Out Your Back Door!
My wife Martha makes recycled fabric art for shows and shops. The ladies go nuts over it. Here’s what she says: “My studio is in my kitchen, so I can sew and cook. I love combining the old and the new. The Gees Bend quilts really inspire my quilting. For my other items, I use thrown-out sweaters—making something out of nothing. And I get to go to thrift stores, which combines business with pleasure! Sewing is fun because friends can get together to do it—what could be better? I like my circles because they look like cookies, donuts or candy. I think that’s why people like them.” More at LazyGal.biz.
celebrating affordable adventure
issue #11, $1
grassroots culture for good times illustrated The OYB Scenes...
Pillows Out Your Back Door 4686 Meridian Rd. Williamston MI 48895
HOW TO ORDER FROM OYB? It’s easy to shop online at OutYourBackdoor.com. We take credit cards & all the usual. Or mail to the return address at left. Or call (517) 347-1689. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. All items postpaid in the USA; non-US pays excess. Thanks! —JP
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Greetings! So, what is OYB? Hi, I’m Jeff Potter and I herd the cats here. Independent “DIY” culture is the way to go for any “economy.” But most indy media is so specialized that a bigger message is lost. OYB goes against the grain and offers an “all-rounder” view, using a personal, small-world style, to give you connections, uplift, and fresh ideas. ✓Now, I do most of the digging, but people give me lots of great tips. ✓Also, there’s a lot of biking here, but it’s of a sort that opens to the rest of life. ✓To get this job done, OYB is both a magazine and a catalog. This here “catazeen” offers brief storylets followed by catalog items. (If you like a storylet, the rest is at the website.) And if any of the featured hard-to-ﬁnd books or goodies strike you, feel free to order away! Cheers! —JP
For hundreds of indy culture stories—plus books, mags, music, movies (and luggage!) visit OutYourBackdoor.com; 4686 Meridian Rd., Williamston MI 48895; (517) 347-1689; email@example.com.
by Gunnar Fehlau, $21.95, 193 pp, OYB Press. Fully revised and updated 3rd edition of the only complete book about recumbents. Covers: Features, History, Racing, Touring, Physics, Construction, etc. Over 200 black&white photos plus 12 pages of full color.
The Golden Age of Handbuilt Bicycles
by Jan Heine, Photos: Jean-Pierre Pradères; Vintage Bicycle Press, $60, 180pp, 10x12, sewn hardcover & coated paper. The most beautiful bicycle book of all time. Showcases an age of versatile bikes that offered the pinnacle of craftsmanship and innovation. This book has crossover appeal and is inﬂuencing versatile bike revival.
Fold-It! —The World of the Folding Bike Due
Fall 2007! by G. Fehlau, $20, 170 pp, 7x9, OYB Press. The world’s only book with everything you need to know. Covers history, development, features and the various models offered, with pro’s and con’s.
A Dirt Road Rider’s Trek Epic
by Victor Vicente of America, $15, 100 pp, 8x11, OYB. VVA explores the natural and cultural outback via this cult classic prose-poem. Illustrated with art from his bike-making, coins, posters, and stamps. Includes a bio of his inspiring life. VVA was the ﬁrst US road champion, ﬁrst modern-era Euro winner, ﬁrst ultra-distance record holder, an early mountain-bike innovator and race promoter.
The Dancing Chain History & Development of the Derailleur Bicycle
by Frank Berto, hardcover, 9x11, $55, 384 pp. Here’s a big hardcover history of the derailleur bicycle. The development of the bike has been as competitive as the races between hero cyclists. It’s dramatic reading. Full of great photos. Pricey coz it’s indy.
The Data Book
by Noguchi, $40, 212 pp, hardcover, 7x10, 1200 B&W illus. Classic sketchbook of great bike stuff. A celebration of the art of technical sketching, as represented by Daniel Rebour. Emphasizes features and parts from the 30s-50s.
BikeLore 1 & 2
Edited by G. & M. Konrad (10+ contributors), $14.95 ea., 175pp, paperback, 6x9, B&W pics. Two collections of heritage and heroes written by 16 renowned cycling writers. Rich treasuries of vintage cycling, touring, and racing lore that even buffs won’t be familiar with, but will appreciate.
