Journey coverHere at the Wellingtonista we are generally in favour of the bicycle as a stylish and useful means of transportation. It’s true we don’t all cycle, but as proponents of livable urban spaces we can all appreciate that one less car trip is a good car trip.

Along those lines, Cycling Wellington is a great local site that gently lets you know that you don’t have to be some lycra-clad loon to take to the streets on two wheels – just be you, the Cyclopolitan.

Another great site produced locally is Inspiring Riding, which focusses more on the adventure opportunities that can arise from bike ownership. It’s these aspects of riding my own bike that get me the most enthused: I love getting out onto the trails around Wellington’s hills and feeling like I’m a very long way from the city.

Inspiring Riding shows that adventure can be where you find it: not just three days on the Dunstan Trail but also taking your kids riding at Karori Park.

This is pretty much in line with my thinking on the subject. An epic adventure for me would be riding from my home in the western hill suburbs down to town and around the bays and back home again on a sunny day.

So I was very excited to learn that the people behind Inspiring Riding are planning to launch Journey, a quarterly magazine about accessible bicycle adventures:

Journey launches in February 2013. It will be filled with beautiful, evocative images and passionate, involving writing. It will be printed on thick, recycled, uncoated paper. It will have no advertising interrupting the editorial flow. We hope it will be a journal that becomes lovingly tattered and worn from repeat viewings – repeated searches for adventure inspiration.

I really like this concept. So I got in contact with Paul Smith, one of Journey‘s three instigators (along with Mike Wilson and Beth Smith), to ask him what made him want to create Journey.

Paul Smith:

Journey has been generated from a simple desire – to see more people on bicycles discovering adventure. It’s a combination of two things that I am totally passionate about – bikes and adventure. We want people to experience even just a small part of the buzz and life-affirming feeling of a bicycle adventure.

Sample contents page from JourneyMe: How did you come to be creating a magazine?

Through a long and winding trail. I grew up in England, became a professional engineer, spent a decade working for automotive companies, then got tired of UK life and moved to NZ with Beth almost a decade ago. Beth and I re-evaluated our priorities in life – decided we weren’t happy with ‘careers’, vowed to spend our time doing things we were passionate about, and manipulated life to work for us on our terms. And here we are – Inspiring Riding and Journey. For the first time in many many years I feel like I’m doing what I’m meant to be doing.

But what made you decide to start a magazine?

We never started out wanting to produce a magazine. We still don’t see Journey as a magazine (despite it looking, feeling and smelling rather like one). I started writing articles for cycling and adventure magazines, Mike started supplying photos, and we both got a bit disillusioned with having no control over the way our stories were published. Hence – Journey got touted as an outlet for our work. It became the tool to inspire others. We wanted to print it on lovely paper and make it something to cherish – just because thats how we think publications should be. And it has grown from there.

Sample article page from JourneyPaul’s plans don’t stop at creating the magazine, however – he and his co-creators want to further enable and empower would-be bicycle adventurers:

If Journey planted the seed, we needed something to make it grow. That is the website we are also launching – the ‘enable’ part of this. It will support Journey with the background info for the adventures, how-to articles, more stories of adventure, equipment to make adventure a little less risky, and links to resources and everything needed to make your own plans. It is the stuff that removes the barriers – the perceived reasons why adventure is too hard or too risky.

And finally – the empowerment. It is all well and good us telling people how lovely it is to ride a bike and do something different. But hearing that from other ‘normal’ people is far more powerful. So we want to create a network of ‘bicycle adventurers’ – and we want them to tell their stories, contribute to Journey and the website, join us in our social network forum, and support others just like them who just need a gentle shove or a little reassurance. We’ll help out too by running a few ‘loosely organised rides’ and invite people to come and try a ride through the night, or participate in a team 24 hour race, or go on an overnight trip (for example).

But in order to get this awesome-sounding (and awesome looking, from the mockups) magazine and website out there, Paul, Mike and Beth need our help. They’ve created a page on crowd-funding site Pozible┬áin order to raise money to get the first issue printed:

They need to raise $7,500 by the middle of December. All support is welcome, but $20 gets you a copy of the first magazine delivered to your door, with a series of other rewards as your pledge amount increases.

I really want to see this magazine, on old-fashioned and tactile paper. So I’ve pledged. Maybe you should too.

And yes. What the hell. Maybe I will just ride out to Scorching Bay for an ice-cream.