By Brice Minnigh
We at Bike magazine have a time-honored tradition of giving framed versions of our covers to the riders in the photo and the photographer who captured the moment. We don’t always get the opportunity to present these framed covers in person, but when we do it is always a treat, and we try to make the most of it.
And to truly make the most of it, the element of surprise is key: We never tell athletes and photographers when they have landed the cover of Bike, in the hopes that they will find out when their issue arrives in the mailbox.
But in this fast-paced era of social media, word travels instantly, and all it takes is one well-intentioned Instagram, Tweet or Facebook post for the cat to get out of the bag. This makes keeping our covers secret an even more challenging proposition. So when we genuinely surprise an unsuspecting cover recipient—as we recently did with Matt Hunter during the Interbike trade show in Las Vegas, Nevada—it makes the occasion all the more sweet.
The cover image in question, taken by English photographer Dan Milner, is from the expedition to Afghanistan’s remote Wakhan Corridor that Bike undertook with Hunter and a two-man crew from Anthill Films, who were working on a documentary-style short film titled Forgotten Dirt.
We also had the good fortune to surprise Anthill Films’ own Darcy Wittenburg—who was part of the Afghanistan expedition—with a framed version of the cover as well.
The issue goes on newsstands today. If you don’t feel like huffing it to your nearest supermarket or Barnes & Noble, you can subscribe here. Or if you’d rather see the issue on your iPad or other mobile device, you can buy our digital version—which includes loads of extra features and behind-the-scenes videos—on iTunes. Click here to download the issue.