Yesterday at a booth at the Save the Salish Sea gathering, I chanced on a booth selling books published by their company. Most were dull tirades against capitalism and oil. When I accused the kids manning the booth that they were capitalists for publishing and selling books, they blushed and answered “You have to make a living somehow.”
I passed over the books that claim that only a socialist society can protect the environment. I settled on a book called On Bicycles edit by Amy Walker. The kids at the booth assured me she lives in Vancouver.
Today, I rode along the North Shore Spirit Trail, over the Lions Gate Bridge, through Stanley Park, and on to Granville Island. There to spend large sums on expensive pate and fancy breads. Hence along the south shore of False Creek. Approaching that rather dreary complex of apartments built for the winter Olympics I chanced to see a pile of the selfsame book, On Bicycles piled on a bench.
Intrigued I turned around and approached the lady sitting on the bench besides the books. Believe it or not, it turned out to be none other than Amy Walker. We chatted a while about the book, about our bicycles, and about the history of bicycling magazines in Canada. For she told me that she had once published a bicycling magazine “but it made no money.”
I recalled to her that John Gadsby, that pre-eminent civil engineering consultant to the mining industry, had also in the 1980s published a cycling magazine. It did not make money. I wonder if I can put them in contact to write the history of Canadian cycling? For what it is worth, John still owns Bitech Publishers. It no longer hews to its name: it no longer publishes about bicycles; now it is all about geotechnical engineering. Last I heard John was still cycling and working in Lima, Peru.
Now Amy has a blog and wants to do more with it and videos of cycling. I recommend her book and her blog. Both are fun to read. She is a true cyclist and covers it all in the book from shopping with a bike, dressing for cycling, to the benefits to health and sex of cycling. Great stuff.
So get out the bike, cycle the miles, and feel that thrill and exhilaration that comes from the power of leg muscles, the wind, the sun, and those chance encounters with scenes and people. As Amy’s book proclaims: The new bicycle culture can change your life.