Down to the wire on the Disaster issue (and a look inside)

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Illustration for Disaster! by Katura Reynolds

– Now is the time to back the Disaster! issue of Taking the Lane. Thank you! –

Does it make any sense to hone in on bicycling as a way to forestall, prepare for, manage, and ultimately survive emergent situations large and small, personal and civic?

I believe so. Bicycling applies, across the board, to so many of our worst problems. Riding a bike may not mean singlehandedly saving the world (nothing means that), but it can be part of the process that saves your life, and it can give you a new, more humane, more honest perspective on the facts of our social world and built environment. And it can give you community, a new way to relate to and with other people.

At least, that’s what the essays that are rolling in this week for the “Disaster!” issue of Taking the Lane are saying. Here’s a sample to entice you:

The art is in. Heck yeah! Katura Reynolds stepped up to do the illustrations. We tossed around a bunch of different ideas, and they were all good — so I told her to surprise me. She did! And I love them. I couldn’t choose a favorite, so I picked one a bit at random to share here.

Here’s what Katura has to say about her creative process:

I had put out some general questions about disaster prep and how bikes fit into that dynamic on my FB and Twitter accounts. The discussions that arose from those prompts were really interesting–folks all had such specific personal points of view on the issue. So I figured–why not do the illustrations as a variant of the “person on the street” interview trope? Thus, we’ve got 6 portraits, with quotes from each person about their thoughts on bikes and disasters.

Katura’s essay is in, also — she was on a bike tour, got a flat, and as a result was able to help save a young family from a disaster of their own.

The zombie essay is in. “The Driving Dead” by Russ Roca of The Path Less Pedaled unpacks our cultural fascination with the undead, making some hard-to-escape associations.

In Baton Rouge, Louisiana, hurricanes are not an uncommon disaster. Mark Martin has weathered a lot of them and shares the compelling details from a bicyclist’s-eye view.

Richard Masoner (not this one, but his dad) volunteered to go to Kobe days after the devastated 1995 earthquake, as part of a team that used sturdy cargo bikes to get into and around the city.

Sally Hunt’s disaster was a diagnosis. She beat it by bicycle, and found the bike had changed her life in other ways, too.

And there’s more — a bit about the economic crisis in Greece, pro tips from a professional emergency planner, and reports the front lines of snow, floods, and Portland shenanigans …

But the catch is — none of these will reach print unless this project is fully funded on Kickstarter in the next four days. Please contribute now.

For $5 you can get a copy to read for yourself. For $20, you can subscribe for the year. For $60 you can get a supersubscription (big plans for this!). For $100, you can get me to make a really silly and embarrassing video. Something for everyone!

If you’re one of the 80 (!) people who has already pitched in, please accept my huge-hearted gratitude … and please also spread the word. Post on facebook, twitter, google plus, tumblr, your blog, send out an email … whatever you’ve got. This can’t happen without you. Thank you again.