As I’m sure you’re aware, there are only so many hours in the day. So, when Padraig and I set aside some time for editorial planning and brainstorming, one thing we come up against over and over is a lack of solid information to base our decisions on. How many people are listening to TCI podcasts vs. reading the content on the site? Is there overlap between those two audiences? Should we be writing more or recording more?
Usually, we think, the answer is yes.
And yet, as I said, there are only so many hours in the day. We produce content for TCI every day of the week, and both of us also generate content for other projects. Sometimes I feel like none of the words remain in my mind very long at all. They come in, and they go out, either as words on a screen or words in headphones. The crazy thing is, no matter how many come out, there always seem to be more. I wonder how much I even have to do with it, the drainpipe not really being responsible for the rain.
And since we are unapologetically trying to grow TCI, to bring in more readers and listeners, we are always talking about ways to reconfigure all those words to draw more people in, as if there is some clever trick (the whole internet is maybe built on this premise) that will unlock our access to a critical mass of cycling enthusiasts.
That’s you nerds.
So this week, I’m hoping you’ll do us a solid and provide a little input on what cycling content you consume. What cycling podcasts do you listen to? What sites do you read? Are you doing more listening or reading? And critically, why do you like those things? We assume (perhaps naively) that you come here because you like the way we do things, so there’s no need to give feedback on TCI, unless you have something you’d particularly like to get off your chest. What we are curious about is, what else is good and why? I suppose it would help to know if you both read our written posts AND listen to our podcasts, but the real question is about what cycling content you feel drawn to.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but nearly all cycling-related podcasts are two people talking to each other. Conversations. There’s not much (maybe nothing) in the cyclosphere that focuses on telling stories. As an experiment in aural storytelling, Padraig has taken his series about the birth and near loss of his son, called Enter the Deuce, and turned that into a limited series. Would people listen to stories about cycling? Seems like that ought to be a yes, but if we were confident about that, this post would be about chain lube.
Among things we can’t take credit for, we are fans of former (and possibly better) Paceline co-host Selene Yeager’s podcast Hit Play, Not Pause. Selene, as many of you know, is a real peach of a person, vastly experienced and also charmingly humble. Padraig and I can stand to learn what women of a certain age think about riding bikes and staying active, because, well, we’re men of a certain age. Give that a listen if it’s in your wheelhouse.
In print, we read Mountain Flyer, currently helmed by TCI founder and heavy metal aficionado Mike Cushionbury. We dig Stevil Kinevil’s All Hail the Black Market, of course, because Stevil keeps it real and knows how to have a good time.
But those are our friends. We are biased. The rest of what I consume, personally, seems to come via Instagram or things my friends send me. What with all the word-making I get up to, it’s hard for me to do any kind of regular perusal of broad swathes of the bike-related internet. I’m busy reading books and trying to have (or steal) ideas. I depend on friends to curate what’s good for me. Just like I’m asking you to do now.