Books / Literature
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René Herse The Bikes • The Builder • The Riders By Jan Heine Foreword by Lyli Herse This is a fascinating story of a time when cycling was a way of life. The bikes, as beautiful as they are, provide only the backdrop for the adventures and friendships that they made possible. René Herse needs little introduction these days: He created some of the most sought-after bicycles ever made. This 424-page book takes you right into the action, with thousands of historic photos and stories told by riders, racers, randonneurs, employees and René Herse’s daughter Lyli. Follow René Herse and his friends through half a century of adventures, starting with Herse’s early work on prototype aircraft. Join then at the 1938 Technical Trials, where his bike created a sensation: Fully equipped with wide tires, fenders, lights and a rack, it weighed just 7.94 kg (17.5 lb), lighter than any similar bike today. Witness the difficult years during World War II and learn how they used their bikes both to forage the country for food, but also to spend time with friends and to help each other. Watch amazing performances in the Poly de Chanteloup hillclimb race, Paris-Brest-Paris, and professional races won on René Herse’s frames. Visit the workshop and learn how American customers helped to keep the lights on during the difficult period of the 1960s. Learn how his daughter Lyli and Herse’s best framebuilder joined hands to continue the tradition, crafting amazing bikes that were as out-of-this-world as her father’s. This book tells a story that will inspire you in many ways! Comes with a 4-page update that tells the story since the original book appeared. About Recollections from Herse’s daughter, his employees and especially riders who rode on his team paint a vivid portrait of a gentle, hard-working man who loved cycling and bicycles. More than 400 photos, most taken by professional photographers, bring the story to life. Complementing this history are studio photographs of 20 René Herse bicycles, from one of the first machines made in 1941 to one of the last bikes built in the 1980s: randonneur bikes, tandems, racing and track bikes, as well as touring, camping and city bikes. Each bike is shown in profile and with detail photographs that illustrate why these bikes are so special. The owners and riders of René Herse’s bikes were a relatively classless group that included the well-off as well as young workers who saved all their money to afford their dream bikes. Many of these riders had one thing in common: Their lives revolved around cycling. They rode hard in competitions, but also explored new landscapes and cultures on their tours. Most of all, they forged lasting friendships along the way and lived their lives fully doing what they liked best: cycling in the company of good friends. This book is as much about these riders as it is about the bikes they rode. May they serve as an inspiration to future generations of cyclists! The Author: Jan Heine is editor of Bicycle Quarterly, the magazine about the history, culture and technology of cycling. He is the author of The Golden Age of Handbuilt Bicycles and The Competition Bicycle. - Publisher: Bicycle Quarterly Press - Binding: Hardcover - Pages: 424 pages - Dimensions: 9.5?” x 12”
The Tours Issue It’s apt that as the Tour de France celebrates its 120th birthday in 2023, the 120th edition of Rouleur is flying off the presses and into the hands of our readers. Rouleur 120 is our Tours de France themed magazine. Or rather, magazines. There are two front covers, and two magazines, back to back; one based around the Tour de France Hommes, and the other around the Tour de France Femmes. So what’s in the mag? We’ve got an exclusive interview and photoshoot with Tadej Pogacar, the rider who more than any other has defined the last three Tours, the first two as champion, the last as the defeated but tenacious runner-up to Jonas Vingegaard. The Tour de France is a bike race, but it is also an exercise in geography. Part of its appeal is that it covers so much ground in a country that is extremely varied in terms of geology and terrain, so each day’s racing plays out against the backdrop of the French landscape. We celebrate the places of the Tour as much as the athletes. So we’ve included two quite different features which look at the landscape and geography of the world’s biggest bike race. We also have interviews with three very different athletes in the Tour Femmes half of the magazine. Jeremy Whittle spoke at length with 2022 French road champion Audrey Cordon-Ragot, who has endured a year of terrible challenges, with two teams collapsing around her and, far worse, a stroke. Our staff writer Rachel Jary caught up with the up-and-coming star Charlotte Kool, who has emerged as one of the best sprinters in the world in 2023. And finally, Isabel Best spoke with Betsy King, the American cyclist who took part in the Tours de France Féminins of the 1980s. What’s in the magazine? - Who is Tadej Pogacar: Our resident photojournalist James Startt met the Slovenian with the instruction to dig a little deeper into his psychology and work out a little more what his relationship with the sport is. Pogacar was searingly honest about his failure to win the 2022 Tour, going into detail about the working-over he received at the hands of Vingegaard and his Jumbo-Visma team on the Cols du Galibier and Granon. - A lighthouse: For our feature A Lighthouse, I went to the Puy de Dôme in mid-May with James Startt, to sample the atmosphere, take a few photographs and find out a little more about this iconic Tour climb, which appears in the race for the first time since 1988, even though it was a stalwart from the 1950s onwards. The Puy de Dôme is a lava dome, formed from volcanic activity in the