Books / Literature
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”
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.
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
The new edition of Rouleur, number 121, is about closing the gap. It’s a sequel to our groundbreaking Women’s edition, guest edited by TV presenter and Rouleur columnist Orla Chennaoui and published two and a half years ago, but on top of that, it’s also a significant step forward. For Rouleur 121, we convened a guest editorial panel of inspiring, talented, powerful women to come up with ideas for features and to highlight not only the challenges we face, but to emphasise solutions and positive steps. We were lucky to work with former world champion Lizzie Deignan; our very own Orla Chennaoui again; Stephanie Hilborne, who is the CEO of Women in Sport; activist and journalist Jools Walker; Tiktok sensation Sydney Cassidy; and the founder of Islabikes and multiple national cyclo-cross champion Isla Rowntree. Our mission statement for the magazine was: more women on bikes, more women in sport. And the discussion that the panel had to that end, one morning in June, was crackling with energy, ideas, insight and positivity. The result is Rouleur 121. The magazine is full of inspiring and important stories which should galvanise us all to recognise not only that there is work to be done, but also that we are well capable as a community of achieving great things. Cycling has not yet closed the gap, but we all hope that Rouleur 121 inspires you all to help continue that work. What’s in the magazine? - Soul sisters, Born this way, and more - Eyeru Tesfoam Gebru - The liberation & empowerment of cycling - And more...features about training and racing through the menstrual cycle, how male allies can be useful in encouraging equality and calling out toxic behaviour, parenthood in cycling and a profile by Isabel Best of Eileen Sheridan, a dynamic and high-flying record breaker who rode in the 1940s and 1950s.
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.
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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