The Ride Journal issue 5 – featuring articles by David Millar, Michael Barry and Graham Obree amongst many others – is available to buy from their website and selected stockists from Monday 31st January.
The Ride Journal is a lovingly – and beautifully – produced magazine that celebrates cycling in all its many incarnations. From pros to postmen, the magazine captures the personal stories of anyone who has found their lives touched by the bicycle – whether road or cross, mountain or track, or any other shape or form. If it’s about bikes or cycling then you’ll find it in The Ride, and the editor Philip Diprose (who started the journal with his brother Andrew) is more familiar than most with our broad church…
Give us a brief account of your cycling background. Excluding childrens bikes my real cycling background began when Andrew (my brother and the art director of the journal) and I started mountain biking in the late eighties. I was a mid-teen at the time and it made me realise that my hatred and inability to play ball sports didn’t mean I was useless and that exercise could be fun. Once the nineties began I raced XC, and did my bit to make the faster riders look even faster. Someone needs to fill the ranks and keep the mid-pack chugging along. Through years of mountain biking I moved from fully rigid bikes to full-suspension and back to hardtails. Gears to singlespeed and now bikes with both. A brief dally with BMX had me sitting in A&E after breaking my nose and almost putting my teeth though my lip on a bad landing down in Brixton. Commuting on the mountain bike lead to a singlespeed road bike, which lead to a fixed gear then a geared road bike and a CX bike (I’m sure you can see a theme emerging here). I was quite late to the road side of things and it was only last year that I had a proper road frame built for me. And later this year I’m finally getting to take it to the Alps.
If you were to play a cyclist in the film of their life, who would it be and why? I’d love to say it could be either John Tomac or Jens Voigt. John Tomac for his absolute showmanship on a mountain bike, to have dominated at cross country and downhill and his ability to look so cool on a bike in every photo. Or to play a powerhouse like Jens, the people’s favourite. Absolute commitment to the team. Turning himself inside out to tear apart the competition. Sadly that would be a bit dillusional. Is there a role for someone who raced as hard as he could and came maybe top third? A plucky rider who finished the race with a smile and chatted with as may people as possible during the race? That’s the role for me.
What’s been your greatest achievement on a bike? Racing at Mountain Mayhem (a 24hr team relay mountain bike race) – our team once got 11th out of about 200 teams. We thought that was pretty good for a bunch of chancers.
Power meter, heart rate monitor or perceived effort? Cold hard data will only ever disappoint me. Why ruin a great days ride with lower than expected numbers?
What led you to start The Ride Journal, and what makes it different to other cycling magazines out there? Myself, and the guys who started the journal with me, wondered if we could do something a bit different to what was out there. We’d been riding long enough to not need to read about this season’s new bike which was lighter, faster and yet more compliant than last seasons bike. Instead we wanted something which concentrated on the riders themselves, something that told the stories they had to tell. Personal, human, passionate. We also wanted to stop the pigeon-holing that seems to go on in lots of bike magazines. I love track, BMX, CX road and mountain biking. So do lots of other people. And even those who don’t soon realise that the buzz from a long road descent isn’t that dissimilar to the buzz from landing a big set of dirt jumps. Finally we wanted to showcase the creativity that’s abundant in the cycling world. From the writers to the photographers and the illustrators, we like to be able to show the amazing work in one place. And I’m just very lucky to have a brother who can make the whole thing look so good with his art direction. His skill plasters over the gaps of my magazine knowledge, but being enthusiastic can get you out of a lot of holes.
What can we look forward to seeing in the new issue? More of the same really. I don’t want to point out particular people or pieces. But if you’ve seen the previous issues you’ll know what to expect: An insight into many different rider’s worlds. We go from yellow jersey wearing pros to a postman lamenting the loss of the post bike. Free-riding in the Alps to logging laptimes round Richmond Park. Too many to list but as usual expect the unexpected. I just can’t to get it out there for people to see.
As editor of The Ride Journal, what have been your highlights so far? Speaking to Chris Hoy and Greame Obree have to be up there. But more than anything else the highlights come from speaking to other riders. Either getting the chance to showcase the amazing writing or photography of our contributors or just getting an email from someone who’s loved the issue. It always freaks me out to hear from someone on the other side of the world who bought a copy from their local shop. I find that crazy, in a good way. The fact that the idea that came up from a weekend away cycling in Wales can now have become a five-issue strong journal, stocked in over 40 shops with fans across the world… how did that happen?
What’s next for The Ride Journal? We get a buy-out offer from a big printing-house, sell the name to them, they fill the journal with ads and we retire to the foot of Ventoux with the profits. Or maybe not. Slow growth is good growth for us. We could probably sell lots more if we put time into marketing, but Andrew and I both have day jobs that take up a lot of time. We need to keep the day jobs so that we can donate The Ride journal’s profits to charity. But we’re happy with it being the size it is. Despite the fact that at the end of each issue I keep saying it will be the last one I think we’ll keep going. As long as people keep coming to us with pieces to publish and as long as people buy the journal and enjoy what we’re doing.