This Friday 1 March sees the launch at London cycling café Look Mum No Hands of a new magazine, Simpson, focused on British cycling and which its creators say “will be like chatting to your fellow cyclists while you’re out on a ride.”
The first issue, costing £6, will go on sale from Monday 4 March initially only through the Simpson website, and includes a fan’s perspective of being in Paris for the last day of the 2012 Tour de France – an historic day for the country’s cycling as Bradley Wiggins became the first British winner of the Tour, with Mark Cavendish also taking the stage win while wearing the rainbow jersey.
It is, of course, the only other British male pro to have won that coveted garment on the road, Tom Simpson, who gives the magazine its title. “It was Simpson’s spirit and style, his legendary tenacity and his ability to suffer that endeared him to cycling fans everywhere as much as the trophies he won,” say the magazine’s creators.
“If this magazine comes to be regarded with anything like the fondness and respect still reserved for Tom Simpson more than 35 years after his death on Mont Ventoux, it will have achieved its aim,” they add.
Simpson promises to stand out from other cycling magazines, saying that it “won’t be a glorified product catalogue for unaffordable carbon dream machines.
“Here at Simpson, we’d rather be out cycling than drooling over bikes we will never ride - we hope to inspire you to feel the same way.
“If we recommend a product, it will be because we use it and love it, not because someone you don’t know wants us to market it to you. Simpson will be flannel-free; it will tell it like it is.”
The fact the magazine is entering a crowded marketplace and also at a time when online is competing with print isn’t lost on Simpson’s founder and creative director, Terry Hawes.
“Some people might feel this is an odd time to launch a print magazine when so many are struggling to survive,” he acknowledges.
“All I can say is that sometimes you have no choice about these things. I felt an irresistible urge to create the sort of cycling magazine I knew I’d read so I just went with that instinct. This magazine needed to exist. Sometimes it’s just best to go with your heart.”
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.