February 4th, 2011

Treadlie, new magazine

Never let it be said that my privileged existence meant I lacked the common touch. It is not true. I understand how many of you out there in voting heartland might naturally balk at paying $8.90 for a magazine, on top of your broadband subscription. I mean, why pay, when you can read me for free! But if you can manage to keep your undisciplined hides away from poker machines for a day, my dear common friends, you might spend that 9 bucks instead on one of those things you may remember hiding under your bed: a magazine, of the felled tree variety, only this time with no naked ladies (who really are better gained free with your broadband). It is called Treadlie, and covers the 17 cycling styles not covered by Australia's 17 other magazine titles devoted to road or mountain bike racing, or the one about freestyle BMX. It will set you back less than the per-bottle price of one Belgian beer, or perhaps three of those beer-like things you drink from middies while playing pokies.

Images otherwise freely available at http://www.treadlie.com.au/

Judging by the first issue, the editors will seek with each of their four issues per year, to give representative coverage to fixie culture, soft-core randonneuring, urban chic cycling, and the concerns of separate cycle-path advocates. A hard copy magazine can lead you down paths curiosity would not be likely to take you, surfing the web. I would never have gone googling for advice on how to turn an old racing frame and fork set into a fixie, but have no regrets at all having now read Sasha Strickland's carefully written and informative piece on the topic. A kinky advertisement on the back cover also has me now thinking of buying a Knog lock, and perhaps seeing if there isn't a free website out there for admirers of lassies with grazes.

Left and center: Images otherwise freely available at http://www.treadlie.com.au/  Right: you can't leave a computer just laying around where you might read it.

For my taste, Val Nagle's very short piece on restoring old Releighs is worth a special addition. Quick summary: replace the old wheels. If only I'd had that advice before heading down hill in the wet that day on a 1975 Raleigh Sports! What I like most about Treadlie, is the way it captures wry Aussie ways. A similar magazine in America would give territorial types soap boxes on which to polarize us all more than we're already polarized. An English magazine would give a 20 page feature to some factory Upon Avon that survived Thatcher. And Canada, god knows, nude critical mass rides on pedal powered baby fur seals or such nonsense. But pervading Treadlie (even in the word "treadlie") is the very Australian sense that nothing we could ever do down here in oz, has so much consequence, that fun and self mockery should not sit front and center.

I must say too, that I like having well taken pictures and well written text about bikes, just laying around in places I would not find my laptop. So yes, I can see myself buying it 4 times a year. I would subscribe, but can't think of the 25 words or less they are requesting, if I want to go in the draw for a bike.