Wednesday, January 29, 2014

interview with Mike White from BONESHAKER

BONESHAKER is about bikes but not the glamour of bikes. It shows the counterculture, the rust and the love for cycling. Independent and without adds printed on nice paper and well designed, this title makes our hearts skip a beat when a new issue arrives in our store.

We had some questions for editor Mike White.

How would you describe your magazine?

Unexpected, thoughtful and fun. We're about freedom, friendship and adventure, about cycling's untold tales. From all over the world, we gather stories that dwell on the human side of cycling, on the poetry and politics of life on two wheels. The magazine is perfect-bound, printed on thick, uncoated paper stock, undated and completely free of advertising, so each issue feels more like a book, a collectable thing that we hope people will keep or share with others. We work with illustrators, photographers and a shifting team of designers to ensure a fresh visual style. We try to make each issue unlike the last, but there's always some adventure, some advocacy, a dash of design and derring-do, plus a pannier-load of mischief thrown in for good measure.  

What are your favourite magazines? 

Ooh, that's a long list. Some highlights include  ( in print) Simpson Magazine, Another Escape, Off Life, The Ride Journal, The Boneshaker Almanac (no relation), Coven and Huck, online we like Bunyan Velo, Station to Station and Sidetracked amongst many others... 

What inspires you when you are making a new issue?

The enthusiasm and surprising stories that beam at us from around the planet. From mirror-covered customised cruisers in the Sudan to guerrilla bike-lane painters in Bratislava, from LA bike gangs to the deserted railroads of Patagonia, it's always the sheer range and wonder of the stories that inspires us. 

We think Boneshaker and the booze mag Hot Rum Cow are brothers, do you agree? 

I hadn't even encountered Hot Rum Cow until you asked us that - having had a look, I reckon we could be booze-brothers, for sure. They say "Some people love it, others don’t get it – and that’s exactly the sort of magazine we publish." I'll drink to that!

You use a lot of illustrations in Boneshaker, why?

Often it's because an illustration can allow more freedom and interpretation. It can offer a softer, more intimate take on the words. A photo is a photo of a thing, its meanings are often pretty fixed, but a good illustration can say many things at once, leave room for ambiguity and let the reader see in it what they will. Illustrations leave more space for the imagination. 

What kind of bike do you ride?

When I want to go super fast, I dust off my road bike - a sleek white thing made  by Paul Donohue; I've also got a customised Raleigh Banana as a pub bike. Boneshaker shares a polo bike, an MTB and a cargo bike with Bristol Bike Project - of which co-editor James Lucas was also a founder. But mostly, day to day, I ride a 20-year-old touring bike - an upgraded Dawes Galaxy: lovely British steel, a real adventure machine.

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