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Tag Archive: the practical cyclist

Tampa Bay’s First “Tweed Ride”

My friend Chip Haynes just sent in the following details on an upcoming fun ride in the Tampa Bay area:

The First Annual Pinellas County Tweed Ride

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Leaving from Eagle Lake County Park, 1800 Keene Road in Largo at 10 a.m.

and arriving at the Safety Harbor Spa well in time for lunch.

Proper attire and mount required.*

*Please note: This is a ride for vintage British three-speed bicycles and traditional fixies with their owners in appropriate cycling attire.

Please dress, and ride, accordingly.

Tweed’s in short supply in our tropical climes, so if you’re interested in riding, start scrounging for appropriate attire. I wonder if someone should host a “seersucker ride” for our fair area?

Book Review: “The Practical Cyclist” by Chip Haynes

Last week, I had the pleasure of receiving an autographed (being a minor Internet celebrity has its perks!) review copy of The Practical Cyclist: Bicycling for Real People (Gabriola Island, BC: New Society Publishers, 2009) from local cycling hero Chip Haynes.

cover

First off, here’s what this book is NOT: a comprehensive guide to training, repair, nutrition, racing strategy or any of that other in-depth stuff. What this book IS is a very simple, very practical and extremely humorous guide to bicycling for everyday purposes.

Chip’s a funny guy and an excellent writer. In this book, he gets to demonstrate both skills as he distills a lifetime of bicycling into 160-odd pages. The Practical Cyclist contains perhaps the most compact — yet thorough — history of the bicycle that I’ve ever read…seven pages that covers over a century of cycling innovation. Wow! And that’s not all — the book is filled with gems…basic repair, practical considerations of clothing, gear, route planning and pretty much every other aspect a new cyclist needs to think about when setting off.

Throughout, Chip has an uncanny ability to cut through all the complexity and b.s. that tend to plague the world of cycling. He presents his thoughts in a coherent and complete manner while eliminating the mysteries. Distilled to its base, bicycling really is quite simple, and Chip relays this “insider secret” with aplomb. Folks discovering (or rediscovering) the bicycle should take a good look at this book.

At the end of the book, Chip presents a little “How do you know if you’re a practical cyclist?” quiz that will ring bells of familiarity to many of us, and ends with some sage words of wisdom:

Ride your bicycle because it’s fun. Yes, it makes sense both financially and environmentally, but ride your bike because it’s more fun than driving. That, to me, is the best reason of all. If it’s not fun, why bother?

Truer words were never spoken…

Seasoned cyclists and hardcore commuters probably won’t get much out of The Practical Cyclist other than a lot of laughs…frankly, it’s just not written for the accomplished cyclers among us. But, for someone just entering the wonderful world of bicycles, this book is a must read. Let’s hope this book sells a billion copies!!!

me and chip
(Me, Chip and the lovely JoAnn at the 2008 Bicycle Bash by the Bay)

And, if you’re in the Tampa Bay area, come on out to Chainwheel Drive in Clearwater this coming Saturday to meet Chip and to get your very own autographed copy of The Practical Cyclist. Details can be found by clicking here.

The Practical Cyclist — Book Signing in Clearwater

Author, bicycle collector and all-around funny guy Chip Haynes wanted to let everyone know that he’s having a book signing for his new The Practical Cyclist: Bicycling For Real People (Gabriola Island, BC: New Society Publishers, 2009). Here’s Chip to tell you a bit more:

The big unveiling and first book signing for The Practical Cyclist will be at the Chainwheel Drive bike shop, 1770 Drew Street in Clearwater (NW corner of Drew and Keene) on Saturday, April 18th from noon to 3 p.m. Needless to say, I am READY! They’ve got the books in stock already, now just hand me a pen and stand back!

cover

The book is getting a great response. Mother Earth News endorsed it as a “Recommended Book for Wiser Living?, Foreword magazine gave it a very nice review, Utne.com is promoting it and both Martha Stewart Living Radio and Body + Soul magazine (also a Martha Stewart thing) are all over it. The New Colonist interviewed me awhile back for their web site, Body + Soul is scheduled to interview me next Monday night, and we got to hang out with Jeff Klinkenberg from the St. Pete Times last Friday. What a blast! (His story may be in the Times as early as this coming Sunday.) Almost forgot: Reader’s Digest has already requested, and received, a short article by me on bicycle commuting. Whew.

I hope to see everyone at Chainwheel Drive on Saturday the 18th, and even if you already have the book, come on out anyway and roll in the madness!

As Chip mentioned, he was interviewed by the St. Petersburg Times recently, and his article ran over the weekend. Check it out by following this link.

I just received my review copy of The Practical Cyclist in the mail today, and I’ll be bringing you a review of it in the coming days. In the meantime, if you’re in the area and you want to rub shoulders with a local literary GIANT, come on out to Chainwheel Drive in Clearwater to meet Chip. He’s a really charismatic fellow!

Chip