The Rivendell ReaderI do a lot of reading. Between the news feeds, web sites, E-mail, magazines, technical manuals, O’Reilly computer books, self help books, and pleasure reading, it seems like I’m always reading something. Out of all of the reading I do, there’s one periodical that stands out above the rest. I eagerly devour each issue and can’t wait for the next one to arrive. The latest issue just arrived this week and I’ve been gleefully perusing each and every page. What’ the name of this coveted gem? It’s The Rivendell Reader.

Admittedly, I’m a bit old school, especially when it comes to bicycles. I like things simple and proven. I just want Juliet (my touring bike) to work reliably and I don’t need the latest greatest gizmo. The Rivendell Bicycle Works company is right up my alley. To quote their web site, “We’re and eight-year-old manufacturer and mail-order bike shop for bike riders who prefer traditional, classical bicycles and parts and accessories to today’s ever-changing high-tech fare.” The Reader is a classic example of old school bicycling.

I don’t know of another bicycle magazine that writes like the Reader does. Most of the bicycling magazines today are less about the act of bicycling and more about the technology behind it. I want to hear about people riding and their love of cycling, not about how I can shave 8 grams by buying a new carbon fiber seat post. The Reader is chock full of cool stories and interviews and is written in a first person, down home style. It almost reminds me of a weblog that is in print.

I found myself at the vet’s office the other day and I forgot to bring The Reader with me. At that moment, I wished that they made an e-book format of the magazine – that way I would have had it with me. Yet if it was in electronic format, I don’t know that I would get the same visceral pleasure out of reading it. There’s something about having this inexpensive rag in your hand and turning the pages that is oh so fun. About the only way it could be better is if you read it after a long ride at a campsite as the light was fading. Man, just typing this makes me want to go on a long bike ride.

If you like cycling, then you’ll love the Rivendell Reader. To get it you have to become a member, or perhaps find a few back issues on eBay. If you want just a sample, they have a small handful of articles on-line.

My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars (3 out of 5 stars)

Where To Buy: Rivendell Bicycle Works