Quartuccio is a 3rd generation Pittsburgher who grew up methodically taking his bike apart and putting it back together with encouragement from his dad. He spent his formative years from late '97 to early 2007 working at Dirt Rag Magazine, moving from high school-aged intern to subscription guy and product test coordinator, learning photography fundamentals along the way.
Quartuccio's other claim to fame is as co-founder and editor of Urban Velo, the definitive city-cycling culture magazine which was published from 2007-2014.
These days he works at Pfaltzgraphic, a design studio, toiling over brand identity, product graphics, messaging, and photography for bike industry clients. He's also a board member of Bike Pittsburgh, the local non-profit working towards bike and ped access, education, and Open Streets events.
He's married (to his best friend) and has a five-month-old son (Salvador) who he's priming for adventure.
We hope you enjoy this week's Banjo Brothers Five Things.
BANJO BROS: WHAT ARE YOU RIDING?
BQ: I've had the good fortune in life to turn onto bikes early, and score a job in the industry shortly thereafter. Twenty years on I have a few bikes in the quiver, and my favorite bike remains whatever one I am going to ride next. In a more general sense ‑ mountain bikes. The past few years have fully brought me back around to mountain bikes and the exploration and relative calm of riding through the woods that hooked me on bicycles in the first place. While still fully committed to expanding bicycle and pedestrian access in the public realm, I'm personally over being the target of people's aggression while just doing my thing, and hung up my skinny tires and spandex sometime in the summer of '17 after yet another frightening encounter but a quarter mile from home. I'll still put in the pavement miles, but more than likely there is work on the other end or trail somewhere along the way. Laughs and trail time with a few friends leave me happy with a clear head and wanting for more. Bikes fully in the rotation: ANT Bike Mike framebuilding school mountain bike touring commuter, Marin B17 full suspension trail bike, current gen Surly Karate Monkey (other trail bike), Bianchi San Jose single speed explorer, Pake track beater.
BANJO BROS: WHERE ARE YOU RIDING?
BQ: Frick Park, Pittsburgh. Henry Clay Frick was a steel industry robber baron perhaps best known for hiring armed Pinkerton security guards to break up the 1892 Homestead Steel Strike. While his business practices are suspect, the park that bears his name today is a gem of urban life. 400+ acres of land crisscrossed with (legal) maintained singletrack, located within city limits, not even six miles from downtown proper. Roadtrip mountain bike destinations are amazing weekend memories, but singletrack accessible from the garage is key to my day-to-day mental health. This past spring I did a road trip with seven friends down to the greater Asheville North Carolina area for a week of mountain biking. The year prior my wife and I ended up in NC floating on some mountain lake on our kayaks to view the solar eclipse. That is an amazing part of the earth that I need to visit more often.
Roadtrip mountain bike destinations are amazing weekend memories, but singletrack accessible from the garage is key to my day-to-day mental health.
BANJO BROS: WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO, READING OR WATCHING?
BQ: Cooperative board games. Rather than everyone playing against each other, it's everyone at the table versus the board. It's a game of cooperative strategy and table talk, and with a solid group of players removes the dynamics of hurt feelings, people being locked out of games, and players losing interest.
Push your glasses up and hang on, as we've leveled up to Legacy edition cooperative games around here. Your last game affects the next — stickers may be placed on the board, cards may be torn up, pieces destroyed, new rules introduced. It took a group of four of us a year and a half to make it through Pandemic Legacy Season 1, and we immediately jumped into Season 2. Dip your toe into cooperative board games with Forbidden Island and Forbidden Desert, get ready for some serious rulebook referencing with Pandemic and Spirit Island, and sign up for a year or more of gaming with friends with one of the Pandemic Legacy Seasons.
BANJO BROS: WHAT ARE YOU COOKING, EATING/DRINKING?
BQ: At the time of this writing it is 10 p.m. on a Thursday and a refreshing Hamm's Special Light is on the menu. I am a sophisticated man of fine taste.
BANJO BROS: WHAT'S STUCK IN YOUR CRAW?
BQ: Bikes are fun, and the industry is finally getting it. For far too long it's been a trickle down from racing, rather than a trickle up from participating. This isn't stadium sports, we're not selling luxury tickets and replica jerseys and basketball shoes really meant for street wear. Bikes are for riding, and that's exactly what people who buy them do. I am happy to see a renewed emphasis on fun and comfort and getting out there rather than just grams and speed and racing. The trail bike ethos of modern mountain bike design and the renewed energy at festival weekends. The party surrounding cyclocross. The camaraderie and fun of gravel events. It's even less about who is at the top rather than who is out there in the first place, and as a fundamentally participatory activity, this is nothing but good for cycling culture.
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MORE ABOUT THE FIVE THINGS INTERVIEWS FROM BANJO BROTHERS
A big Banjo Brothers thank you to Brad Quartuccio for participating in this week's edition of Five Things. These short interviews about life and bicycles will appear every Friday on the Banjo Brothers Blog. If you liked this FIVE THINGS from Banjo Brothers you should check our full series of past five things interviews.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE INTERVIEWED FOR FIVE THINGS?
Use the contact form on our website to send us a note. See you next Friday. Also, since you're here, we do need to mention, Banjo Brothers make a whole line of tough, practical and affordable gear for cyclists. Thanks for reading.