The Ride Journal, Issue IX
January 2015 Surprise Unwrapped!
The Ride Journal is a UK based quarterly magazine for riders and explorers alike. The magazine started its journey in 2008, with riders contributing their stories and personal experiences to bring this journal to life. The journal exists to serve only one purpose i.e. to share and nurture the spirit of adventure, which is underlined by the fact that the team behind the magazine, as well as the contributors, make no money out of the project and all profits from the journal are donated to charities.
The Ride Journal Issue IX is filled with personal stories, stories that cross both cycling and international borders, changing people’s lives. In this issue, you will find no reviews or race reports, but the tales of passion that flow through a rider’s taut veins.
This thick journal is full of narratives from people who ride for a living as well competitive riders and people who enjoy simple pleasures of exploring, seated on their bikes.
Supported by tons of beautiful illustrations and photographs that make the stories come real.
We asked the brother duo (also biking enthusiasts) who make up the core team that puts together this joyful journal “A biking route that you are waiting to explore and what makes this one so irresistible/inspiring?” – the response will make you want to dust and oil your forgotten chariots and find your route and the journey itself, passions fully in tow!
Philip Diprose: Editor If I could ride anywhere it would probably be a day's riding which takes in the Motirolo climb and the Stelvio pass in the Eastern Alps in northern Italy. Having been lucky enough to ride in the Alps and Pyrenees already, these two climbs are ones that I would love to ride. The weather would be warm in the valley and not too cold at the summits of each climb, probably early summer, with the majority of the snow having melted and just the last patches scattered across the mountains. I would be riding with my brother and a couple of friends who would keep a similar pace, not racing up but not having to wait for anyone.
The lure of the mountains is a strong one for me. For many people the idea of riding uphill for hours on end would be hell but I love it. Choosing the right gear, settling into a comfortable pace and then accepting you have nothing to do but ride through stunning scenery for hours on end. The silence and the peaceful surroundings are a great place to be, not having to worry about the normal things in daily life, just thinking about riding.
Slowly making your way to the summit is hugely satisfying, feeling utterly spent as you power to the top. Laughing with friends as you discuss the parts you loved, the parts you hated. And then all there is to do is to head down, speeding round sweeping bends as you lose all the altitude you fought to gain. Sprinting to the end of the ride, and hopefully a well deserved cold beer at the end. That is my idea of a perfect days riding.
Andrew Diprose: Art Director Sometimes the best rides aren’t far flung, they aren’t exotic and they don’t feature in glossy bike magazine photo shoots. They are rides that are dear to you. Rides that are low key and local. There’s much to celebrate in rides where you know the terrain and you can see conditions change over both the seasons and the years. One such ride for me is an ‘over the fields’ from my Mum and Dad’s house in Emsworth on the South coast of England.
I swing my leg over the bike and warm up. I’ve soon left the road and I’m into tight woodland, tarmac becomes dirt and the buzz of the road has become birdsong and the sound of my own breathing. The route then switches across roads and down tight paths, up over chalky farmers fields and past 14th century churches. This is a local knowledge route. That feeling of retracing my steps and rides I’ve done on this route with my brother and friends over the last 20 years are recalled with an inner smile. I hit the local mountain bike loop fully warmed up and grunt, swoop and gasp my way round, wide eyed but on autopilot too. I know these trails, we’ve been riding them since we got our first mountain bikes. I notice soil erosion, a new line over a rooty switchback and the recently added rock garden. No need to stop, I switch back and retrace my steps.
New is exciting and epic is impressive, but familiar is comforting.
You don’t need to be a rider to enjoy this magazine, if you are an explorer with a keen sense of adventure, we bet these stories will enthral you and make you want to get on a saddle and explore.
You enviously read of stories from Etape du Tour, Ram Across America (RAAM), Giro dÍtalia, Transcontinental Race (from London to Amsterdam), Red Hook Crit (RHC), Tour of the Rockies amongst other races, wishing you had the courage and an opportunity to be part of such events and experience the rush, so palpable in the stories.
Dispatches from London - a story from a cycle courier in London and Smooth - a feature on Keirin sport and professional cycling in Japan which started as a gambling sport, make for engaging reads.
We simply loved the gorgeous illustrations and the surreal photographs that dot the pages.
It’s a tome for you to read at leisure.