimpse into the dark forces behind bike advocacy?
2) Mo Bruno Roy: Cyclocross, Working Pros, and the Debt of Chasing your Dreams – Mo Bruno Roy races at the highest level of professional cyclocross while holding down a full-time job as a massage therapist. She discussed her racing carrier, barriers to women in racing, life as a working pro and much more.
3) Kyle Dempster: A Climber’s Ride on the Backroads of Kyrgyzstan – Kyle Dempster is a professional alpine climber and has summited many of the world’s tallest and most challenging mountains. In 2011, he spent two months by himself riding across Kyrgystan’s backroads and climbing mountains enroute. We talked about his wild adventure, bike touring as a vehicle for climbers and disconnecting from the digital world.

4) Thom Parsons: Racing, Interviewing, and getting Boston onto Bikes – Thom Parsons is a former professional endurance mountain bike racer, a cycling media figure, and a bike advocate in Boston. I spoke to him about his passion for bike racing and mountain biking in general, his fall out with Cycling Dirt and the rise of Dirt Wire TV, and the work he does to make bicycling more accessible in Boston.

5) Adonia Lugo: Race, Class, and Bicycling in America – Adonia Lugo is a researcher, anthropologist, and bike advocate. She helped launch LA’s CicLAvia, the Seattle Bike Justice Project, and is now the League of American Bicyclist’s Equity Initiative Manager. Our conversation was wide-reaching, covering Adonia’s work, barriers to cycling created by class and race, American bike advocacy, and more.

Tom Donhou’s Experiments in Speed

Experiments in Speed is a mini documentary about going very, very fast. Tom Donhou, the frame builder behind Donhou Bicycles in Hackney, London, was inspired by the old land speed record attempts at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. The film chronicles Donhou’s fascination with speed, the bike’s build, and his attempts at pushing the machine to its limits. It is beautifully shot and exciting to watch and a reminder that bicycles are amazing feats of engineering. A simple frame design and one gear enable a human to ride 100 miles per hour. That’s incredible.