I'm supposed to be at the first cross race of the season. But i'm not. Riding stoke is low. I'm just up: upstairs had a party last night and i didn't get much sleep. It's raining. Blah.
So instead i picked up a magazine and started flicking though. Magazines are sort of distilled stoke to my mind. Or at least good ones are. Not like books, too many pictures and often very temporary.
There are several magazines around i rely on to get me though times of low-stoke. A new one has recently joined that list: Privateer.
I know some of the people involved, so it was always going to be special to me. But thats not that unusual. When you've been throwing a leg over an mtb for 22 years on a relatively small island, you do get to know some of the movers and shakers.
But having sat this morning with a cup of coffee and read a significant portion of it, i know that it is a unique british bike magazine.
It is no secret that the team behind Rouleur are behind Privateer. Rouleur is a pretty serious magazine. Road riding is pretty serious. The quality of Privateer is that it follows the adult, cerebral themes of Rouleur, but catches the irreverence of mtb'ing perfectly. It has no tests, no interviews with the latest feather-fringed day-glo cover star, just good, solid comment, history, general interest mtb articles for those who have already cut their jib.
Issue one ranges in topics from the older style of multidisciplinary race (as they all were, and recently have been reborn with the fantastic singletrack weekender), through experience of the Megavalanche, to reflections on the retro bike scene. My favourite? a photo essay on the bike mechanic by Geoff Waugh.
I suspect that if it will appeal to you, then you already know it will and probably already have it on the coffee table.
What a pleasant way to spend a morning. Better than cross? .... maybe...maybe!