In 2014, Joey Schusler, then a relatively unknown filmmaker and adventurer, came to Bike with a content proposal for a feature story and accompanying film that would document an attempt by he and two buddies to circumnavigate Peru’s Huayhuash range on mountain bikes. But it wasn’t the print magazine he had in mind for the platform to showcase his work, rather his team would build it into an interactive, four-chapter parallax scrolling feature that incorporated words, photos, video clips and maps to be posted on bikemag.com. At the time, the feature content on Bike’s website paled in comparison to its print counterpart, but the seeds for change had already been planted. This was the era of the New York Times’ “Snow Fall,” which showed how powerful a tool the web could be in exceptional storytelling, and became the industry standard for in-depth online journalism.
We published “Huayhash” in April 2014, and it quickly became our benchmark for how we wanted to publish features online in the future. It was our first (and to-date arguably best) foray into publishing digital features and signaled the start of a slow philosophical shift from ‘print-first’ and the leftovers go online, to viewing bikemag.com as a viable outlet for prime photos and words. Even now, almost six years later, the Huayhuash film remains our third most viewed YouTube film of all time, with more than 400,000 views.
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