If you ride with a group, or a long established club, over the weeks you learn the names of the people you’re riding with. They’re the people you train with, struggle against and talk to about cycling and life. You also start to learn a second list of names – riders that form the wider history of the sport. Some are names of riders you’ve heard of but don’t know the story of. There are races you’ve never heard of and climbs and routes you’ve never seen.
Club cycling in the UK is a long litany of names and races, wins and losses, feuds and partnerships and tall tales; often told with some style and imagination – but ethereal all the same. We started Spin Cycle Magazine because we wanted to record the stories. We didn’t know who Bill Bradley was and what he achieved – so we spoke to his wife Joan, and his friends, and put together his story. We’re soon to report on Les West, Kenny Hill, Sue Gornall and Joan Kershaw – their triumphs and the history they represent.
Spin Cycle Magazine isn’t only an archive of the past. New riders are future history and we like to meet them too. In a nod to masochistic populism we ride the occasional silly hill to report back in doom-ladened prose for those that love a little scare. We can’t claim to be creating an encyclopaedia of British cycling history. We choose our subjects simply because we like them, their stories and their style and because we think their stories are worth sharing.
We’re a free digital quarterly. It works well. That said, we think digital magazines are akin to looking at the Great Barrier Reef through a glass bottomed boat; you can see it fine – but you aren’t really feeling it. In response to many requests over the past 18 months, our first print annual Spin Cycle Annual 01 is out at the end of April 2014. It’s a 272 page limited edition with extras you will not get in any of our digital editions, so get your order in quick when we announce it for sale. We hope you like it.