cyclist of the week: Toni De La Torre
We got the chance to speak with Toni, the co-founder of RAW magazine, and he was stoked to be our cyclist of the week. RAW magazine is a true representation of the raw culture of fixed gear and everything about cycling.
Read below to learn more about his journey into cycling and what it means to him.
Where are you from?
I'm from Sabadell, but I live in Terrassa a city rounded by mountains and close to Barcelona, Spain. I'm really in love with this city because allow me to enjoy amazing roads for cycling, nature and keep me connected with the capital.
How'd you get into cycling in the first place and why stick with it?
Well, my story is a little bit curious. In 2012 I was on holidays in New York and it was my first contact with the fixed gear scene. As you know, NYC is the house of bike-messengers and I saw a lot of them there during my stay.
When I was back home, one week later, I was walking on the streets of my town and I found an old road bike in the trash. I restored this bike and I started to ride everyday to go to work, to ride with friends...ride, ride, and more ride.
From the beginning I raced in some alleycats, and I organized also some of them. Some months later, I bought a new bike and I started to train in the velodrome and be part of some criteriums.
How did RAW Cycling Magazine come about?
One year after I rescued my little treasure from the garbage, the first Red Hook Crit arrived to Barcelona. I loved this and two months later, I traveled to Milano with some friends to see the last chapter of the Race Series.
During those two months, we decided (Stefano, Pablo, and I) to create an online magazine. RAW Cycling Magazine was born.
From the first time, we thought to create a media where everything would be created by us. Where all content is related with stories in first person, interviews or experiences in races or trip/adventures, but always explained in first person by us, by the main character or by some of our collaborators. We are owners of our content and only write about those topics that are interesting for our readers.
We also wanted to create top quality articles, work with the best photographers of the scene and look for new cycling stories.
It's great to see a magazine covering the true subculture of fixed scene. What do you think about the current fixed culture and where it's heading?
I remember that some years ago, a lot of people talked about fixed gear as a trend of the big cities, but the movement grew and it jumped from the streets to the racing side. Red Hook Crit Series has an important part in this part of the history. From this moment, a lot of eyes (brands, UCI, etc.) have focused on this discipline and it became more professional than years before.
For me, the good thing of this evolution of fixed gear is that a lot of people that don't use bikes, started with a fixed recycled bike because it was cool and nowadays they practice cycling everyday and they don't think about a life without a bike.
Walk us through your daily morning ritual.
I wake up at 6 a.m. and I use my bike to come to work everyday. Usually, I combine my daily ride with the train since rush hour isn't the best time to ride.
Everyday, I try to organize the next articles with my colleagues, plan trips, social networks, and other stuff.
On the other side, I'm always trying to keep myself ready to race. I love to compete and is for that reason that on Mondays and Tuesdays, I go to train to velodrome, on Thursdays I do an after-work ride and the weekends are the best days to train hard.
Do you have a favorite place to ride?
Catalonia is an awesome place of Spain to enjoy cycling and I love it. We have beautiful landscapes, wild roads, mountains, sea, and there's always a new place to discover.
My preference are the mountains, but as we love to go on trips and get to know new routes, new people and be lost with our bikes in new countries, I think that everyday we have a new opportunity to get to know a new "favorite" place.
What type of music do you listen to? Favorite song right now?
I'm not a music expert. I listen to some kinds; from rock'n'roll and metal, pop, techno and others, but I love cinema and I like to enjoy some film soundtracks during my work.
Any parting words for our audience?
First of all, thanks for the opportunity to be part of your blog. And for the audience, I want to encourage them to bet on quality content, continue reading blogs like this (or RAW), discover more about cycling, enjoy those routes that you always drempt to do it and travel a lot.