Massif Central, and it’s more rounded than the mountains of the Alps and Pyrenees, and remarkable for the spiral road which leads steeply to its summit. - Never Give In: Jeremy Whittle spoke at length with 2022 French road champion Audrey Cordon-Ragot, who has endured a year of terrible challenges, with two teams collapsing around her and, far worse, a stroke. Cordon-Ragot is outspoken, determined and honest, and extremely popular with fans, and her story is an inspiring one. - Ice Kool: Our staff writer Rachel Jary caught up with the up-and-coming star Charlotte Kool, who has emerged as one of the best sprinters in the world in 2023. Kool spent her teens as a speed skater, but the cross-training on a bike eventually took over. She obviously has physical talent, and trains well, but what Rachel really brought out of her was the cold, analytical strategic thinking which enables her to make the most of that physical talent. - Allez Betsy! King was and is an irrepressible individual, whose talent and marketability was such that she was invited to take part in the gruelling Bordeaux-Paris race, one of only two women to have done so. The organisers had made the event an open one, so that non-professionals could take part, and as a publicity stunt for the 1984 Tour Féminin, they invited King to race. These three features cover generations of female cyclists, with brilliant portrait photography by James Startt and Henry Hung. Also in the magazine: - An exclusive interview with five-time Tour winner Miguel Indurain. - A look at the relationship between the Tour and flowers, which has given us our cover for this edition. - A long chat with the ‘voice of cycling’ Phil Liggett, who has covered 50 Tours. -An interview with Jean-Étienne and Aurore Amaury, the president and director-general of Tour owners ASO, who are the third generation of their family to take the helm at the world’s biggest bike race.
Cycling often gets a bad rap as a traditionalist, backward-looking sport, but it’s also one that is obsessed with the future. The history of the sport has been one of constant improvement, technologically, nutritionally, physiologically and psychologically. Yes, those guys in the 1990s and 2000s made those gains in unethical ways, but they still rode faster than those who came before. And a mark of the progress that has been made in sports science since then is that many of the speeds that were achieved with the help of large quantities of performance-enhancing drugs are now achieved with better aerodynamics, nutrition, training and bikes. What’s in the magazine? Greg Van Avermaet James Startt sat down with Greg Van Avermaet in Canada at the GPs Québec and Montréal in September. The Belgian has twice won in Montreal and, like several big-name riders from his generation, will be retiring at the end of this season. GVA was one of the best one-day riders over the past decade, winning gold in the Olympic road race in Rio in 2016 as well as Paris-Roubaix in 2017. But he also managed to wear the yellow jersey in the Tour de France in 2016 and 2018. Van Avermaet built his reputation on hard work and a low profile, and talked with James about his reasons to finally retire at the age of 38. “I could have continued,” he says, but he came to the conclusion for two reasons. Firstly, he wanted to spend more time with his family. But also he understood that winning the race he most wanted – the Tour of Flanders – was simply no longer possible. It's about time In autumn 2022, ASO announced that the 2023 Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift would be concluded with an individual time trial. The storybook for men’s road cycling often portrays the ITT as the stage for the decisive GC battle; is this the next step for the women’s peloton? Deena Blacking went in search of answers, shedding light through the voices and experiences of athletes, team managers, and engineers. In a discipline where money can buy speed, what matters more, the athlete or the machine? And how will this shape the future of women’s road cycling? The future of scouting Years ago James Witts interviewed Oskar Svendsen, the Norwegian cyclist who holds the world-record VO2max score. Svendsen recorded a score of nearly 100 millimetres of oxygen per kilogramme of bodyweight each minute at the age of just 18. (VO2max scores in the 90s are vanishingly rare, even the 80s are highly unusual and there are many WorldTour pros with scores in the 70s.) Svendsen’s numbers were a sensation and the top teams stalked him. But just a couple years later he’d already retired. His story highlighted the fact that identifying talent isn’t solely about lab tests and numbers, and it inspired James to dig deeper into the rider-recruitment processes of the upper echelons. He discovered a world of value proposition and parental influence, but also concerns that riders’ careers will burn brighter but shorter in the current era. And more... Also in Rouleur 123: the Futurology Edition: The magazine also features interviews with two archetypally ‘modern’ riders – Taco van der Hoorn and Jay Vine; Amy Sedghi heads to Girona to take part in the 100km Traka event in a bid to understand its reputation as a gravel hotspot, the Traka’s appeal and the culture it sits within; Rachel Jary gets to know one of the most diverse and exciting cycling teams in the world, the Miami Blazers; James Startt visits Sebastian Fisher, who collects bikes from what he considers to be the golden era of bike design; Tekkers creator Alec Briggs puts Canyon’s latest Grail gravel bike to the test; Emilio Previtli visits the headquarters of KASK helmets and KOO eyewear to interview founder Angelo Gotti; Rachel Jary also learns more about BMC and Red Bull Advanced Technologies’ Project Speed; plus Swi, Lapierre, Velocio, Pas Normal Studios, Orla, Ned and much, much more.