The Pornographic Flabbergasted Emus by Wred Fright, $15, 250 pp, pa-
per, ULA PRESS. Hilarious novel of a house-band and houseful of post-college housemate mayhem. Insightful, candid. First serialized as a popular zeen. A ULA literary activist group title.
Bukowski Never Did This by Jack Saunders, $15, 250 pp, paper. Subtitled “A
year in the life of an underground writer and his family.” That tells you what Buk never did: he never dealt with the tension of raising a family while staying true to an artistic talent that only has plenty of fans but no admittance into the publishing/reviewing/PR system. From the ULA!
True Friendship by Ronald E. Puhek, $10, 110 pp, paperback. A provocative look at the lost art of friendship. What is it and what does it do and mean? Truly? It’s perhaps more and different than we tend to think. Encouragement for life today, in these hardest of times, where nothing is as it seems. (No cheesy anecdotes!)
Killer Competitiveness by Ronald E. Puhek, $15, 180 pp, paperback. Com-
petition may be necessary for scarce goods (less so today), but competitiveness is a distraction that both exploits us and lets us exploit ourselves, keeping ourselves from seeing reality. Winners and losers have a chance of seeing through the illusion while midpackers can be lured into endlessly chasing. A break-out is needed!
Dread Clampitt (Music CD) $15. A new generation of roots music. Superior
talent in an acoustic band, plus topnotch songwriting, gets plugged into an endless cosmic groove. Swampy bluesy rhythm-grass. Straight up from the steamy Gulf Coast. Fiddle, mando, guitar and bass. Pros since they were kids. With a little anchoring from a former Elvis bandman. What more do you need?
Daisy May: Heart Song (Music CD) $15. Fresh new strong female voice and
talent in folky twang. Young-woman style but with the experience of years on the road and years of gigs. She and her friends are at the heart of a new scene in Michigan music. What a talent! Her bandmates have their own CDs so she has great sound around. She contributes fully on par with the best talents today.
Richard Dobson: Back Tracks (Music CD) $15, OYB. Dobson is one of the
godfathers of the “Austin sound.” This is his greatest hits CD, out of print until I revived it. Top-notch classic rowdy country action. He gets big praises from John Prine, Nancy Grifﬁth, Guy Clark, TVZ. He’s been living in Europe these past decades—the only place a cowboy can ﬁnd an audience?
Slim McElderry: The Blue Sun (Music CD) $15, OYB. Mack made his living
busking around the world for 30 years. He’s 70+ and lives in a no-power barrack on the Gulf Coast. These are his bluesy, Guthriesque (plus Keroauc) contributions to our culture. They’re great songs, played on the dobro. They move the bar forward for our culture. Several numbers pay respects to past musicians and writers.
The Recumbent Bicycle
Soul Camp is an annual event where members of our local life studies group get together at our host’s cottage in Minnesota for a week of study. ✓ We read Berdyaev this year—a Russian Orthodox mystic considered the greatest modern Russian philosopher. He had a mission like ours: to think in a way to help us live in today’s world. ✓ We go on walks, meet for a huge noon meal (“dinner”), chat around the table, meet for “supper”, then meet for a few hours at night. We’re busy! ✓ This year we tented to save money and get a quieter locale. We used a canoe to get to and from the meetings. I really appreciated using a canoe as transport. Every night when we paddled back the sky was a black bowl exploding with brilliant stars.
One summer I worked on Mackinaw Island, MI. Cars aren’t allowed. Bikes rule. (And horses.) There I discovered the Kings of the Island—the dock porters. These guys make big tips hauling 250-lb loads of luggage from the ferries to the hotels all day. I wasn’t an ofﬁcial porter, but I ﬁlled in often. Dock porters are workers, but not interstitial like bike messengers. They’re front and center. They haul dozens of loads a day right down the middle of main street. And they are socially and ﬁnancially rewarded for their overthe-top efforts and panache. I bet they’re the hardest-working, most-popular, best-paid bike-workers in America! But Google them and you’ll come up empty. Yet they’re a magniﬁcent part of the work-bike world. So here are some pics and info. My contribution to work-bike scholarship, eh? [...more at OYB.com.]
