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Bicycling magazine

2007-03-27 23:36:38.993954+00 by Dan Lyke 3 comments

I've been on the web long enough that I forget what most magazines are like, but I recently ended up with a "free" (I still have to pay for disposal...) subscription to Bicycling. In the past I've seen that magazines generally run on an editorial schedule of a year or so, reworking similar material every 12 months so that people new to the topic aren't lost, and so that the editors can track the business.

Well, Bicycling seems to run on an editorial schedule of a month, but it might even be half a magazine, 'cause every time I pick it up I keep thinking "wait, haven't I read this already?". The obligatory fawning over their major advertisers, the same "ultimate" workout plan that promises to get you buff and sculpted before the next issue arrives, the only thing that varies is a featured ride location, and if you've spent any time online you've already read better accounts of riding that stretch anyway.

[ related topics: Consumerism and advertising Bicycling ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2007-03-28 04:06:01.555931+00 by: Diane Reese

Sad to hear.

I lived within the pages of Bicycling magazine in the early '70s. It was one particularly vivid long article on the development and test-rides of the Bikecentennial Trans-America Trail in 1975 that got me thinking.... A quote at the end of that article admitted there were "grueling, anti-fun days" among those with dappled sunshine and sweet breezes and astounding vistas. The article closed with a pitch for signing up for Bikecentennial, saying something like, "That said, go. You most regret in life the things you don't do."

I signed up. I rode across the USA on my bicycle during the summer of 1976. I had never been west of Pennsylvania before that. It changed my life. Bicycling magazine changed my life. I am sorry to hear it's become something that would no longer inspire college students to push themselves beyond their limits and find a world they never knew existed.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-03-28 16:08:40.716976+00 by: Dan Lyke

I think that there's a critical mass of participation, below which a publication for a niche market can be cool, after which it deteriorates into supporting the advertisers who buy multi-page spreads. I remember back when computing had magazines with circulations measured in the ten thousands, in fact I still have some of those on my shelf and have actually referred to one of 'em in the not too distant past (well over a decade after it was published).

Bicycling as a pastime is in one of its cyclical highs, and the magazine reflects that.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-03-29 11:08:33.008928+00 by: meuon

"cyclical highs" - snort.
I've been enjoying a $10/year Wired Magazine subscription for bathroom fodder (I know, I should just put a laptop on the shelf across from the throne), it's a fun gadget picture magazine that sometimes has a good article. But I think that for anything where personal insight into a topic is important, the web is certainly more relevant, just not always as well organized and written/presented.

One of the kewlest things about bicycling, is you can just do it. Alone, in groups, for 5 minutes, for an hour or two.. or for days. You can ride in circles or across continents, you can have this weeks gear, or yesteryears, it's all good if you are enjoying it.