Cycling mag taps spirit of adventure

ON A JOURNEY: Nelson man Mike Nelson has started producing a new cycling magazine due out next month.
ON A JOURNEY: Nelson man Mike Nelson has started producing a new cycling magazine due out next month.

Nelson-based freelance industrial designer Mike Wilson is on to yet another project - a quarterly journal spreading the passion for bicycle adventures.

The first issue of Journey, at more than 70 pages, is being printed by PMP Print in Auckland this week.

Mr Wilson was part of the Project 64 team that took a specially modified 1964 Morris Mini Cooper to Bonneville Speed Week on the Utah salt flats last year, smashing the land speed record for the 1000cc class.

He is producing the weighty cycle adventure magazine with some friends from Wellington and Dunedin.

"It's sort of based around the idea that a lot of us have lost the adventure in our lives - that we used to have as kids - and the best tools for that sort of adventure are bikes. You can get out the door and have a mini adventure on your way to town."

Journey will be available at Page & Blackmore Booksellers and Red Art Gallery in Nelson from the start of March.

Mr Wilson's publishing partners are Wellington couple Paul and Beth Smith, and Dunedin designer Tim Armstrong.

Mr Smith, Mr Armstrong, and Mr Wilson collaborated on a research project for the NZ Transport Agency a few years ago, on how to get more people biking in cities, which Mr Wilson said was partially what led to the magazine.

"The main conclusion we came to was that we need to make cycling more normal and more interesting," he said.

He said Mr Smith was the one with the "initial energy" for Journey, "and I jumped on board because I liked the idea - and I can't say no to new projects".

The magazine was a year in the pipeline, and he and Mr Smith wrote the bulk of the stories in the first issue.

One was about an overnight cycling trip Mr Smith took his family on from their home in Karori to the Catchpool Valley campsite, via the ferry to Eastbourne, and back.

Mr Wilson said: "None of it is telling people how to do it; it's just trying to inspire them to figure it out for themselves and do it. It's always more about the interesting things that come up, the emotions, rather than, ‘You need to take some bike tubes'. We're not going to tell anyone how to do anything."

Journey is also being stocked at bookshops around the country, including Unity Books in Wellington and Scorpio Books in Christchurch.

Mr Wilson said the shops were "pretty open" to stocking the magazine on a trial basis, but time would tell how it would get on.

"We're aiming for good, local bookstores. If it sells badly, we won't get the second edition in," he said.

The first issue of the magazine was made possible through Australian crowd funding website Pozible, which raised $7000, almost covering printing costs.

"The people who are contributing right now are doing it because they like the idea, and we'll do what we can to promote them, because they're the sort of people who do that [write, photograph, and illustrate] for a living. Ultimately we'd like to be able to pay for contributions."

Mr Wilson said Journey would also be available at, at $20 an issue, and a tablet version was on the cards.

"We're not competing with mountainbiking magazines. We're a little bit lifestyle, a little bit cycling. We're trying to have broader appeal."

The Nelson Mail