Cycling is about the closest thing to a silver bullet that policymakers around the world have to improve life in cities especially, but everywhere. People choosing to cycle saves space on roads that are otherwise congested with motor vehicles. Cycling causes no pollution, save for the initial manufacturing impact. When people cycle, they become fitter and less vulnerable to the diseases and problems of sedentary lifestyles, which has the knock-on effect of reducing the financial burden on health services. There’s a good argument that cycling to work instead of driving or using public transport is good for mental health (it also gets you there bang on time, and more alert). Cycling is way cheaper than driving. Cars kill and injure thousands of people every year, while in the United Kingdom, for example, cyclists are responsible for hardly any serious accidents. Cities and towns that promote active travel are quieter, more pleasant places. These are only the most obvious positive effects of cycling. Politicians in forward-thinking countries like the Netherlands, France and Denmark have realised this and have been promoting active travel, building infrastructure and making their towns and cities work better as a result. We’re celebrating cycling’s ability to make the world a much better place in this edition of Rouleur. What’s in the magazine? Elisa Longo Borghini Zoom calls and chats in hotel lobbies will never compare to interviewing riders in real life, getting to know them, their quirks, loves and hates... Better still is taking them out of their comfort zone, away from races and Lycra. Going up the London Eye with Lidl-Trek’s Elisa Longo Borghini (plus special guests) was not on Rachel Jary’s 2023 bingo card, but she dutifully obliged the Italian rider’s request at Rouleur Live last year. While admiring the view, she found out about Longo Borghini’s quintessentially Italian upbringing and the humble start she had to her racing career, while also getting an insight into how she achieved her Roubaix, Flanders and Strade Bianche wins. Guillaume Martin It’s obvious that nothing was going to go as planned for this expedition in Portugal, which Ryan Le Garrec started by waking up in a fishing village with a huge hangover. The intention of the trip was never a story anyways. The purpose was just to hang out with friends. On the road and despite 50 miles of a banging headache, Ryan collected glimpses of memories, jokes, anecdotes and feelings dovetailing together and slotting into one another with the random logic and poetry that only big rides can inspire. It’s a story of friendship above all but also the need to ride, a bit, then maybe a bit more, and very often too much and definitely forever. Rod Weiller and other heroes It’s obvious that nothing was going to go as planned for this expedition in Portugal, which Ryan Le Garrec started by waking up in a fishing village with a huge hangover. The intention of the trip was never a story anyways. The purpose was just to hang out with friends. On the road and despite 50 miles of a banging headache, Ryan collected glimpses of memories, jokes, anecdotes and feelings dovetailing together and slotting into one another with the random logic and poetry that only big rides can inspire. It’s a story of friendship above all but also the need to ride, a bit, then maybe a bit more, and very often too much and definitely forever. And more... The magazine also features an exclusive interview with Vuelta a España and Giro d’Italia winner Primož Roglic; Herbie Sykes also spends some time with the Italian Continental outfit Mg.K Vis to see how things really work in the lower divisions; Edward Pickering spends the day with Sarah Storey, Great Britain's most successful Paralympian who is also the Active Travel Commissioner for Greater Manchester; James Startt speaks to cyclists in Paris; Gaia Realini faces Rouleur’s question time; Laura Laker speaks about how cycling can change the world from increased lifespans, safer neighbourhoods to reduction in pollution levels; plus Discocyclo, Verona with Rolling Dreamers, art cycle, Kenya’s Maasai Mara, Wilier, Ribble, Pinarello, Orla, Ned and much, much more.
