The dandy-horse was an early precursor to the bicycle, with a similar frame, two wheels, and handlebars but, sans pedals and chain, was propelled Fred Flintstone-style by the rider’s feet. It’s also the name of a magazine launching in conjunction with the newly formed Toronto Cyclists Union.
(Earlier in the year, a “non-binding” poll to choose the name ran on Spacing magazine’s website. Though Dandyhorse came up lame, it was something of a shoe-in for the editors and, as managing editor Tammy Thorne admits, contributed to an endless stream of equally bad equine puns.)
“This is going to be an arts and culture magazine as well as a serious cycling magazine,” says Thorne. “In the first issue we’ve got something for everybody: BMXing, mountain biking, competitive cycling, couriers, and moms, dads and kids.”
Regular content will include articles on safety, gear, fashion and legal issues, but the Summer 2008 premiere will have a heavy slant towards cycling advocacy.
The 48-page launch, scheduled to roll out in July, is intended to grease the wheels for a three-issue presence in 2009. Ten thousand copies will be available in bike shops and at community events across the city.
“For the first issue we really want to acknowledge and pay homage to all the cycling activists who have worked so hard for so many years,” says Thorne, herself of member of that group.
Long-time urban activist Dave Meslin is the publisher and a founding force behind the Toronto Cyclist’s Union. And while the magazine is closely aligned with and will be the Union’s de facto membership magazine, Thorne explains that the two are independent business entities.
At press time Thorne was reluctant to identify advertisers but said sales staff were pursuing bike and coffee shops (caffeine being the fuel of choice for couriers) and cycling events.
In an effort to (ahem) tread lightly, the magazine will be printed on Cascades Roland Enviro100—a chlorine-free, 100% post-consumer waste paper— by Warren’s Waterless Printing in Toronto.