FAR RIDE MAGAZINE | allow the road ahead to guide your way

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FINGERSCROSSED socks do not compromise in design and performance as we do not compromise in working with the best partners and cycling enthusiasts around the planet. We are cycling nerds. We absorb everything related with cycling. Things which inspire us to achieve our goals. Things which make us faster or feel and look better on the bike. With our recommendations we want to feature passionate people or people who produce good products with either great technical focus, awesome design and/or performance-enhancing detail.

 

far ride magazine

 

Brought to paper on advertising-free pages:
Road adventures from all over the world.

Three times a year, made in Seoul, South Korea.

Prints of breathtaking forces of nature, road courses, country and sensory impressions. With one simple goal: to get you in the saddle more often.

When it comes to life, everything remains open:
The contents of the magazine.
The length of the route.
The duration of the effort.

The pleasure is certain.
With every pedal spin,
and every time you turn the page.

182 pages that shouldn't stop - and yet do.

The inner tingling, the fire that has been lit remains.
4 months to the next issue, 4 months for your own adventures.

Let's go.

 

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We spoke to Sogon Yoon, the founder of Far Ride Magazine.

You and your team have just been to Berlin and write about it on instagram:"In Berlin it is cold, grey and rainy. And it's fantastic."... how exactly was your experience being in Germany and Berlin?

Berlin was great. We anticipated the cold and the lack of sun this time of year, but we didn’t anticipate how welcoming everyone would be. People were very friendly and excited to share their city with us. Berlin has an impressive cycling infrastructure, and although flat, some great routes in and around the city. The history of the once divided city is obviously a big draw. The fact that you can jump on a bike and cycle the route of the former Berlin wall on some fantastic tarmac, gravel and mud should be a draw for any cyclist - not to mention an excellent jumping off point for our Berlin city exploration feature.

 

How did you come up with Far Ride magazine?

I was a motorcyclist before I got into cycling. After a few near fatal accidents, I resorted to cycling naively thinking that it would be a substitute for riding motorcycles. Then I quickly realized that it was a completely different beast.

To be a cyclist, it takes a lot more than just buying a bike. It takes suffering, dedication, discipline and all that.

I’m sure most cyclists would agree on this. I naturally gravitated towards the content that inspired me to ride more. Unfortunately, prior to starting far ride I couldn’t find any content (especially in print) that was genuinely inspiring. All the content around pro-racing was too distant for an average rider like myself and the gear reviews made me want to spend more money rather than spend more time on the saddle.

I did find individual blogs or social media postings that talked about the joy of riding from the rider’s perspective on a more personal level which was far more inspiring and relatable than a commercialized print/digital media. That is where I got the idea of creating a magazine composed of real life cycling stories of riders who put themselves out there with vulnerability.

 

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Did you have experience with print magazines?

I had no publishing or editorial experience before starting far ride. Right out of college I started working as an IT project manager in a globalized corporation for 10 years. During my life as a project manager, I put together countless project proposals in power point format and that might have helped contribute to the way I tell a story in 2D and linear space.

Although, print media (on a much smaller scale) is making a comeback nowadays, audiences are much more drawn to the digital media platform for its instant accessibility.

People have less and less time to sit down and fully consume content. In contrast, print media demands you to sit down and turn the pages, really take a moment to decipher the story that is being told.

I understand that Instagram is where it’s at and it is inevitable that we have to work with digital content to promote the mag but I feel like the content we create deserves a lot more than just a flick of a finger.

 

What is especially important to you for the magazine?

Inspiring and motivating riders to go out and explore more on 2 wheels. It doesn’t matter what type of bike you ride. You could be on a Mama-Chari or a BMX. 

You could be cruising around your neighborhood or riding in the most remote places. We want to promote that ultimate joy of riding a bicycle which comes in different shapes and forms. 

 

What makes you proud about it?

We have a very small but loyal group of followers. These are the people that buy the latest copy of the magazine then come back to buy all the back copies. Nearly 50% of our readers are subscribers. I think that says a lot about far ride.

 

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How do you choose the stories?

There are a few different story formats that we base our magazine off of. One of them is called our ‘Far Ride Feature’ which is a more adventurous approach to cycling trips. We put together a group of vicious cyclists to tackle un-beaten and challenging routes.

For example, recently we rode in Mongolia where not many roads exist. We drew a line from Karakorum, the old capital of Mongolia to the Gobi Desert.

Why? Purely because it’s a challenge. Everything started from there. There were no paved roads along the line we drew.

We took the gravel bikes because although mountain bikes might have given us a softer and more comfortable ride they would have slowed us down. We needed to cover the distance more efficiently by moving fast. Then we built the support around it. The number of riders were confirmed then the support for the amount of food, water and shelter was put together according to that simple idea of riding from Karakorum to the Gobi.

For a ride like this, there’s never enough preparation but sometimes sheer will to overcome whatever comes at you is the biggest preparation you can have and we very much needed that in Mongolia. The story of riding in Mongolia will be published in vol. 8.

There are other formats that we use such as ‘City Exploration’ where we provide a curated guide to explore a metropolitan city on bikes. We provide information like a riding guide, places to visit such as bike shops and cafes (because coffee is important to cyclists) where to refuel, routes around the city, etc.

And we use interview formats to introduce likeminded builders and artists that are actively involved in the cycling industry. 

 

What was the best feedback on the magazine you've received so far?

When readers come back to us with a comment that reading far ride makes them want to go out and ride their bikes, it really does make our day.

 

Where is it read everywhere?

Surprisingly, 40% of our readership comes from UK. Then the rest of the Europe takes up about 20%. The rest is scattered all over the world.

 

What do you personally associate with cycling?

I see cycling becoming more diversified. I see what’s been traditionally a pure sport becoming more of a tool for different styles of activities. I am a social cyclist who dreams about adventures on bicycles.

 

What is cycling like in South Korea and what is its place in society?

Korea has never been a country for cycling other than the fact that bicycles have been used as transportation since the early 1900s. There were a few pro cyclists that made a small impact in the international stage but most of the heritage in cycling is not owned by Korean cyclists.

A lot of what’s available in cycling such as products and content is all imported from Europe or America. So it’s still a very much foreign sport and only enjoyed by small group of people. 9 out of 10 motor vehicle drivers don’t think that they are supposed to share the roads with cyclists. Though, we have great infrastructure and beautiful mountains to ride here in Korea. Cycling is the future. It is a global phenomenon. Things will change here for the better.

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Thank you, Sogon Yoon.

 

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