Book Review: In Praise of the Bicycle

SHORT REVIEW: Ask yourself three questions before picking up In Praise of the Bicycle, by Marc Augé: Am I French? Am I a French Boomer who knows the geographical layout of major French cities? Do I have an irrational affinity for major bike races and racers of the 1950s and ’60s and the ability to recall minute details of long-ago contests as though it was my own beloved father leading the pack while wrapped in a jersey that reads ‘I LOVE YOU, SON” in block lettering?

If you answered “no” to any of these questions, then I recommend just one more before delving into Augé‘s mercifully short book: Do I have a strong will to live?

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GEAR REVIEW: Bike Lights for the Beginner

Riding at night is mainly new to me. It’s not something I’ve normally done. Lately, I’ve begun an after dinner ride, which often puts me out after dark. For the first week or so, I strapped a headlight I bought for a home project to my helmet in place of a proper bike light. It worked alright. I could see in front of me. But I was concerned that drivers weren’t as aware of my presence as I’d like. Plus, I had no blinky behind me, which is arguably more important.

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Fuji Suspends Bike Sales to Cops; Trek Silent on its Role in Police Violence

Two major bicycle manufacturers responded in vastly different ways to photos and video showing police around the country using their department-issued bicycles as weapons against demonstrators protesting in the wake of George Floyd’s homicide during an arrest in Minneapolis, Minn.

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Dropping My Drop Bars, For Good

It’s been like The Holidays around here lately. I’ve gotten package after package from some of my favorite retailers: Velo Orange, Rivendell, Pedro’s tools, Modern Bike. 

All these shiny new toys serve a purpose, however: I’m finally ridding myself of the drop bars on my bike. I’m taking a stand, eschewing the peer and retail pressure to ride in an uncomfortable position to hold up the false pretense that I could, one fine day, try out for the Olympic team. 

I’m switching to a swept-back “grandpa” bar. I can’t wait to finish it.

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