Ride Journal 6th issue launch party

Ride Journal 6th issue launch party

Last Friday I went to cycling-cum-espresso mecca Look Mum No Hands for the 6th issue launch party of The Ride Journal. “Party” may be a bit of a stretch; “gathering” might be more appropriate. For me, this kicked off a 48 hour cycling extravaganza; the morning after I spent 3 hours riding anti-clockwise around Calshott Velodrome then in the evening I joined a 60th birthday do for one of the Owens Cycle Team gang. On Sunday I caught a stinking cold.

Cover art for The Ride Journal 6th issue

The article’s called “Friends and Lovers” and is about two bikes I own; my Ron Cooper and my Benotto, with the Ron Cooper the “friend” and the Benotto the “lover”. I’d tried to resist all the obvious “bike – women” metaphors, instead using the Italian Job as a device to draw out the similarities and differences between the two bikes. With editor Philip Diprose’s help, I turned in 800 words that I was proud of. When I posted on Facebook a few people said, “but I thought it was all about cycling” and “what do you know about mistresses?”

There’s an excitement that physical print brings that electronic just can’t capture. First impressions of the magazine is its weight; with 200+ pages on heavy stock paper. Variety is what makes the magazine work – there’s no house style for prose or illustrations and I was curious to know what would accompany my article. Illustrator Elana Schlenker  had (unbeknownst to me) created a kaleidoscopic photo-montage of Michael Caine and Ral Vallone, who plays Caine’s rival, mafia boss Altabani in the “Italian Job”.

Elana Schlenker's illustration for "Friends and Lovers" copyright The Ride Journal

I’m so grateful for the Ride Journal for the opportunity to get my name in print. I like the feeling and now want more of it. I was talking to Philip about this and getting a second article is the big challenge. Like bands with a hit debut, the second album is the test of their mettle. Philip said that giving a platform to fresh new writing often means that second articles can be trickier to find space for, but I think I’ve got a killer idea.

P.S. I had to post today, just to have 29th February on a post – it’s going to be four years before I get the next chance to. I wonder what life’ll be like then?

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