Dropping In – Short Stuff You Should Know

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For this instalment of Dropping In, we have some general bike culture clippings that we think lovers of bikes will enjoy. What’s more, we hope they’ll help you consider how to build bikes into your daily life rather than just leisure time and exercise, and better still for you to help share your joy of bikes with others.

Becoming a Cyclist

This is a great Twitter thread detailing this person’s shift from non-rider to rider. It gives some great insight into the things that stop people getting on a bike. Just as you’d probably struggle to explain to someone how to tie shoe laces – you just do it without thinking – it can be hard to remember what it was like when you first started riding a bike.

If you’re interested in this sort of thing, you’ll probably enjoy the contributions we’ve had from Bez.

Roads Aren’t Just For Vehicles

This is not new news to most of us – there’s a whole book about this topic – but coming from the US Secretary of Transportation this is revolutionary. If you’ve ever experienced being in the USA and wanting to get from a shop on one side of a six lane street to a shop across the road, you may well have experienced needing to actually get in the car, drive down the road and make a U-turn to do that. Crossing on foot can be all but impossible (and often illegal), except at intersections. If this shift in thinking comes to pass, it could be a huge step forward for the planet.

Bike Advice Zines

Thanks to some internet digging and the resources on the Cyclista Zine website, here are three fun and handy zines. Maybe you’re the person on the street that ‘knows about bikes’ and gets all the questions? Maybe you’re involved with a community project, or spot someone on a local chat group looking for advice. Hopefully these will come in handy.

This first one is a thorough guide to the basics, from bike bits and tools to road positioning and security. It is US focused, but lots of it is useful everywhere. Head here to download the whole thing.

Super useful for anyone eying up a second hand bike, this should help anyone buy something that won’t break or cost more than it’s worth to fix. Head here to download this printable foldable booklet, and while you’re there you might want to check out the other Everyday Superpowers website, which is a UK based ‘network of transgender people, non binary people and allied women who use (or would like to use) cycles as part of our everyday doings.’

This final zine is how to fix a flat (on a tyre with an innertube). You probably know how to do this already, but do your kids? Your neighbours? Maybe you’ll be inspired to draw your own helpful how-to zine for something more mountain bike specific? How to align your brake callipers to your rotor? How to do an M-check? Drop us a line if you do make your own, or share it in the comments.

Doing Good

Nothing to do with bikes at all – except that maybe having listened to this you might think that World Bicycle Relief fits the bill in terms of ‘effective giving’. And who couldn’t do with helping the world be a better place?

Oh, that was all very serious, but hopefully in a good way. Here’s a serious but silly finale to round things off.

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