50 Issues of Momentum Mag

By Sarah Ripplinger + Amy Walker

In 2001 with a few thousand dollars donated by founding subscribers– Carmen Mills, Amy Walker and Joelle Paton launch a local non-profit publication: Momentum, the magazine for self-propelled people. Fifteen thousand copies of the free bimonthly magazine are printed in a tabloid format on newsprint and distributed throughout Vancouver, Victoria and the Sunshine Coast in British Columbia.

June 2002 – Colin Mackenzie joins Momentum as advertising sales representative.

Oct. + Nov. 2003, Issue 16 – the final issue of Momentum as a non profit.

2005, Issue “16.5”– Amy Walker re-launches the magazine as a sole proprietorship.

Oct. + Nov. 2005 Issue 18 – The sexy rain gear cover.

July 2006 –Terry Lowe joins Momentum as a writer, later to become editor and Vancouver editor.

Oct. + Nov. 2006, Issue 24 – Chris Bentzen becomes Momentum’s graphic designer, significantly boosting the magazine’s aesthetic appeal.

Dec. 2006 – Wendell Challenger starts building up Momentum’s barebones Drupal website .

Oct. 2007 – Tania Lo and Mia Kohout join Momentum as associate publisher and director of advertising, respectively.

Nov. + Dec. 2007, Issue 30 – The first appearance of the regularly-occurring columns Gleanings, by Ron Richings; Mitey Miss, by Ulrike Rodrigues; and the Shawn Granton comic.

Jan. + Feb. 2008, Issue 31Momentum is distributed to 20 cities across North America. The magazine shifts to a North American focus and begins working with independent and group distributors to bring the magazine to a coffee shop and specialty retailer near you.

Sept. 2008Momentum styles the first Urban Legend Bike Fashion Show at Interbike.

Sept. + Oct. 2008, Issue 35Momentum’s frst style issue.

Nov. + Dec. 2008, Issue 36 – David Niddrie begins photo editing for the magazine.

March + April 2009, Issue 38 – The launch of Kristen Steele’s regularly occurring column, The Advocate.

May 2009Momentum nominated for an Utne Reader independent press award.

Aug. 2009 – Lindsey Wasserman joins Momentum as its first full-time employee and office manager extraordinaire!

Sept. 2009 – Mia Kohout and Tania Lo join Amy Walker as co-publishers.

Sept. + Oct. 2009 – Dan Goldwater’s D.I.Y. column makes its first appearance.

May + June 2009, Issue 39 – Sarah Ripplinger joins Momentum as the BC editor, later taking on the role of assistant editor as well.

March + April 2010, Issue 44 – Sarah Ripplinger takes on the position of editor.

May 2010momentumplanet.com is relaunched.

Sept. + Oct. 2010, Issue 47 – First issue designed by SW!TCH studio, Momentum’s new design team.

Originally published in the March/ April 2011 issue of Momentum Magazine and on momentummag.com.

Love Potion Number Nine

Celia Alvarez & Andres Straulino share a post-wedding embrace at the La Diana Cazadora/ Diana the Huntress monument in Mexico City, Mexico.

You know the drill. You’re pedaling along when an attractive cyclist sidles up beside you. Maybe s/he isn’t looking your way, but you notice him/ her. Or maybe s/he’s giving you elevator eyes and pondering whether pointing out your low tire pressure might be a good way to break the ice.

I wonder: Could the act of riding increase one’s chances of finding true love?

In cooler weather, the adrenaline rushes through our veins as we weave through neighborhoods and downtown centers. Could this be the “love potion number nine” of the road? After all, one of the first things people recommend when giving friends advice about finding a partner is: “Get out there, meet new people, get involved in an activity.” People who ride bikes can already check at least two of those recommendations off their lists.

Biking is a solitary affair if you pedal along by yourself. But it doesn’t have to be. There are plenty of opportunities to strike up a conversation at a stoplight or when parking your bike next to an attractive individual (or bike for that matter). Take the opportunity to ask your fellow cyclist questions about his/ her ride, or stylish clothing. A compliment is a great way to spark a new relationship.

If you need more specifics about finding love in the bike lane, contributor John Greenfield has some tips for igniting passion on, beside and straddling the saddle (p. 23). Our BikeStyle (p. 24) feature shows you how you can dress to impress. We also share winter riding tips (p. 18) and gear (p. 36), and explore the world of handmade bikes (p. 28).

So what if the weather is cooler now? All the more reason to heat up your commute.

Sarah Ripplinger

Editor, Momentum Magazine


Originally published in the Jan/ Feb 2011 issue of Momentum Magazine and on momentummag.com.

