New books and a new look for the new year

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Welcome back! Taking the Lane shut down for a couple of days while we rearranged the furniture. It’s been long overdue for a website redesign, and pow — that’s sure happened.

The old website started out simple, just being a blog. Then every time I had an idea or a need for something new, it got tacked on haphazardly and updated only after it got broken. Books, widgets, features, links, projects that never got off the ground, projects that took on a life of their own. After a year and a half of growing every which way, the place was starting to get a little chaotic.

The new design does a better job reflecting what Taking the Lane has evolved to be about: publishing unique books about every aspect of bicycling. The blog is still going strong, but books have been the main event for a while now, and it didn’t make sense to keep them hidden away anymore.

Last night the new site launched; and today new books arrive! Just in time to start pinning down details for the future of this publishing operation. The goal for the next year is to publish between 6 and ten titles, alternating quarterly issues of Taking the Lane (each with their own theme, expanded on by myriad amazing contributors) with stand-alone books by outstanding writers and artists.

Squarely in line for spring 2013 are Lindsay Kandra‘s hilarious beginning bike racing manual How to Be Fast (Or Look Good Trying) and The Culinary Cyclist, a gorgeous celebration of the good life written by Anna Brones and illustrated by Johanna Kindvall.

After that, we’re still working out timelines and plans, but solid schemes are in the works for books about buddhism, wild foraging, the energy economy, raising a carfree family, doing advocacy in communities of color, and a book for middle school girls. … and they’re all about bikes, of course.

I’ve got some new subscription options and other deals up and running as well. You can now subscribe to just Taking the Lane Quarterly or take a chance on the whole Mailbox Love package. There are also some sweet combinations of Quarterly back issues and combinations of books we’ve published and ones we distribute, all at a discount.

Kudos where it’s due: Thanks to blogging colleague and TTL contributor Carmen Mills for pointing out the mess I was so used to I didn’t see anymore. And especial thanks to friend, capmaker, and secret code genius Caroline P., without whom neither the site nor my sanity would have survived the last couple of days.