Founded in 1955, by “forty members who, in pursuit of their pastime, traverse the rougher and less beaten ways,” the Rough-Stuff Fellowship is the world’s oldest off-road cycling club. Members of the RSF undertook the first ever bicycle crossing of Iceland’s interior in 1958, and have tackled other such rugged tracks in Europe, Africa, America, and beyond. A few months ago, RSF started releasing its scanned archival photos on Instagram, and the results have been captivating. Their archive contains thousands of images, hand-drawn maps, and documents. and RSF just announced a Kickstarter campaign—one that’s already 100% funded—to publish a book of these photos. Here are the details.
From Kickstarter: “The photos are evocative of a bygone age and a bygone style – a time when you might set off on a bike ride wearing a shirt and tie or a bobble hat, and no ride was complete without a stop to brew up some tea and smoke a pipe. They are also a record of intrepid adventures. RSF riders explored the Lake District, the Cairngorms, the Alps, and further afield, and their exploits were beautifully documented by amateur and professional photographers. In their own very British way, these men and women were pioneers, pedalling and carrying their bikes where angels feared to tread. Mountain bikes, gravel bikes, adventure bikes all owe them a debt. This book celebrates their style and their spirit. It is a stunning visual resource of cycling heritage that will inspire new adventures.”
– Vintage photos, hand-drawn maps, and ephemera from the RSF archive from 1955 to the 1990s.
– Short introduction and history by Mark Hudson, RSF Archivist
– Contemporary design and layout from an award-winning team
– Hardback / 270 x 210 mm, portrait / 192 pp
– RRP £30 (~$38)
– Deluxe limited edition available
Set to be published by Isola Press, an illustrated adventure book publisher, The Fellowship’s Kickstarter campaign is packed with great premiums, including the book for £30. To learn more, and to secure a copy, check it out here.