Taking The Lane


Jonathan Maus’ BikePortland.org site has published an article about an up-and-coming female entrepreneur Elly Blue. Maus writes:

Elly Blue, publisher.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

These are boom times in the bike book publishing world. From big coffee-table books detailing the beauty of bike design, to guidebooks on where and how to ride and everything in between — the cycling renaissance in North America is being mirrored by an equally robust uptick in the amount of new books that document it.

Major publishing houses have noticed and they’re certainly getting a piece of the action; but here in Portland, a growing number of authors are turning to small press and independent publishers.

And who’s at the forefront of this fledgling revolution? None other than activist, businesswoman, writer, journalist and southeast Portland resident Elly Blue. Under her Taking the Lane Media banner, Elly is publishing, consulting on, distributing, marketing, and even writing bike books at a breakneck pace. After cutting her teeth on writing and bike journalism here on BikePortland back in the day, Elly found big success as a columnist for Grist.org. Since that gig ended, Elly has spent the last two years learning everything she can about the publishing business (and she’s also become something of an expert on how to win a Kickstarter campaign).

As the holidays approach and you begin to think about what to get that avid cyclist on your shopping list you might want to venture over to her site Taking The Lane. Like so many others Elly has landed upon the side of WordPress to power her site. She has chosen a theme designed by WooThemes.com.

Her site is divided into three main areas:

  • Blog – Being a writer Elly has reserved a portion of her site to showcase her thoughts on cycling. You can cherry pick her blog area by referring to latest or most popular of her articles using the tabbed organizer on the left side of this area. You can even follow the comments readers leave on her blogging thoughts.
  • Shop – If you want to purchase any of her work online you can do that here. There are books, quarterlies, stickers, deals and everything else. That last section is for greeting and note cards, no less!
  • Resources – This section of her site is great because it highlights the information to be found in her new book Everyday Cycling. Among the things you will find here is this nifty gem (Everyday Biking.pdf) from Chicago’s own Active Transportation Alliance.

Her personal work is strongly feminist and brash. But it is also highly practical. This is the place for hipsters to find personal and gift ideas that speak to cycling more on the level of lifestyle change than an exercise in understanding traffic situations to avoid or tackle. What is interesting is that while her work is more typical of the “we need more buffered bike lanes” crowd, her website name is a tip of the hat to Vehicular Cycling and its creator John Forester.

Psst! There are not that many shopping days left until Christmas!