Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Urban Biking Handbook

by Merritt of Not Without Merit

I have the most amazing little brother, I really do. He has like three jobs, runs his own business and volunteers at a really cool place called "The Bicycle Kitchen." As of today, his latest accomplishment is available to the public. I thought I would take this opportunity to brag (as any big sister would) and to share his awesome new book, that I am sure a lot of you would enjoy! I interviewed him below:

Merritt Kirkpatrick: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Charles Haine: I'm a filmmaker living in Los Angeles, California with the firm Dirty Robber ( I have been riding bicycles my whole life, and fixing them in various ways for the last 13 years. I spent 7 years volunteering at the Bicycle Kitchen in East Hollywood teaching others how to repair their bicycle.

MK: What do you do when you are not writing?
CH: I write books, ride my bicycle, direct commercials, music videos and book trailers for Dirty Robber, and teaching at Los Angeles City College.

MK: Do you have a day job as well?
CH: Partner in my production company.
MK: How did this project get started?
CH: My wonderful editor Rochelle Bourgault from Quarry Books got in touch with the Bicycle Kitchen looking for volunteers who would be interested in writing a DIY/City Culture focused book on bicycling, and I was instantly excited. We talked for several months to develop a solid
outline for the book and really got on the same page in terms of what we were looking for.

MK: What can you tell us about the book?
CH: Well, I think the book is the ideal balance of knowledge about both cycles and city cycling
along with technical info and DIY repair stuff. It's not as dry and diagram filled as a traditional repair book and it has more focus on things that can be done at home without a lot of tools, and the kinds of repairs and whatnot that you might run into with a vintage thriftstore bike as opposed to a brand new hybrid.

MK: What do you hope that people gain from the book?
CH: I hope people gain both insight in and enthusiasm for the bicycle as a part of a full life. The bicycle is a world-changing tool and I think that a lot of people who would be more likely to ride, and would ride often, if they knew what simple machines they are.

MK: Any books on the horizon?
CH: Not at the moment, but someday.

MK: Who has the best sister in the world?
CH: Craig Robinson! Just kidding, me:)

MK: Thanks, Charles! I am totally giving this as a Christmas gift to all of my bike-loving friends! :)

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