...moreBike! [more at OYB.com!]
by Jobst Brandt, 150pp, hardcover, $24.95, 3rd ed. This classic on bike wheels shows how to become a proﬁcient wheel builder. It answers wheel design and parts questions. Jobst is a legend.
[mag] $8, 10x12, 62 pages, full color, 6X/yr. “VV” is the only all-round bike culture magazine. From the UK. Lovely, thoughtful, innovative, diverse. Full of art and ideas covering every aspect of the humanized wheel under the sun.
Bull Cook by George L. Herter, $25, 350 pp, hardcover, vintage. One of the
best cookbooks, because it’s so much more. (You should also have one of the catalogs.) Self-published, sold a jillion. Wild recipes with wild histories, told with straight face. A slice of bold 50’s style. Rare volumes 2/3 also usually available, featuring the usual plus astounding restaurants, nightclubs, menus and hotels of the 50’s ($40).
[mag] $8.50, glossy B&W, 8.5x11, 28 pp. A thriving exploration of quality, art and science, covering racing and touring history, as well as contemporary cycling subjects. Important research for everyday riders (not published elsewhere).
Evasion by Anon, $15, 150 pp. A great look into the straightedge punk life of the 1990’s and beyond. About life on the road, checking out the scenes in various towns, hitching, hopping, diving and living free. This book got cult status as a zeen that was xeroxed and passed around.
The Rivendell Reader
[mag] $3, 32 pp, color cover, 8.5x11, 4/yr. “RR” is published by Rivendell, maker of sweet, versatile bicycles. Promotes tried-and-true values of sustainable bike culture. Description, discussion, letters about new products, wool clothes, canvas luggage, etc. Adventures, interviews.
Tripping in America by John Bennett, $15, 160 pp, paperback. A road trip
story, not written by an academic. The road trip isn’t over yet! This one is set in the 80’s, as Bennett, a steadily-proliﬁc writer/poet/publisher of the Beat Era who is still a window-washer, drives the land in a van, staying at campgrounds, with his girlfriend, a manual typewriter and a steady ﬂow of sixpacks.
Recumbent Cyclist News
Gulf Coast Boys
Out Your Back Door #10 The Magazine of Homemade Adventure
$5, Editor: Jeff Potter, a huge 82 pp. The only magazine of authentic, informal, do-it-yourself, indy adventure and culture. By one guy! A dozen articles plus listings for products. Much more than bikes!
Gulf Coast Boys by Richard Dobson, $15, 180 pp, paperback. Memoirs of
life on the coast in the 70’s. Dobson is one of the godfathers of the “Austin sound.” He toured with TVZ and lived and wrote with Guy Clark. Also worked oilrigs, shrimped and went hunting and ﬁshing. The wild old art days, hand to hand, poor, trying to ﬁgure it all out.
Tales from the Texas Gang by Wild Bill Blackolive, $25, 350 pp, paperback,
ﬁrst ed., vintage. A streamy tale of mayhem in the late 1800’s down by the border. Mixed up races and action every which way. About a gang of outlaws who ran with everyone but the law, work and fences. Based on the author’s real outlaw gang, some who still kick at TexasGang.net. The spirit of Twain, Castenada, McCarthy, Melville, Kerouac live on. Big, funny! (ULA writer.)
[mag] $4, 32pp, 2-color cover, B/W, 8.5x11, 6X/yr. “RCN” is the only magazine all about recumbent bikes and trikes. Covers the HPV scene with integrity and candor. Full of riderreports, opinions, DIY homebuilder projects and info. Not many markets encourage such open participation.
