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Spoke has spoken

 

A response in Spoke to a newsletter I wrote as a response to an article in Spoke. A response in Spoke to a newsletter I wrote as a response to an article in Spoke.

There are many ways to make your life bicycle powered. Paths to making the love of bicycle related activity into a means of living are as varied as the bicycles we are obsessed with.

You can open a bike shop.

The less deranged can work in one.

Those who would like to muck about with bikes and bike stuff but need to avoid confronting cyclists directly can hide out in ‘the industry’, a loose catch-all covering importers and distributors of this and that.

You can join the earnest souls beavering away in the giant online discount mills, some of whom must have an interest in the bales of bicycle giblets they ship daily.

The toughest way would have to be as a rider. Whether you are a coureur in the Tour or a courier in Manhattan, or anywhere in between, making a buck on a bike is hard yards.

Somewhere between ‘the industry’ and professional bike riders in terms of risk and reward are people who attempt to actually make something to sell to bike riders, hoping the income derived will provide for their retirement or at least keep them in bikes.

Thinking that people will always need information, inspiration and light entertainment, the bravest launch a magazine. Caleb Smith did that an impressively long time ago, and it is still afloat. Spoke is New Zealand mountain biking on a page, and the bound bundles of pages they have produced are now numbered at 57. Starting as a free, square, black & white thing that was so cutting edge in terms of layout it required patience and a theodolite to decipher, it is now a perfect-bound coloured bible of bike stuff that needs reading cover-to-cover and then filing for reference.

Within the latest issue is their first review of Nzo’s Dobies, a product that predates Spoke by some years. Why it has taken this long for anybody in Nzo Towers to get one of their legion into some Dobies does not bear going into. But the review does: “a short that feels light yet substantial, and moves with you….it’s probably the most ‘don’t know it’s there’ short I’ve tried…”. It goes on to say “…an old favourite I wish I’d tried long ago”.

Don’t take our word for it. Get thee to a news vendor, and get a copy. And while you are at it, read page 20. Made us laugh.