Most of the 5800 copies of Bicycle Quarterly are mailed directly from the printer. Then there are those that go to local newsstands and bike shops, and I greatly enjoy delivering them by bike. It’s also an excuse for a ride on my Urban Bike. A box of magazines neatly fits on the front rack. The bike is great fun to ride even when loaded.
Bulldog News (above) is my favorite newsstand. They have an eclectic selection of newspapers and magazines, and they support small, local publications.
Seattle has a great variety of bike shops. The shops that carry the magazine cater to the various alternatives to the mainstream cycling culture. You won’t find Bicycle Quarterly in the local Performance outlet.
There is Free Range Cycles (above), specializing in “real-world” bicycles. Some of the bikes for our “First Ride” test reports were loaned by Free Range Cycles. When I dropped off the magazines, I heard that half a dozen customers had stopped by during the previous week, to check whether the magazine had arrived. It’s nice to see that Bicycle Quarterly generates so much excitement!
Recycled Cycles started in the basement of their current location as a place to buy and sell used bikes and components. I’ve found some treasures there in the past… They still have a selection of used bikes and components, but they now also serve the student population from the nearby University of Washington with affordable new bikes of all types.
Again, it’s nice to hear that the magazine has been selling well. “It’s the only bike magazine that actually sells”, one employee told me: “We sold out of the Autumn issue more than a month ago.” And then he took a copy from the stack, to read during his lunch break. Recycled Cycles has almost as many employees as the number of magazines I delivered (15). I hope that isn’t where they all are going!
The oldest of these shops is Wright Bros Cycle Works. It’s a small shop. At this time of the year, just Charles, the owner, is there. He doesn’t even sell bikes; he specializes in repairs instead. If you prefer to work on your own bike, you can become a member for a one-time fee, and then use the customer shop for the rest of your life. I used to go there frequently before I had my own workshop and tools. Over the years, Charles helped me with many tricky jobs and taught me a lot of what I know today.
It’s fun to see the fruit of our labor on the shelf, but more than a mere delivery, my rounds allow me to connect with acquaintances and friends. There was only one problem this time: The 50th anniversary issue is so big that I had to make two trips, since I couldn’t fit all the magazines on the rack of my bike! Or was that just an excuse to go for two bike rides instead of one?