you love what you do, it shows. You live it, think it and are obsessed
with it 24/7.
freelance photographer Peter DiAntoni is obsessed with biking, or he
is at least very passionate about it ó insomuch that he created a
biking magazine to prove it.
Riverwest native has long been a part of the biking scene and
understands that the people who whiz by daily on narrow streets and
busy boulevards deserve more than a honk of a horn. They needed a
magazine that validated what they do and provided an insiderís view
of the fun, frolic and frenzy that comes with being a cyclist.
In October 2007,
he and two partners launched COG Magazine, a direct play off of the
rear sprocket of a track bike. For him, naming the publication was a
natural. Contributors for COG hail from around the globe, but DiAntoni
now runs the magazine alone from his Riverwest home office.
was no better person to take on this task, since DiAntoni was already
an avid biker, a photographer of bikers, worked with a bike courier
company for a time, and had extensive experience with printing and
publishing. (Even he acknowledges that such a skill combination is
expect a typical bikersí guide here. This high-gloss publication,
for which DiAntoni is the primary photographer, overflows with edgy,
candid articles about the messenger culture and tidbits on everything
from six-day races and Japanese keirin racing to the Single Speed
World Championship and other international activities. Not to mention
that the photography is sleek, up-close and personal; plus, COG
curates art for its seamless canvas-wrapped front and back covers.
messenger culture is a worldwide culture, and no magazine was covering
it at the time," DiAntoni says of his pioneering periodical that
is now distributed worldwide, mostly through independent bookstores.
"This is a glossy magazine about this underground
business as a whole may be downsizing but that does not deter DiAntoni.
"Itís been a really exciting project to put out there, and we
got a lot of support right off the bat," he says.
COG is published
quarterly mostly but sometimes semiannually, and it has amassed a
circulation of more than 7,000 readers worldwide, DiAntoni reports. He
says the magazine helped to spawn a niche publishing genre that was
soon duplicated in this country and others.
write about is a reflection of our lives personally. Itís a
grassroots effort," says DiAntoni, who hasnít owned a car in
more than seven years. (He uses a car-sharing service for photography
assignments that require driving.)
looks to the day when his publication becomes "a sustainable
effort." So far, it has gotten him out and about, traveling to
far-reaching places like Australia, London, Italy, Germany and
Amsterdam to name a few.
magazine has even spawned another operation for the biking enthusiast.
This April, DiAntoni launched Flavor Cycle (www.flavorcycle.com), a
bicycle food delivery service that pairs him and other working
cyclists with select restaurants throughout the area. In Issue 11 of
the magazine, DiAntoni details how he learned of the idea from two
biking friends in San Francisco who went from being out-of-work
cyclists to San Franciscoís largest employer of them. Those friends
shared their business model with him.
And like always,
he is confident about the possibilities. "I know a lot of
business owners and have direct contacts to places," says
DiAntoni in the same bright spirit that keeps him energized from one
biking project to the next. "Itís been slow, but Iím
DiAntoni's 5 favorite (local) biking resources
Federation of Wisconsin. "As cyclists in Milwaukee and
throughout the state, we have the Bike Fed to thank for an
increase in striped bike lanes, slipknot drawbridge
retrofittings, the many trails and paths we enjoy and for the
groupís continual struggle for cycling advocacy."
Cycle & Fitness and the Milwaukee Bicycle Co. "This is
one of the best and most progressive shops in the city. It has
been a great supporter of COG and for the many events weíve
been involved in."
Riverwest 24 Hour Bike Race, or RW24. "This event has
literally brought the Riverwest and neighboring communities
together like no other. From its humble start five years ago,
the Riverwest24 has become known around the world and given
inspiration to other communities for their own races. This yearís
race sold out its 750-rider limit within 1.5 hours. Yes, itís
that much fun!"
Disc Brakes. "Most wouldnít know it but southeast
Wisconsin has an incredible presence in the cycling industry.
The best disc brakes in the world are made and engineered at the
Hayes headquarters in Mequon. It doesnít stop there though as
the company also is home to Answer components, Manitou shocks,
SunRinglť wheels and Wheelsmith Spokes (the only U.S.-made
cycling spokes in the world)."
Spoken Cycles. "I canít say enough about how amazing it
is to have a bike shop in your own neighborhood. Aytan Luck
opened Truly Spoken a couple years ago on Center Street in
Riverwest, and it is quickly becoming a hub for neighborhood
cyclists. Thanks to the nonstandard standards of the cycling
industry, thereís always going to be that one tool you just
donít have, but itís most likely on the peg board of your
local bike shop."