Jan Heine, Editor
When growing up in Germany, Jan wistfully watched groups of racers glide by his house. Upon emigrating to the United States, he fulfilled his dream of racing bicycles on the road and in cyclocross. In between rides and races, he somehow managed to complete his studies of geography, geology and mathematics. Some might say that his NASA fellowship was not really intended to free him up to ride more, but Jan published enough articles in prestigious scientific journals to keep the rocket people happy. (They even offered him a job, but that would have meant living in a place without mountains.)
In recent years, randonneuring and touring have taken center-stage in his cycling — he has completed every Paris-Brest-Paris since 1999. Faced with the constraints of an academic career, Jan decided to strike out on his own, working as a free-lance writer and translator for a number of magazines and companies. With that background, it was only a matter of time until Jan started his own publication: Bicycle Quarterly. Now he is debating whether he is fortunate to have made his passion into his work, or whether he is unlucky never to have any time off.
Bicycle Times published an interview with Jan Heine in 2009.
Mark Vande Kamp
Mark Vande Kamp is the second Ph.D. among our contributors. As a social psychologist with a minor in statistics, he is our go-to guy for data analyses, reviews of test protocols and second opinions on test bikes. He also is a keen rider who continues to surprise us. Whether he trains or not, there aren't many who can shake him off their wheel, whether up or down a hill. When he is not plotting a new unpaved route through the Cascade Mountains, Mark works for the Port of Seattle as a senior research and data analyst.
Originally from Philadelphia, Hahn Rossman's creative journey as an artist has included colleges, bike shops, foundries and workshops in New York State, Detroit, New Mexico, Los Angeles and now Seattle. Today, Hahn runs a metal fabrication business in Seattle, where he designs and fabricates projects for other artists, architects and designers. On the side, he builds custom bicycles. Or maybe he builds custom bicycles and does metal fabrication on the side. For Bicycle Quarterly, Hahn tests bikes and builds testing equipment.
Hahn races road and cyclocross locally and is a multiple-time winner of the infamous Dead Baby Downhill. When he is not drinking coffee with other members of Rapha's Continental Team, he rides in randonneuring events or tows one of his several dogs around Seattle in his trailer.
Alycia Kiley grew up in a suburb of Boston. When her parents decided not to replace their disintegrating Toyota, the result was an "environmental experiment" that changed the family's lives and influenced their neighbors. Alycia has been riding her bikes ever since. She reports about bicycle commuting, touring and local cycling cultures.
Raymond Henry has experienced the glory days of French cyclotouring first-hand. As a French school teacher in the 1960s, he raised some eyebrows when he rode his bike instead of owning a car. As an avid cyclotourist, Raymond Henry has completed Paris-Brest-Paris, the Tour de France Randonneur and all nine Diagonales of France. Living in Provence, he became enthralled with the life of Vélocio, (link to Glossary) the founder of the French cyclotouring movement. Retracing Vélocio's steps and meeting the friends of the "apostle of cyclotourism" led to decades of research. Several books about the history of cyclotourism and bicycle technology are the result.
Today, Raymond Henry officially has retired from teaching, but as a member of the Cultural Heritage Commission of the French Cyclotouring Federation, he still tries to instill a love of history in his "students." For Bicycle Quarterly, he writes and reviews articles on cycling history, as well as providing research assistance from his extensive library.
Frank Berto has been riding bicycles since his childhood in the 1940s. He continued to ride when few Americans did, through his university years when he received a Master's degree in mechanical engineering (1958). Working for the oil industry as an instrumentation and oil measurement consultant only increased his love of cycling. So much that he started writing technical articles for cycling magazines. When mainstream magazines stopped publishing technical articles, Frank wrote four books, including The Dancing Chain, an illustrated history of derailleurs. As a father of teenage boys in Marin County (California) during the 1970s, Frank knew most of the riders who developed the modern mountain bike during this time, resulting in another book The Birth of Dirt. For Bicycle Quarterly, Frank Berto reviews articles, provides technical expertise and access to his research library.
Jada Van Vliet
Jada Van Vliet practically rode out of the womb on a bicycle. Her two-wheeled lifestyle has taken her around the globe for work and adventure, riding across her native country of Canada, the U.S., India and her current home of New Zealand. With a life-long passion for cycling, Jada has dabbled in road racing, tour guiding, mountain biking and most recently, BMX.
As a means for exploration, a mode of transport, or a tool to unwind at the end of a long day, riding a bike has always been a central part of Jada's life. With little interest in the technical details of the machine, Jada enjoys spinning the wheels with friends, riding down gnarly singletrack or rolling along as the sun sets in the mountains while the smell of summer barbeque lures her home. When she is not out riding, Jada writes articles about touring and local cycling culture.
Alex Wetmore has been working on his bikes since childhood. (He also rides them, both for his daily commute and on camping trips into the backcountry.) Some say that Alex only works as a software engineer to support his habit of buying lathes and CNC mills, so he can design and build his next cargo or touring bike. He claims that his projects only take so long because his friends continually drop in and ask for help on yet another little project. In addition to making our racks, Alex contributes to technical articles for Bicycle Quarterly.
Barbara Van de Fen
Barbara brings her wide interests to her work as Bicycle Quarterly's copy editor. She equally enjoyed studying engineering and liberal arts, culminating in degrees in architecture and architectural engineering. She worked as a civil engineer on public works, including bicycle and pedestrian facilities. Bicycles play a significant role in her family's commuting and recreational plans – she appreciates that her children can ride their bikes to their playdates and music lessons on their own.
Andreas Oehler has been riding since age five. Perhaps not all that unusually in Germany, Andreas Oehler rode his bike during his university studies as a mechanical engineer. He continued to ride all the time and everywhere, whether commuting or traveling on vacation, so much that he has not owned a car in 20 years. It was only a matter of time until he combined his passion and his work. Today, he is responsible for product development, quality control and performance assessment at the bicycle lighting manufacturer Schmidt Maschinenbau in Tëbingen, Germany. He volunteers as the head of the technical board of the German bicycle advocacy organization ADFC. And he provides Bicycle Quarterly with first-hand test results on lighting and generator hubs.
In his youth, Christophe Courbou raced bicycles as an amateur in France. Today, he prefers cyclotouring in the Massif Central of France, where he lives at the top of a 5 km, 8% climb not far from the famous Puy de Dôme. He works as a graphic designer, and when he isn't working on the layout of one of our books, he researches the brake maker MAFAC and the cycling history of his home town of Clermont-Ferrand.