Everyday Cycling PinUps

By Sarah Ripplinger

These cyclists from Chicago aren’t your average PinUp girls. They’re racers, commuters and recreational riders whose striking images will be laid bare in the Thought You Knew (TyK) 2011 calendar, the third in the series.

“TyK shows exactly how sexy an active lifestyle of biking makes a lady,” said TyK founder and producer Alexis Finch. “Yes! We have asses and thighs! We have calves that challenge the widest of boots! And we are an amazingly sexy bunch.”

TyK takes women cyclists from the streets of Chicago and gives them a chance to show another side of themselves. Freed from assumptions and stereotypes, these cyclists get to define what their version of sexy is. The calendar explores who they are as individuals and cyclists.

Said Finch: “the end result looks amazing. It proves that it doesn’t take a model to make a sexy photo, while at the same time letting every lady who participates realize what an exhausting job modeling is, and how unreal all those photos they see really are.”

There’s a men’s calendar, too.

“After much clamor and demand we created a venue for guys to do their part for The Chicago Women’s Health Center,” said Finch. “Last year we presented them as SuperHeroes. This year, we’re taking it back and going totally 1980s with the guys reimagined as classic 1980s TV shows.”

The 2010 TyK calendar was distributed to cities across the United States and grabbed attention and wall space in places as far flung as Shanghai, Toronto and London.

One hundred percent of TyK calendar sales goes to the Chicago Women’s Health Center (CWHC), a nonprofit health center that has been providing affordable health care and education to women and trans people since 1975. CWHC’s mission is to respect each individual’s unique relationship with her body and sexuality, and recognize the importance this plays in providing quality health care. Most notably, CWHC provides services to all clients, regardless of ability to pay.

“I think it’s important with a project like this to give back to women,” said Finch. “We’re talking about ownership of our bodies here, and Chicago Women’s Health Center, through education and health care, is doing that every day.”

TyK is made possible thanks to the work of volunteers who donate their time to website design, calendar layout, photography and hair and makeup.

As for whether there will be a calendar next year, Finch said: “As of right now? Yes.”

Next year, Finch would also like to make it possible for women across the US to get involved.

“There are a few who are on the ‘hot list’ from NY, Boston, Philly, Portland and Milwaukee as possible pinups for next year,” she said. “But with scheduling and funds it will be a tricky thing to make it happen.”

“One way or another, it’s going to be hot.”

TyK’s Gala-Gallery Launch party is scheduled for Friday, November 19 from 6-10 p.m. at the Chicago Coworking Space. Calendars will be on sale, as well as art prints of all the PinUps and 80s TV Stars. Complimentary cocktails will be served.

Calendars are available through the thoughtyouknew.us website.

Find out more about TyK by visiting their Facebook page.

Originally published on momentummag.com.

Commuter Unicyclist

Calves like rocks and impeccable posture best describe Alvin Parker, 45, as he rides over Vancouver, BC’s Burrard Street Bridge. As a unicyclist since the age of 11, falls are pretty rare. In fact, Parker said his unicycle is like a second set of legs. “It’s not hard. It’s more stable than rollerblades and it’s more stable than skateboarding. It’s sort of like walking.”

Parker commutes about 3.1 miles (5 kilometers) to work from the West End of Vancouver to the corner of 10th Avenue and Alma Street and goes for longer rides on the weekend. A travel consultant by day, Parker said that before he re-introduced unicycling into his routine, he was depressed, not getting enough exercise and not getting enough fresh air. Since swapping a bus pass for his unicycle five years ago, Parker has regained his lust for life.

“I’ve been so happy since then,” he said with a large grin. Now, he looks forward to attaching his lunch bag to his seat post, pulling on his back pack and commuting to and from work.

Parker said he sees about five other unicyclists traveling along his route on a regular basis and a burgeoning interest in unicycling as a mode of transportation.

“It’s growing everywhere… I think it’s just the perfect urban commuter vehicle,” he explained.

Parker also notices the smiles he gets from people when he rides. “You get into conversations with everyone,” he said, “people just come up and start talking to you all the time, and that’s great.” Parker is more than happy to talk to them about the transportation mode he says is easy to learn (it only took him a week to master the unicycle) and gives you a great core and leg workout.

“I want more people to discover it,” he said. “Unicycling is really like a big secret.”

Parker rides a commuter unicycle with 29-inch wheels from Bedford Unicycles: www.bedfordunicycles.ca

The Vancouver Unicyclists meet Wednesdays in front of Science World: www.vanuni.com

Originally published in the Jan/ Feb 2010 issue of Momentum Magazine and on momentummag.com.