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Hello, Adventure Journal here. Nice to meet you. Printed four times a year in March, June, September, and December. Inside, you’ll discover: - Columns such as All Things Bike, Camp Notes, Historical Badass, Overlandia, Reader Poll and Weekend Cabin - Categories such as Blog, Essays, Gear, News + Issues, People + Culture, Recommended Reading and Videos
The incredible community of ski lifts, a happier and simpler way to live, the bonkers pursuit of guiding the top of New England in winter, when rivers and rapids return from the dead, historical badass Craig Kelly, Mammoth's mammoth winter, and more.
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Welcome to Rouleur 118: the Classics Issue. If the Tour de France is the idealised version of cycling, with blue skies, warm temperatures, sublime mountain landscapes and the colourful swish of the peloton along beautifully engineered roads, the Classics are more like real life. The great one-day races of Belgium and northern Europe – the Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix, E3, Gent-Wevelgem, Liège-Bastogne-Liège et al – are gritty, monochromatic affairs. They take place on farm roads, with all the attendant unglamorous sights and smells, in muddy, unspectacular landscapes where the trees are still bare in early spring. It’s probably raining, and it’s definitely chilly. We dream of the Tour de France; the Classics are more like everyday life. But they are also epic in their own way. The racing follows an entirely different pattern to the Tour. The Tour is about energy-saving and patience; in the Classics, especially in the modern era, who dares wins. And if whoever dares loses, well, there’s another race in a few days’ time. Issue 118 celebrates all things Classics, from the WorldTour riders who have made their mark on these cobbled roads to the places that bring these places to life.
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The Soul Issue For me, more than any other sport and activity, cycling is all about soul. Cycling gets me from A to B and it keeps me fit, healthy and happy, but even more importantly it makes me feel. Our latest magazine, Rouleur 119: the Soul issue explores all the ways that cycling elevates our spirits, lifts our mood and enhances our interaction with the world. When we brainstormed ideas for issue themes through 2023, we had already committed to making Rouleur 116 at the end of 2022 our ‘Mind’ issue. We quickly decided that ‘Body’ (Rouleur 117) would be our first magazine of 2023. And we couldn’t have ‘Mind’ and ‘Body’ editions without a ‘Soul’ magazine to complete the trinity. The funny thing is, nobody really knows what a soul is. Philosophers and scientists have for over four thousand years pondered the existence of the soul. Where is it? What is it? Classical philosophers theorised that it resided in the liver; Aristotle proclaimed that it was in the heart (getting closer now); Plato and Pythagoras suggested the brain was the seat of the soul. Herophilus, a more detail-focused and specific kind of philosopher, posited that the soul was exactly in the fourth ventricle of the brain. Even so, René Descartes concluded centuries later that the soul and the body were separate things. Basically, we haven’t got a clue. But at the same time, we know exactly what a soul is. That feeling you have when riding a bike or immersing yourself in a bike race? That’s the wave we’re riding in this edition of the magazine. What’s in the magazine? - Remco Evenepoel: The age of Remco - Crossing the Divide - Burn Brightly - Cycling, Spirituality and Escape
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There is no better way of travelling than by bike. It is the cheapest, cleanest and healthiest way of getting from A to B, and at a speed which makes short work of long distances, but which allows us to take in our surroundings. Every bike ride is a journey, both literal and emotional, and in the latest edition of Rouleur, our Travel Edition, we have asked what it really means to explore and travel by bike. We know as cyclists that the journey is as important as the destination, and is sometimes even the point. But that’s not to say that the destination is not important – we learn a lot by exploring new places, and travelling teaches us about the world. We travel, they say, to find ourselves. However, we can also discover some amazing places en route. Inside The Road For Rouleur 122: the Travel Edition, the opening feature is The Road, by Richard Abraham, with pictures by Jered and Ashley Gruber. Richard’s pitch for The Road was an unusual one: the destination is secret, though if you read between the lines, maybe you can work out where to look for it. Much like the beach that featured in Alex Garland’s turn-of-the-century backpacking novel The Beach, The Road is a shared secret among those who like to explore the best cycling