Far Ride Magazine: cycling your way to freedom - Baron Mag

Far Ride Magazine: cycling your way to freedom

Documenting Cycling Journeys around the World. Interview with Sogon Yoon, Editor in Chief.
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Far Ride Magazine....

Far Ride Magazine started out as a very personal project of mine. I was dispatched to Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) in 2011 when I was still in pursuit of my project management career path. My life in the country left limited since I didn’t speak Spanish until I picked up a 400cc naked sports bike, a Honda CB-1. Having been an avid rider since I was allowed to drive legally I immediately saw potential in it. On my bike, I visually learned the roads and scenery, as well as the behavior of the locals on the road. Most of the memories I brought back with me at the end of my tenure were captured on the saddle of my motorcycle.

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Cycling was originally a substitute; something I hoped would satiate my lust for riding motorcycles after I came back to New York, but it eventually grew into something much larger. I found that cycling and motorcycling were incomparable, and the petty comparisons between the two were simply ignorant. Whether it is a ride around the block café or an agonizing 100-mile century ride, cycling is a source of pure joy, suffering, and courage among many other things that motivate life. It allows me to experience new things and make new relationships with people. No matter what I do, I can’t stop throwing myself back on the saddle of my bicycle.

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I see myself constantly praising it, and preaching it to my peers. This magazine is an extension of that effort.

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Editorial.... 

There are certain codes of emotions in cycling. It may be described in different languages or terminologies but it is the feeling that is commonly felt and understood among cyclists, which is essential to cycling regardless of where you are from or what type of bike you ride. I want to communicate this to my audience. I believe it can be done through covering a certain region editorially as a cycling destination or a story of a ride by a fellow cyclist on a specific route. I believe it can also be done by interviewing someone who has a passion for cycling who has a story of involvement in cycling world or simply through series of photos that were captured while cycling. At the end of the day, I want to put my audience back on their saddle and go for another ride.

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 Tell us about yourself

I was born in Seoul, grew up in Southern California and worked in New York as a project manager before I started the Magazine. I absolutely did not have any journalism or editorial background until Far Ride--unless editing PowerPoint presentation counts. I’m a half decent photographer, a great snowboarder, and a shit cyclist. Riding motorcycle is also my passion but I’ve totaled a few of them and am currently without a motorcycle. Among other things, I’m a Christian.

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 Print: Why choose print? What kind of paper you use and why? Typography?

I know a lot of people would agree with the fact that the wave of digital media has given us the opportunity to re-evaluate paper as a medium. In retrospect, more and more people, who are used to the instantaneous fast-pace media consumption, acknowledges and appreciates the way the print media communicates with you differently. I don’t think I would have to go into detail and elaborate on these differences but there are a few things I personally romanticize about.

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The weight and the tension that you feel with your hands when holding or turning the pages really control the speed the content is being consumed at. The texture of the paper gives you the awareness that these pages won’t just disappear at the click of a button or a swipe, which puts a different value in the content printed on them. That’s probably why people store books and magazines with more care and collect them even. And that’s how I want the audience to connect with Far Ride.

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I’ve tested quite a few selection of papers before setting my mind on this Japanese breed of papers. The covers are printed on “Vent Nouveau” and the inners are printed on “Airus”. I am still not sure if the cost is justified since the cost is unsuitable for printing periodicals. The last thing I want to do is makes compromises on the print quality though. 

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How's the public response? 

Some say it’s a breath of fresh air in the cycling world. Some don’t see the potential in it being sustainable financially as a media. Most of the readers say that the magazine makes them want to go out and ride their bikes. That’s the biggest complement I can get and I’m happy with it. 

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Business: Good print mags get a lot of love, but is not always translated to sales or advertising. How're the sales? Advertising-wise, is it a normal approach of selling an ad page or more a brand ad approach?  

The sales are pretty much on par with the expectation I had which means the expectation was initially dead low. But my belief in the potential of the magazine isn’t low at all.

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Since I don’t come from the magazine business, I don’t know what’s normal or what’s abnormal but It’s an ad-free/sponsor-free magazine. And as much as it might sound naive or unrealistic, I hope to keep it that way.

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Upcoming projects 

I’m going to Nice with a couple of friends to cover a cycle clothing brand based in the region. Again, they are not sponsoring us nor is it my intention to blindly praise the brand. I am going out there to really learn the real story behind the birth of the brand and the prosperity or the struggle the brand may be experiencing currently. 

After that, we will probably ride the heck out of this place for some of my friends described Nice as the best place to ride in Europe.

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