9W magazine is the brainchild of Harry Zernike. It's a lively mix of Harry's two passions: Cycling- he is currently a cat 4 with Teany- and photography, where he is a straight-up pro. The magazine features a lot of racing and adventure cycling. The photography is extraordinary. Harry’s signature style captures unexpected and very personal moments, split seconds in a ride that most photographers would miss or overlook.
The magazine is not about gear; there are no reviews. It is not about how to get faster. It has travel stories, but you wont find anything about where to stay, or specific routes. It is a showcase for some great cycling photography and memorable first person stories. It’s a snap shot of cycling at the local level.
NYVC: What are you trying to accomplish with 9W?
HZ: I started it pretty impulsively, as a 'zine, really- a showcase for some of the photos I'd been accumulating. There was not a well-developed business plan or anything like that. Just these pictures that I felt captured pretty well the spirit of road cycling, the way most of us ride. But it seems to have caught on pretty well. I’m hoping it will continue to grow in terms of circulation, and to attract a variety of submissions. I like to include pictures from other photographers who see differently than I do, and who have a story to tell.
NYVC: How did you come up with the current format?
HZ: First I picked the name. It sort of popped into my head and it stuck. I like "9W" because pretty much any cyclist in NYC will know what it refers to, even if it's obscure to everyone else. At the same time it's a bit tongue in cheek, because there's so much great local cycling that's not 9W, yet so many rides end up defaulting to that road. If the magazine is an inspiration to go out find some of that other stuff, around here or anywhere else,I'd be happy. A big part of the attraction of cycling for me is in seeing new routes and new places. I wanted that spirit to come across in the magazine.
I had in mind some of the magazines I really like- The writing style of the New Yorker; Some very moving, and some outright hilarious, stories I'd read in Alpinist Magazine- which also looks great; the look and feel of Rouleur.
I did an initial layout, but the real credit goes to Michael Brenner and Nele Vos, the magazine's designers. They gave it its form and the nice object quality it has. I knew the feel of it would be important- otherwise it might as well just be online.
When I look through most magazines I'm mostly looking at the photos and stories, so naturally when I created my own magazine I put in only what I like and left out all the crap. I do like maps, and thought about putting some in. "Here's where we were." But I didn't want to use valuable space on stuff you can see better on Google.
NYVC: What the reaction been like?
HZ: I published the first issue with some personal stories and photos, and sent it out into the void, and wasn't entirely sure how it would be received. But I have been pleasantly surprised. Mike Spriggs had it in the Rapha Cycle Club over the summer, and a lot of people saw it there. And some found it online- I got some really nice plugs from Embrocation and from Bill Strickland. I've been getting orders from NYC, but what I never expected is all the orders I've received from elsewhere- Australia, Germany, England. The magazine has also got me some photo work outside of the magazine- always welcome.
All this tells me there is room for a magazine like this, crowded as the landscape may be.
NYVC: If you had no constraints- financial or otherwise- what would you do with the magazine?
HZ: I would get a distributor. Get the iPad version up and running. I'd have a large staff, and get out and shoot more. I would sponsor a lot of races. And I’d pay people handsomely for their contributions... It might get thicker, and be published more often, but other than that I think the printed magazine would stay pretty much the same.
check it out at http://9wmag.com/
You know that old box of bike parts you've put in your closet?
Recorded inside the press room at Grenoble Velodrome, we bring you Episode #8 of the Insider from the 2011 Tour de France, our final podcast.
Recorded 1,850 metres above sea level atop the famed Alpe d'Huez, we bring you Episode #7 of the Insider podcast from the 2011 Tour de France.