Friday, March 27, 2015

Suggested reading: "Jan Heine: A Randonneur's Long Rides and Strong Words"

Bicycle Quarterly is my favorite bike magazine—well, actually it's the only one I bother reading at all—and its founder, editor, and main author Jan Heine has influenced my thinking about bikes and riding profoundly. I just stumbled upon this interview with Heine in The Bicycle Story that provides a great overview of his background and philosophy as well as randonneuring in the US then and now.

One passage, about the appeal of long-distance riding, especially jibed with me:
First of all it gets you out to places you don’t normally go. I live in the big city of Seattle. If I ride 20 miles, I’m not going to get out of the suburbs. But if I ride 100 miles, I can go to amazing places in the mountains with beautiful views. If I go for 600km in a brevet, I can get all the way to the other side of the mountains into a totally different climate.
Even though my rides aren't nearly as long as those of Heine (and even if they were, you'd still stay in the Midwest the whole time...), this very much captures my own motivation for riding ever longer distances. I don't have a car, and so being able to ride 100 or 200 km in one day allows me to see and experience places outside the immediate vicinity of where I live.

Link to the full interview (and hat tip to Jason Marshall). And if you want to learn more, I highly recommend the “Journey of Discovery” series on Heine's blog.

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