By Rob Van der Plas and Frank Berto
Review by Robert Leone, Bike Coalition Board Member
The word “Illustrations” instead of “Art” is used quite deliberately in the
title of this vast and wide ranging collection of drawings. Daniel Rebour was
an illustrator, focused on depicting the reality of bikes, parts and
accessories in understandable ways. He wasn't creating art to hang on the
walls, but instead building pictures to inform his bike-riding, or
bike-selling, audience. In his heyday, the mid-to-late 1940's and early 1950's,
his illustrations from trade and manufacturing shows, from bike races and bike
shops, documented and displayed the fascinating products of fertile
imaginations increasingly freed from World War II's restrictions on trade and
His five decades or so of productive work, first seen in now-old
periodicals (whose widest distribution was in Europe), or out-of-date ephemera
such as catalogs, is carefully collected (with captions, and in a few select
cases careful endnote descriptions) and sorted into a boggling twenty-eight
sections here. This is a good thing in many ways. As time passes, the original
sources for this important documentation is increasingly fragmented or lost.
Further, someone whose immediate interest is in a certain component or frame
part can go directly to the section on “Suspension Systems” or “Drivetrain
On the other hand, the sheer size and breadth of the book, and of
Rebour's lifetime of work, is daunting as a single read. Also daunting: The
creativity of the bike trade. As early as the 1940's, there were CO2
inflators. Late 1940's rear derailleur drawings include exploded illustrations
of mechanisms whose flat sides are seemingly punched or sawed out of sheet
metal or bar stock, and appear one parts list and hardware store trip away from
being a home project for the most ambition of home metal workers.
Some of the
illustrations are mildly shocking: As late as the 1950's, decades after Tullio
Campagnolo supposedly made the world safe for quick wheel changes, even top
name competitors in the Tour de France rode on bikes with nutted axles instead
of quick-release skewers (admittedly those nutted axles were secured with big
wingnuts for ease of change without tools). In light of today's innovations in
generator hubs and powerful LED systems, the many illustrations of sidewall
generators powering incandescent (even if halogen-bulbed) lights seem quaint.
In short, this is a massive collection and celebration of one man's work that
documents an important and fruitful era in the technical development of the bicycle.
Take a look – you might get an idea!
Monday, December 22, 2014
Friday, December 19, 2014
In honor of Kerry Kunsman, the Bike Coalition hosted a two day bicycle tour on December 13th and 14th. Everyone met in San Juan Capistrano where we began our ride south to the San Diego/Mexico border and held a Celebration of Kerry at Mission Brewery. Kerry’s Ride Home was an epic adventure rich with things that reminded us of Kerry: bikes, coffee, ice cream, beer, camping, and friends. Kerry’s Ride Home was filled with “first time experiences” for participants. For many, this was their first time touring, first time camping, first time riding in the mud, or longest ride to date. Introducing folks to the social and scenic nature of bicycle touring and empowerment that comes with relying on your body to get from point A to point B was key for Kerry’s Ride Home. As an educator and bicycle advocate, Kerry inspired those around him to persevere through any challenge.
To see a recap of the tour visit: Mixte Finishes Kerry's Ride Home
We'd like to give a special thank you to all those who made the tour possible. Bike Coalition members Pauline and Dan Callahan supplied and drove our support van for the entire weekend and encouraged us along the route. Thank you to Sombrero Mexican Restaurant for donating our end of tour meal. There's nothing better than a burrito after riding 100+ miles! Thank you also to Mission Brewery for hosting the end of tour celebration, and U-T San Diego for writing a great article about Kerry and our ride: Riders Finish Avid Cyclist's Last Journey
Wednesday, December 10, 2014
We are excited to announce that Bikes del Pueblo is collaborating with San Diego County Bicycle Coalition for their Holiday Drive: Helmets, Lights, & U-locks for the Youth.
Bikes del Pueblo volunteers will be at San Diego County Bicycle Coalition’s 4th Annual Holiday Joy Ride on December 11th from 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM to promote their Holiday Drive and to collect any donations. You can find out more about the Joy Ride here!
The Holiday Drive: Helmets, Lights, & U-locks for the Youth is a project that is sponsored by the San Diego Foundation through the Great Neighborhood Challenge. The project that was selected to improve a particular neighborhood; They are focusing on City Heights, therefore, donations will be distributed to the youth in City Heights.
Friday, December 5, 2014
Join us for our 4th Annual Holiday Joy Ride on December 11th at 5:30 PM. We will begin the night with a festive light-your-bike ride through Balboa Park and Uptown and end back at Panama 66 for a family friendly celebration of bikes. There will be food and drinks available for purchase.
We will also honor the winners of our Golden Gear Awards, people who have gone above and beyond to help make our region more bike friendly this year.
This event is family friendly. Your ticket includes 1 free drink ticket and light appetizers.
Tickets can be purchased HERE