It’s about the ride.
It’s always been about the ride. See that one of a kind jersey in the photo above? I was part of its creation in 2001 as a staffer at Bike magazine. I like to think of those as the glory years of cycling media. We had a lot of competition back then, print competition, and it was an anything goes philosophy at Bike. We were questionably talented derelicts among polished professionals. We dragged a keg on a trailer to the top of the Mammoth dual-slalom course and handed out full beers to anyone who asked, we organized booze cruises, we lived through triumph and tragedy. But it was always about the ride and the content of the magazine showcased that philosophy through it all.
Bike began as the brainchild of one Michael Foley (ya that Sock Guy) as a privately held magazine and then through a fist full of heartless corporate owners the staff continued to push the same individualism and irreverent attitude that defined the brand, usually swimming uphill it seemed all the while showcasing the best writers and photographers in the entire cycling world every issue while breaking boundaries with new and unique video partnerships. Every issue was a who’s who of talent through words and images. And then out of nowhere the doors were closed and the printing press was turned off just about a week ago.
This happened less than a year after the legendary Dirt Rag magazine shut down all operations. The Rag was a bit different, its owner and founder Maurice Tierney never sold out to big business, he had too much pride in his belief of small, independent publishing. But in the end, even with top-shelf festivals to supplement income, it became unsustainable. Like Bike mentioned above and even more so, Dirt Rag was an outlaw among the commons. It stuck to the DIY ethos, never bought in to advertiser influence as a way to make a buck yet still found a way to bring in some of the most talented writers and photographers in the business. Why? Because it was about the ride, about connecting with readers through compelling story telling, amazing photography and transparent honesty that bled through in every issue.
I’ve been honored to work with so many amazing creative forces through words, images, artwork and video and now more than ever, in this current climate we need a true artistic outlet in cycling media that goes beyond the “buy it now” philosophy. That’s what we’re doing at The Cycling Independent, bringing that love of story telling with transparent honesty back to cycling with a old-style newspaper attitude: regular columnists, regular features, cutting edge editorial content and yes, honest product reviews. We loved Dirt Rag, Bike, Paved, Asphalt and Road. We also love NPR, The Los Angeles Times, The New Yorker and even The Hollywood Reporter.
But, like any publishing company we need support and to run advertiser free we need you. It’s affordable, it’s easy and by supporting us with a subscription you’re supporting a long list of the most talented contributors in the cycling industry who want to share their voice and images with you now more than ever. Your support will bring you, our readers, the best content in the cycling world from the top content creators.
What do you say? It’s about the ride after all so let’s go on that ride.