Wisdom and Artisans

Some of you may have been aware that I’ve been working on a book about cycling. It’s called “The No Drop Zone: Everything You Need to Know About the Peloton, Your Bike and Riding Strong.” It’s being published by Menasha Ridge Press (with whom I did “Bicycling Los Angeles County” in 2007). “The No Drop Zone” will be coming out in May.

“The No Drop Zone” is a book aimed squarely at beginners, but has been written to contain nuggets of fun as well as the collective wisdom of the peloton. Even the most experienced among you will find something useful within its pages, I hope.

To promote the book, peloton magazine will be excerpting bits of it in a new section on their web site called “Wisdom.” Stop by and have a look; it might be your cup of tea or glass of wine, er, beer. It’ll be updated twice a week.

Rest assured, once the book is out, I’ll let you know about it. I’ll also be getting around a bit for some group rides disguised as speaking engagements.

And because custom frame builders are close to my heart, I’m pleased to announce that peloton has indulged me with a new column on its web site called “Artisans.”

Those few among you who read Asphalt may remember the column “Torchbearers.” Readers of Bicycle Guide might recall the column “Hot Tubes.” “Artisans” picks up where those left off.

Each week peloton will post an interview (in two parts, as they are quite long) with a frame builder. Because the craft of frame building extends well beyond just those who build frames to painters, tool makers and more, I’m going to leave the definition a little loose. It won’t all be one-man shops, either.

Artisans will get some space in the print issues as well. Photos always look great on paper, so we’ll give these some space to breathe.

Sooner or later, I hope to turn “Artisans” into a gift book (i.e. coffee-table book). I’ll let you know how my progress goes on that front as well.

I hope you’ll drop by peloton.

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  1. P. Poppenjay

    Great to hear this, Padraig!! I look forward to the book and your new column for peloton and the excerpts as well. Wonderful news!!

  2. tarik

    I still have a binder filled with hot-tube articles that I ripped out of Bicycle guide. I actually ended up working (at least 5 years later) for two of the companies featured. It was instrumental in my cycling life, which is most of my real life in strange ways. I will write more about that one day, but anyway, I pretty much have a doctorate in materials science more or less due to some sort of desie to build bikes that was formed when I was in high school mostly due to bicycle guide. What I am saying here is that I am looking forward to seeing your artisans book. Maybe you can get some rights to hot-tubes and publish them all.



  3. sophrosune

    Wow, Tarik, that is cool! Padraig, I’m reading the Richard Sachs interview…I’m finally getting a sense of the guy. He always just seemed irascible and ornery, which is not as fascinating as people think. Well done.

    1. Author

      Everyone: Thanks much. He’s a terrific and warm individual. Years ago, he took me in one weekend and let me sleep on his couch as I suffered the aftermath of a bewildering breakup. In his workshop I found a cassette of music I associated with the ex and he left me there, alone, in tears as I listened. He has a huge heart, and what he has given to the sport in sponsorship compared to what he makes each year would cripple a company like Trek.

      Tarik: I was honored to be part of the tradition of writing about great frame builders while at Bicycle Guide. I also knew from reader surveys it was subscribers’ single favorite element of the magazine. I made that central to my pitch to Brad at peloton, but he was way ahead of me and said yes faster than I could finish my pitch. I’m lucky to do this again.

  4. MCH

    Great to hear about the new column and book! On a long ride a year or so ago I started to wonder why no one had done a book on modern frame builders. A large format book with photos of their work + stories about the individuals – motivation, vision, etc. – is just what I need for my coffee table. In the meantime, I look forward to the peloton series.

    As a fan of virtually all craftsman / artisans, I’d really like to see a book that goes beyond cycling, as well. Profiles of small production wooden boat builders, watchmakers, gunsmiths, motorcycle builders, flyrod craftsman, etc., etc. could be facinating (at least to me). The desire to create no-compromise, functional works of art is common to all of these artisans and should be celebrated. Thanks for doing your part to shine the light on those in the cycling world.

  5. Flahute

    Padraig — I’ve got the first two issues of peloton, and I’ve read the interview with Richie (for various, but all obvious, reasons) … and I’m definitely glad that this aspect of both BG and Asphalt are going to be a feature in peloton as well.

    Looking forward to thumbing through No Drop Zone when it comes out, and like Tarik, am really looking forward to a coffee-table version of “Torchbearers/Artisans” … I don’t hope that it will become a reality, I expect it to become a reality.

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