I have yet another treat for you. A couple of weeks ago, a book designer contacted me and offered his services. I accepted at once.  You would have too. It’s James Wilson, of Overdrive Design.

To give you some history, James and I met serendipitously (as is the case with everything to do with One Block North). I had carded the bike of one of his employees, who had modestly recommended her boss to me if I wanted truly outstanding bike stories. When I walked into Overdrive Design last August, I was met by a herd of seven bikes at the door. Everyone in the office commutes, but especially James. Everyday, he rides in from Oakville. That’s forty kilometres one way.

In the mid 1980s, James worked at city hall, writing safe cycling handbooks. There’s a hard-core advocate at work here, but he does it quietly. For instance, all but one of those bikes that met me at Overdrive Design was his–he lends his bikes to staff so they can really enjoy their commute.

And he’s not just a commuter. He loves the sport of cycling, too. Many of the distance events occurring in Ontario are attended by James and a pack of his friends. He shared with me that recently he’s done the Rideau Lakes Ride, as well as a twenty-five kilometre vertical ride, up a mountain in the northern States. James then congratulated me that I now know what altitude climbs feel like, and the bliss of riding through the cloudline. He is an inspiring mentor.


As you might expect, I kept intoning, “OMG” at every comment during the interview last August. At one point, James asked me what I ride. When I told him my bike is a Rocky Mountain, he turned my attention to the company logo.

“You know the three peaks with the red background? I designed that.”


Yeah. OMG! So, now you know at least one of the reasons why I trust James with the design for One Block North. It’s because he loves Rockies! (just teasing. Sort of.)

I’m very pleased and extremely proud to have James Wilson design One Block North, “inside and out”, as he describes it. While I know what I want for the cover, I’m giving James carte blanche on the inside, because I know he will make this a book to remember. James, along with our editor Marie-Lynn Hammond and all your exceptional bike stories, will ensure that this will be one extremely professional, remarkably Canadian, book.

yaaay adventure! yaaay cycling!