“Share the Road” Bumpersticker & “Bike!” Magnet
$2, 3x11 sticker; 3x5 magnet. A sticker is obvious, but the magnet is trickier. Put this vinyl magnet on your car or frig. It works as a sticker...and a game! The concept is printed on each: “If You Like Me...Take Me! ...Keep Me Moving!” / “Move-It!” —the social bumpersticker / Public Property outyourback-door.com. Information wants to be free, right? If you think you’re the only one trying to have fun in car-land, maybe someone out there will surprise you!
The Bicycle Wheel
One-Upsmanship by Stephen Potter, $20, 150 pp, hardcover, vintage. Clever, dry, snortingly funny 50’s-era British look at “the art of winning without actually cheating.” The culture of social sport. An early, and still supreme, parody of clubbism. Gambits, ploys...headgames. An inspiration for Monty Python.
Potluck by Jack Rudloe, $15, 274 pp, OYB Press. Hard times and opportunity collide on the high seas for a page-burning thriller. It’s the only novel to tell the true-life story of the epidemic of drug smuggling that hit Gulf Coast small towns. It’s the only novel of the small-time commercial ﬁshermen who were the bedrock of coast culture but now nearly extinct. Rudloe owns the only independent marine lab on the coast and started the coast conservation movement. These several distinctions all combine for a great read!
FullyLoadedTouring.com is dedicated to photos of bikes fully loaded and on tour. A feast for the eyes and imagination. Anyone is welcome to submit a photo as long as it is shot in hi-rez, from the side, with no people, and is of a fully loaded bike on a real tour. —It’s neat how the riders aren’t in the pics, yet in a way they are. I like looking both for very tidy rigs and for yard-sale rigs mounded so high that you wonder how the rider moves. My own idea of the perfect rig has evolved. Front and rear pans and a bar bag. That’s it. It seems important and elegant to have nothing on top of the rack in the back. –Easier to haul dinner and breakfast ﬁxings at the end of day.
Wred Fright and Crazy Carl Robinson were nearing the end of their weeklong 2007 Underground Literary America book tour when they pulled into our driveway. The kids were thrilled to see our writer heroes, who jumped into action handing out wacky presents. Henry never saw such sights. Carl told him “You know, Henry, it says in the Bible that you and your daddy and I are going to jump right into your pool. It’s in the Book of Revelations.” The boy’s eyes were bugging out—but a kid who thrives on daily battles with dragons is on a good level for CC. Then the neighbor’s dog barked. Carl tilted his head, listening... “Dog ﬁght!” The dog barked more. “...in Lansing! ...Tonight!”
VintageBike! story store
by Daniel Behrman, $20, 130 pp, hardcover, vintage. Its subtitle is: “the memoirs of an autophobe,” so there’s that. Wonderful writing about neighborhoods, as seen from a bike, in NYC and France in the 1970s...and how they disappeared because of the car. Wonderful vituperation against the car. A big view.
The Need for the Bike
by Paul Fournel, $15, 100 pp, used. Great writing about bike riding. Fournel is a French avante-garde fellow—who loves riding. This is his look into his world of riding. He covers all the senses, all the needs. He’s a middle-aged rider but he brings us up as he came up. French riding, roads, scenes, food, wine and friends.
Bicycling: A Guinness Superlatives Guide
Momentum: Chasing the Olympic Dream
by Peter Vordenberg, $15, 200 pp, paperback, new. The only book about the XC ski racing life and sport culture. Explores why anyone would give their life to a sport where Americans don’t stand a chance, where the US has never won gold...ah, that’s why! Pete is now the US head coach. And runs the US XC website. And is a great writer—and photographer, too. And the team is close to gold! Amazing! (...And no US XC drug busts.)
Unlimited: A Year in Outdoor Sport (DVD)
by McMahon & Maloche, $30, 2-DVD set, new. The only movie about the year in outdoor sport, showing the changes through the seasons. Great music and fun-yet-civil (Canadian) masters-age athletes. Classy energy. Comes with XC ski how-to DVD.
The Cross Country Ski Look Cook & Pleasure Book
by Wadley & Durry, $30, 215 pp, hardcover, 8x12, vintage. The all-time best “allbike” book. This coffee table book from the early 80’s covers the lore of the world of bicycling better than all others. The best writing, best heritage and tons of classic photos of every (main) kind of cycling.
by Hal Painter, $20, 150 pp, paperback, vintage. The only overall XC ski culture book. Has a lot of literary merit to it, too. A ﬁne window into the 60’s consciousness of outdoor sport culture. Written as exchange between guy and gal, with friends.
