By Jack B. Rochester
My journey on bicycles and a special offer just for MassBike members.
Dear Fellow Cyclists of MassBike,
You and I ride one of the most innovative machines in world history. Bikes became popular in the 1800s because of a shortage of horses caused by - whoa! a volcano eruption? - and henceforth were called “hobby horses!” Before flying, the Wright Brothers had a bicycle shop, selling bikes named “Van Cleve” and “St. Clair.” Mark Twain wrote a ludicrously humorous article about his experience riding – and falling from - a “penny farthing” bicycle, pictured here.
I got my first bike at about seven or eight. I swear it was cast iron. My father must have taken pity on me because the following Christmas he gave me an Raleigh English racing bike with a three-speed shifter. When I got my first paper route, age ten and a half, I rode a sturdy Schwinn with a Bendix two-speed shifter.
I rode a Trek, then a Cannondale, equipped with the Mavic Mektronic gruppo, over about 20 years. Of course, Shimano eventually introduced its SEIS “electronic intelligent” shifting system, and has continued to innovate its gruppos ever since.
There’s been so much innovation in the simple bicycle over the years! As a round-the-world cyclist and technology writer, how could I not want to write a novel about cycling and a radical new shifting scheme? Yes, my fellow cyclists, I created the Spinner in the fab shop of my imagination.
My novel is Bridge Across the Ocean. It’s a story set in New England and Taiwan in 2011 about cycling, technological innovation, international business espionage and last but not least, love. It starts with a hit-and-run killing of a cyclist and takes off like a time-trialer from there.
Since cycling safety is paramount for all of us, I’m donating 100 percent of my earnings from Bridge to Mass Bike. You get a great read and MassBike gets a bunch of money to devote to its cycling safety initiatives. You get to help determine how much.
Please go to the Bridge Across the Ocean website, click on “Get Yours” from the photo menu, and choose your favorite book format – hardcover, paperback, eBook or audiobook. Payment is easy with PayPal - you don’t need an account.
As a bonus gift for your purchase, I’ll send you the Spinner PowerPoint presentation, which doesn’t appear in the book or elsewhere. Even though it’s imaginary, you’ll soon see it could certainly become a reality in the very near technological future.
So please, let’s raise a bunch of money for cycling safety in our neighborhoods. Thanks so much from both MassBike and me. We appreciate your support so much!
Jack B. Rochester
Jack was a business and technology author and journalist before turning to fiction. The Naked Computer was a national bestseller and Pirates of the Digital Millennium an international bestseller; he co-authored both with John Gantz. Bridge Across the Ocean was inspired by the hit-and-run death of a high-tech colleague and his love of adventure cycling. Jack has written 19 books, lives in Lexington, and has been a member of MassBike for over 10 years.