Posts Tagged ‘magazines’

Pay a tenner and get all the cycling magazines you would ever want

April 13, 2015

My chum Chris Ward, who rides his bike a lot but doesn’t like to talk about it, recently tipped me off about a magazine app called Readly which has hundreds of titles available to read on your iPad. It stocks all the main British cycling mags – Cycle Sport, Procycling, Cycling Plus and Cycling Weekly – as well as the niche publications Urban Cyclist, Cycling Active, Cycling Fitness and Rouleur. There is no charge for two weeks, and if you want to continue subscribing then you pay £10 a month – which, obviously, is pretty good value for seven monthly titles and a weekly. And if you get bored reading about a load of old cobbles that define the most recent phase of the racing calendar, then you can always peruse the delightful Your Chickens, which has a news-in-brief section called Chicken Nuggets. The silly cluckers.

You flick through pages in much the same way as you would with a physical magazine, and you can call up a scrolling menu at the foot of the screen that allows you to jump to particular pages. It’s a neat little service, and even though new issues are only available some time after they’ve appeared in newsagents, I find I’m reading more than I usually would in dead tree format because all the magazines are tucked in my iPad whenever I want them. The best thing I’ve read so far is Daniel Friebe’s interview with Mark Cavendish in Procycling, which pulls off that rare feat of maintaining a depth of analysis yet ultimately leaving the reader to decide on the main question: can Cav adapt to the challenges of this stage in his career?

cav in procycling mag

I’ve yet to see any of the cycling mags telling their readers about Readly, and that makes me wonder if they doubt the venture will provide any benefit to their bottom line. But I think it will appeal to special interest types like us, so I hope it flourishes.

The Ride journal back issues are available to download

January 31, 2014

ride issue 5 illustrationI wrote a piece for the excellent Ride journal a while ago. The issue in which it appeared, like all the others, has since sold out, but the Diprose brothers have now kindly put it online along with four others. The article I wrote is set in Richmond Park, and it’s about the relationship between riding and words, and the weird dynamic that occurs between you and strangers who happen to share your peculiar hobby. It’s in issue five, on pages 102 and 103. The issue also includes pieces by some guys called Michael Barry, David Millar and Graeme Obree. The downloads are free, and you can get them here.

A couple of intriguing magazines

October 19, 2012

Can you recall, as a child, plunging into a picture book and immersing yourself in a strange new land? I got a similar kick this week after issue 20 of VNA magazine popped through our letterbox as part of Jen’s mailout from Stack, the ever-dependable independent magazine subscription service. VNA (which stands for Very Nearly Almost) is about street art, a distant, magical and sometimes nightmarish world of which I know nothing, save for a brief visit to the paint-strewn streets of Brussels a few weeks ago which you may or may not remember me gabbing on about.

What I like about VNA is that it is packed with lots of interesting, amazing stuff I had never seen before – which is what we all want from a magazine, right? – and the writing is engaging and focused, placing a varied collection of artists in their own particular artistic context. My favourites were Guy McKinley’s ornate, fantasy-inspired portraits and the imposing symbols of cover star Retna, who Jen informs me is apparently quite famous. There is also a painting of a child’s face seemingly embedded in a wall in Granada that caught my eye.

VNA is in a nice compact format and it only costs six quid, which isn’t bad for an indie mag. So why not give it a go? I’m sure you’ll find something you’ll like in it, and I can’t say that about many magazines.

Another new visitor to our magazine rack is a new publication simply entitled Cyclist.

Essentially, it’s adapted the Cycling Plus format of clear, informed product reviews, added a dash of pro peloton features and delivered it in a stylish, upmarket package with a not unreasonable £5 cover price. Some of the photography and their feature on the Colnago factory are reminiscent of Rouleur (interestingly, Rouleur’s publisher used to be a suit at Dennis, which publishes Cyclist, and both magazines are advertising in each other’s pages).

I think what may set Cyclist apart from other cycling mags is that it feels more current – issue one included a neat spread on the trend for all things fluoro, a feature on electronic shifting and a look at disc brakes as part of the Colnago piece. More importantly, it is packed with facts, which makes it sound a bit dull, but I think clearly presented information is what cyclists value above all else in a magazine.

The writing may need to be warmer, and it will be interesting to see how it develops its own voice. The only thing I really didn’t like was a column by Velominati rule bore Frank Strack, but that’s a long post for another day. Overall, I think Cyclist has made a solid start, and you shouldn’t ask for anything more from a new magazine. Issue two is out this week. I bought my copy at Pearson Performance, so maybe you’ll find it at your local bike shop too.