Richard’s New Bicycle Book
by Richard Ballantine, $15, 350 pp, paperback, 7x9, vintage. Richard has a few nice bike books, but his “Richard’s New Bicycle Book,” 2nd ed., from the early 80’s is his best—and the best American bike culture book. It’s full of bike art. It brings history to life and connects it to today and shows how the diverse cycling scene is really one spirit. Personable.
by Hal Painter, $20, 200 pp, vintage, hardcover. Share the adventures of two free spirits as they mature into capable—if unconventional—sailors. (Ever wonder what happened to the 60s?) It’s a hilarious crew. Beneath the fun is a serious theme. Materialism infects boating—this is a reminder that freedom is the stuff of which real boating is made. A rare book that was burned by its publisher! Perhaps the only boat book to get such treatment! (Publisher changed hands to stuffy boat folk.)
Bicycles: Le Biciclette
from Chronicle Books, $20, 140 pp, paperback, 5x6, used. A lovely little art book of bike photos spanning the ages.
OYB 4-Way Leather’n’Canvas Bag
The Captain Nemo Cookbook Papers
by Keith Tryck, $20, 200 pp, hardcover, vintage. Young guys save up, ditch their jobs and spend a year on a raft ﬂoating down the Yukon. Nice pics. They winter over, too, using raft as cabin. Much fresh young-person adventure, good history/culture, too.
from Jeff Potter, $35, 7x4x10. The world’s only 5-way bag: shoulderbag, saddlebag, handlebarbag, backpack, pannier. Quality, modiﬁed mil-surplus, used. An ideal day-bag or man-purse. Lightly used, olive-drab. Great value and function (the stud-post closures are superb).
OYB Classy Leather’n’Canvas Pannier
How to Build a Tin Canoe
from Jeff Potter, $45, 8.5x4x11.25. This is a classy, high value smallish pannier/case. Modiﬁed from superb quality mil-surplus. Light green, vintage.
by Bill Mason, $22, new. Wonderful portrait of a canoeist and painter spending a year on the northwoods waters, through the seasons. Mason’s work is world-caliber, Oscar nominated; soundtrack is early Bruce Cockburn. by Robb White, $24, 180 pp, hardcover, new. White was a cranky, candid writer who showed us how small boats and outboard motors tied into all of life. A great window into life on the Gulf coast, today and yesteryear.
The Man Who Loved Bicycles
This summer I ﬁnally attended the Great Lakes Primitive Skills Gathering on Bois Blanc Island in the Straits of Mackinaw. What a great time! $115 a person; 4 days, 2 meals a day; dozens of classes. Also, I paddled over in a seakayak like I always wanted to! At the event I was at ﬁrst befuddled. What class to take? I came to realize that it’s all good. Someone said it’s a myth that women gathered, men hunted and kids played: everyone did everything. And so could I. It was all of a piece. This is the best campout I can imagine for the family. Kids, teens, college kids, parents, singles, grandparents—everyone helping everyone. Flintknapping, cordage, ﬂute-making, ceramics, weaving, plant ID, ﬁre-making... [...more at OYB.com.]
This bike was an Xmas present for my wife Martha. My bro and I built her up this 1970 Raleigh Super Course for her daily erranding. She loves a rich bold green. A fellow online vintage bikes buff had this small frame for sale for $50—steel, handmade, with Nervex lugs. Martha had been riding a hideous and too-large 80’s aluminum C’dale–every day. She deserved a sweet ride and to show off a bike that put the cars to shame. One that inspired others to take up the wheel. That’s what class does! So my bro and I took the parts off her old bike, took everything over to the community bike reviving shop and rummaged thru old bins til we found everything. We spent much of a nice day together dialing it in. For good measure I topped it off with a wicker basket and a $100 Brooks saddle. [...more at OYB.com.]