Sometimes a simple question ignites a poignant response that you’re not expecting. And it’s wonderful.
We asked Terry Hawes, Creative Director of cycling magazine Simpson, what cycling means to him:
“I did a ride with a couple of guys a few years ago on a Sunday morning. It was cold. At one point I got stuck behind a car, I didn’t see my friends turn and I ended up going the wrong way.
“I had to cycle back on my own and it was freezing. I just thought: what on earth are you doing, Terry? You’ve left your girlfriend at home and you’re cold and wet.
“When I eventually got home I went straight upstairs with all my cycling gear still on, got down on one knee and proposed. I just realised it was the right thing to do.
“I feel that sums it up.”
Cycling is a spiritual thing
The idea for Simpson magazine came from Terry finding other cycling magazines ‘quite dry’. Inspired by British racing cyclist, Tom Simpson, Simpson is a self-published magazine that shows the true essence of what it’s like to ride a road bike.
Instead of creating articles about the latest cycling products, Simpson ‘shares knowledge, debunks myths, raises smiles and provokes thoughts’.
Terry says: “I wanted Simpson magazine to be a friendly, focal point for cyclists, while introducing new things – it’s about honesty and integrity.
“For me cycling is a spiritual thing. It clears your head. It makes you think of crazy things you might not usually think of, because you’re allowed that headspace. There are others things in life like art and music that have similar traits – they give you headspace.
“Cycling is a cocktail: a mix of the physical, mental and emotional. It’s an escape. It gives you perspective. It allows me to be the person without stress and worries. It reminds me of being a kid – I still have that excitement and adventure even now.”
What makes Terry tick?
“If you could unscrew the top of my head and look inside there are a lot of things going on.
“With a magazine you need to have a constant flow of content. I want it to be a portal, a showcase for new, up and coming talent.
“So many people need a break, they need to find somewhere where they can reach a broader world. You have the internet, yes, but I think having something physical, in print is so important.
“Cycling has always been a part of my life. I know lot about it, too. Plus I’m really interested in the relationship between words and images. I’ve always found that the best format to do this is a magazine.”
‘What cycling has taught me’
“Always wear a helmet, treat everyone else on the road as if they’re a complete idiot (if it turns out that they’re not, it’s a bonus), and never jump red lights.
“I cycle for me, I don’t do it for others. And people like that, they buy into it.
“And finally, if you’re not enjoying it, stop. Come back to it in a little while. If it’s not fun, why do it?”
Whether you’re a budding cyclist or a hardened club rider, there’s a Simpson magazine for you.