The cover of this pocket-sized publication states, “Boneshaker is a practical bicyclist’s handbook and a basic field and street manual for utilitarian cycling.” But it’s not a handbook in the classical sense. Some of the information it offers is provided in lists and tables while other insights are woven into clever and philosophical personal accounts of life as a cyclist, which offer a genuine source of realization and knowledge and in many ways a call to arms for cyclist’s far and wide.
Boneshaker’s witty and intelligent prose empower individual cyclists who may feel isolated by enforcing the idea that they are part of a great and powerful tribe that harnesses the collective fortitude of cyclists worldwide. It is a survival guide and a source of inspiration for those who understand the need to get from point A to point B but recognize the beauty in getting there with harmony and efficiency.
I read Boneshaker with great interest and recharged enthusiasm to reject big oil (foreign or domestic), coal-fired power plants and all things non-renewable. I realized that my bicycle is always there, ready to transport me to places near and far. No wars have been fought over the bicycle, yet at times we must fight for the simple act of riding the streets.
Selections from this quality, 96-page guide to being a cyclist include Yeoman on the front lines: A commuter’s Daily Diary; PDX Bike Militia on Spinning in Solitude and Saving the Unicorn: A three-month electronic dialogue with Portland’s Wildebeest Collective; and An Organic Bicycle Farm: hermit Mr. Jason Shelman’s bike shed shenanigans. One section of miscellany at the end simply declares, “There used to be a lot of riders, but they all got hit by cars…people can’t drive for shit.” –B. Riepe