Since the start of this blog I've been reluctant to commit my bicycle-related writing to print. I did not feel the writing here was good enough, and I also didn't think the style really flowed outside of the blog format. But working on the Bicycle Quarterly article and interacting with Jan Heine made me aware that I've accumulated material - stories, thoughts, ideas - that do not fit the blog format and would work better in print.
Posts like Emotional Landscapes and this earlier one about Vienna are examples of writing that really should have been longer and more nuanced, adapted for the blog only because I had no other outlet for it. Publishing a slightly altered version of the former in Taking the Lane allowed me to test the waters as to whether I felt comfortable turning non-committal blog snippets into real pieces of writing.
I think that one of my readers, who comments here as "Spindizzy" (aka Jon Gehman the rackmaker) is a genius writer who owes it to the world to write a book about life and bicycles. His comments alone are literature as far as I am concerned. I've also been inspired by the writing of Tim Krabbé, Grant Petersen and Bill Strickland (in a way I see the latter two as flip sides of the same coin), and reading their stuff has made me realise that distinguishing "bicycle writing" from "literature" is silly and a defense mechanism. I've written stuff that has been published before. But with this blog I wanted to de-stress and take the pressure off with what I initially thought was a lighthearted topic. Imagine my surprise.
The Spring 2012 issue of Bicycle Quarterly and Taking the Lane, Volume 6 are now available, and those who order should receive theirs some time in April. I derive no financial benefit from the sales of either, but invite you to support these small, independent publications.