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Can bicycling save the world? Or at least your life? Just maybe. Contributors to Taking the Lane Volume 9 write about how.
Can bicycling save the world? Or at least your life? Just maybe. Copies of this zine are still available so you can learn how.
Can bicycling save the world? Or at least your life? Just maybe. Copies of this zine are still available so you can learn how.
116 backers pledged $2,090 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Disaster! Bicycling through the apocalypse

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At some point in the last decade, catastrophe has become the new normal. Earthquakes, epidemics, and economic crises rattle communities. Meanwhile, harder to pin down but no less devastating, we have the widespread disintegration of personal health and happiness. And people are finding amazing and interesting ways to rise to the occasion, seeking self-sufficiency, sanity, and community solutions. 

This often includes turning to bicycling -- both as a means of rebuilding and recovery after a disaster (be it flood, tornado, or hurricane), and as a way to take positive action in our everyday lives in non-emergent but increasingly difficult times

"Disaster!" is the topic of the latest issue of Taking the Lane's quarterly journal of empowering nonfiction about bicycling. This pocket-sized, brightly colored book tackles its theme with breadth and depth, and always with a feminist perspective. 

One contributor happened on the scene of a small disaster and found she was able to help. Another navigated a health crisis in her carfree family by bike. Others report on the aftermaths of floods and storms that have affected entire regions. Another examines her family's response to the economic crisis in Greece.

Other potential contributions are more instructional: How do you make an emergency preparedness plan when your primary vehicle is a bicycle? What do you pack in your go-bag when it's a bike pannier? Can a bike be a viable farm vehicle? Where do bikes fit into the dismal math of climate science? 

"Disaster!" will include much of the above and more (I'm still seeking submissions through December 1st). The book will be illustrated by talented nature artist Katura Reynolds.

Many of the rewards include other pocket-sized books I've published in the last couple years. Other reward levels are designed to make everything more awesome for everyone when people band together, as tends to happen whenever the going gets tough. 

Thank you! I'm excited to work with you all to make this happen.

Risks and challenges

Predicting the budget for these books is a bit like predicting exactly what they'll look like when they come back from the printer -- accuracy improves with experience and planning, but it's always a surprise in the end. Lots of variables factor into the final cost, from design (each added color is so enticing, but so expensive) to page count (the cost of paper is rising quickly) to shipping (ditto, for the same reasons -- which are all too relevant to the theme of this issue).

In the past I've erred on the low side while budgeting, and sometimes come up short, making up the difference via sales and subscriptions once the book comes out. This time, emboldened by all your support over the last two and a half years, I'm shooting a bit higher ... for an amount that will probably turn out to be just about on target. Thanks for being part of this! I'm excited to see what happens this time around, and to share it with you.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    A copy of Disaster! mailed to your door.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    One copy of Disaster! and one copy of one of my other publications of your choice (this can be a second copy of Disaster! if you like).

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    One-year subscription. Get the next four issues of Taking the Lane Quarterly, starting with Disaster! (#9) and running through issue #12.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Rebuild for Bikes! Prepare your spirits to make the best of whatever comes with practical knowledge and inspiration from Disaster! (TTL9), Unsung Heroes (TTL3), and Bikenomics. Even better, get yourself and your bike road-worthy and cargo-ready with a copy of my new book, Everyday Bicycling.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    One copy of Disaster! mailed to you, and one mailed to a friend. Plus, if all ten of this reward level are chosen, I will pledge to personally deliver by bicycle, as far as is possible, all of this project's rewards that are addressed within Portland, Oregon's city limits. Rain, hail, or shine! Photographic evidence to be posted on my blog, along with a personal thanks for your support (and a link if you'd like).

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    A copy of Disaster!, mailed to you, PLUS the secret password to get an advance look at the 7 minute Disaster Relief Trials video from last summer in Portland, well before anyone else gets to see it.

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    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    Rebuild for Bikes (Body and Chainring Edition). All the stuff in the Rebuild for Bikes pack, *plus* boost your self-sufficiency with a copy of The Chainbreaker Bike Book, our favorite bike repair manual ever. And limber up your legs and lungs for whatever's to come with a copy of Pedal, Stretch, Breathe: The Yoga of Bicycling.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Everything in Print! All the good stuff available from Taking the Lane at the time this ships. This will hopefully/probably include: Taking the Lane #3-9 (possibly excluding #5, if supplies continue to dwindle), Bikenomics, Pedal, Stretch, Breathe, and a selection of related cards and stickers, and maybe something else.

    Community bonus: If ten people choose this reward, I will produce a supplemental photocopied mini-zine (one sheet of paper, folded and cut cleverly to make a charming little book), with words and pictures of a useful and topical nature, and send one to every backer of this entire project.

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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    Mailbox Love! Everything I publish in the calendar year 2013, mailed to you as it comes out, starting with Disaster! Could be a handful of pocket sized books, could be a plethora of multimedia extravagance. A great deal either way.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    The "Mailbox Love!" *and* "Everything in print" rewards. So much good reading. Bonus: Pledge double this amount to share the love and sign up a friend as well.

    Community bonus: If ten people choose this reward, I'll go ahead and start production on "Taking the Lane: The Movie."

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    I will digitally record a SINGING VIDEO TELEGRAM for you or someone you care about who likes to laugh. Perfect for birthdays, anniversaries, practical jokes. The catch: I'm the one who's doing the singing. Also, you and your lucky telegram recipient each get a copy of Disaster!

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    I will perform a dramatic reading, on video, any essay of your choosing from any issue of Taking the Lane (even out-of-print ones!). You also get a copy of Disaster! and of the issue the essay is from.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    I will re-enact, on video, the salient moments of every essay in Disaster! and post it for your amusement. Also, you get a couple of copies of the issue itself, so you can follow along with a friend.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    A real life emergent situation in my living room will play out, caught on video! I will build a fortress out of books and zines and shipping supplies, and the cat will valiantly defend it against attack. (The cat will not be harmed, but catnip and string toys may be involved.) Also, you'll get a couple copies of Disaster! Awesome.

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    You or someone you want to mightily entertain will receive a LIVE, IN-PERSON SINGING TELEGRAM performed by yours truly. Must be in the city of Portland or on a scheduled tour stop. Besides endless laughs, you and your telegram recipient also each get a copy of Disaster!

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    What, to your mind, is the most exciting topic in bicycling right now? The next issue of Taking the Lane will be our tenth (!), and this lucky backer will choose the theme and have editorial input on how it's explored. You'll also get the Mailbox Love *and* Everything in print rewards -- one set of rewards for you and another for a friend.

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Funding period

- (25 days)