I love magazines. More than any other form of media. I have a list of favourite mags (not all of them are mountain bike magazines mind you, especially as there’s only a handful of good ones and a whole heap of bad ones) but when the rumours of the The Albion started to arise then so too did my interest. The Albion is created by a handful of former employees from Ride UK BMX magazine as an antidote to what they saw as the disintegration of print media as a result of the pressures placed on them by the publishing house in the London corporate headquarters (Factory Media is Europe’s largest and most innovative Action Sports media owner. The Company publishes 19 traditional print and 23 new media brands reaching over 500,000 readers and 4 million online users every month. The business currently focuses on two market segments, Boardsports and Bike, with an international footprint and multilingual products. – Taken from the Factory Media website).

The first issue dropped on the 1st April 2011 and it took me a month or two to track down a copy (they are distributed free to BMX and finer bicycle shops in the UK or available on subscription), but it was worth it. This magazine has since leapfrogged every magazine to become my favourite, maybe ever. Crafted yet raw; deep like an axe wound and invigorating like a punch to the face yet cool, calm and considered; truthful, bold, brave and explorative. The Albion is an amazing read even for non BMXers, perhaps even non bikers.

This is not a newsstand magazine that is a quick flick and throw away; this is the kind of publication that you find, consume intently, keep, re-read many times and are proud to have on your shelf. Articles are long and usually very gritty, but the healthy dose of reality they deal out and the way they approach the touchy subjects is like a breath of fresh air. If you want to read something that truly moves the reader and means something beyond the usual quick fix guff, then track down The Albion. The subscription cost to New Zealand readers might seem a little steep but consider it as buying six books. Books, remember those things? Issue three has just dropped and judging from the list of contents should be a banger.

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