Pittsburgh based Urban Velo, a monthly magazine focused on bikes and bike culture, captures the essence of bicycle life in the modern city. Urban Velo catalogues repair shops, community groups, counter cultural hipsters championing the throwback simplicity of fixed gear bikes, designers, bike messenger life, weekend warrior types, and seekers of things vintage to high tech. The magazine showcases the urban bike front on a global scale, giving the reader a sidewalk view of a Beijing repairman tinkering from the perimeter of a movable cart with hardscrabble tools such as an oil stained hatchet and an ancient screwdriver, greased thumbs and all. Or might profile a rider in St. Petersburg, Florida, or an upstart South Side of Chicago repair shop. Pithy and sometimes harrowing tales of urban biking escapades and tribulations. Kind of a National Geographic of bikes in the city.
As the landscape of urban transport morphs and adjusts to rising fuel costs, a greater awareness of things “green”, and an increased drive of “do-it-yourself” ethos, the bicycle moves to the front of the pack. Urban Velo Magazine captures the modern city bike culture. The bike, a simple, yet effective mode of transit and recreation, has held a spot in urban mobility since its inception. Now – with resurgences in “fixed gear bicycle” purity, and even mobile Dr. Seuss-like sculptures tack welded and ground and fashioned by artists evoking the arcane “high wheeler” bikes of the late 1800’s – these artistically flourished bicycles functioning as transportation devices catch the eye, draw attention, and in a way act like flag bearers of the urban bike movement.
Urban Velo also functions as a sort of trade magazine, offering ample ad space for niche specific makers of things such as panniers, splined cranks, and hold fast straps – furthering and reifying the urban bicycle culture.