routes. It’s not the highest road, nor the steepest, nor the most epic, but it does have a character all of its own, and it is atmospheric and scenic. Best of all, it’s rarely used by cars, and to Richard’s mind, offers the very best kind of riding experience. We’re not going to tell you where it is, but part of the point is to understand that The Road symbolises all our favourite roads. The perfect riding experience doesn’t have to be a bucket-list destination like L’Alpe d’Huez or the Col du Tourmalet, it can sometimes be found in the most surprising places. Alison Jackson Of course, travel is about the people we meet as well as the places we go, and our at-home feature with Alison Jackson, the Paris-Roubaix champion, ticks both boxes. Canadian journalist Curtis Gillespie, in his first feature for Rouleur, went to visit the irrepressible Jackson at the farm she grew up on, and along with Cooper & O’Hara photography, came up with Alison Jackson Has Outdoor Energy. The Jackson farm is close to the Alberta/Saskatchewan border in rural western Canada, and to say that it is an unusual background for a professional cyclist is to understate the case. Canada’s three prairie provinces are approximately 15 times the size of England, and are home to a population of approximately a million people, and it’s no surprise to find out that Jackson’s journey from deepest Canada to the Paris-Roubaix podium has been a convoluted one. But what really shines through in Curtis’s feature is Jackson’s raw energy and joie de vivre. Read this feature, and then buy a ticket to Rouleur Live, where Jackson will be making an appearance. Nothing Beside Remains We often associate cycling travel features with big landscapes and mountain scenery. The most epic cycling tours head up into the mountains, where cyclists can commune with nature and enjoy the view. However, Tom Owen and Matt Grayson came up with a bike tour with a difference for their feature Nothing Beside Remains. Tom and Matt went bikepacking around Sardinia. So far, so normal, because Sardinia is a beautiful place – a Mediterranean island with forested mountains, lovely seascapes and nice weather. However, Tom and Matt were on an urbex (urban exploration) tour, and visited a series of atmospheric and eerie abandoned places – a huge crumbling satellite dish, a long-dead holiday resort and a disused chairlift among others. Travel is about culture, as well as nature, though in the case of some of the buildings Tom and Matt explored, nature is taking back over. And more... Also in Rouleur 122: the Travel Edition: the Tour de France visits the obscure town of Moulins, lost in La France Profonde; we cycle up from the top of the Col du Tourmalet to the Pic du Midi du Bigorre and ask if the Tour de France could one day follow the same route; Chris Marshall-Bell interviews Ethiopian rider Negasi Haylu Abreha; Amy Sedghi goes gravel riding in Sri Lanka for a week of sensory overload, heat, humidity and wild animals; Rachel Jary goes to Finland to take part in F1 driver Valtteri Bottas’s new event FNLD GRVL; James Startt visits Flanders, Roubaix and Lombardia winner Andrea Tafi at his agriturismo in Tuscany; we go to Iten in Kenya, more famous for producing the world’s fastest distance runners, to follow the Team Amani project; Art Cycle celebrates the career of professional cyclist and artist Maurice de Vlaminck; plus Technogym, Vittoria, Pico Aneto with Jack Ultracyclist, the Amalfi Coast, a long Tour stage to Peyragudes, Costa Brava, Heidi Franz, Orla, Ned and much, much more.
Features: 4 Paris-Brest-Paris 2023 33 PBP in 44 Hours (Robert Demilly) 38 René Herse Mysteries 45 A Unique René Herse Flyer 46 Rene Herse Frame in the Raw 50 Volcano High Pass SR600 (A. Brey, J. Nadeau, T. Turner) 86 Japan North to South (Futo Togashi) 104 Icon: Ad-Hoc Pump Reviews: 66 Bike Test: Lauf Seigla 84 Why the Lauf Seigla is the Way it is (B. Skulason) Tech: 94 Wide vs Narrow Tires Through the Ages 92 A Custom Cyclotouring Bike for an 11-Year-Old Rider 98 Project: Airplane Rinko News: 102 Federico Bahamontès (1928-2023)
Autumn/Winter 2023 Features: 4 Paris-Brest-Paris 2023 33 PBP in 44 Hours (Robert Demilly) 38 René Herse Mysteries 45 A Unique René Herse Flyer 46 Rene Herse Frame in the Raw 50 Volcano High Pass SR600 (A. Brey, J. Nadeau, T. Turner) 86 Japan North to South (Futo Togashi) 104 Icon: Ad-Hoc Pump Reviews: 66 Bike Test: Lauf Seigla 84 Why the Lauf Seigla is the Way it is (B. Skulason) Tech: 94 Wide vs Narrow Tires Through the Ages 92 A Custom Cyclotouring Bike for an 11-Year-Old Rider 98 Project: Airplane Rinko News: 102 Federico Bahamontès (1928-2023)
Spring 2023 Bicycle Quarterly - The incredible story of the 2700 km Rhino Run bikepacking race - Are gravel bikes slower than road bikes? A scientific test. - Testing the Made-in-France Distance 45 gravel bike - Arizona’s Sky Islands—a magical landscape
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