Bike Intelligencer » Bicycling magazine All bike, all the time Mon, 20 Jul 2015 21:20:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 RIP Mountain Bike magazine Tue, 26 Oct 2010 03:16:04 +0000 Rodale Inc. has announced that it will no longer publish Mountain Bike magazine, one of the former Big Three of mountain biking publications whose doom was sealed when Rodale ended its publication as a standalone in 2003.

Rodale continued to offer Mountain Bike at the ludicrous and unsustainable rate of six issues a year — included with a subscription to Bicycling — but the publishing giant’s heart was obviously never in it. It always seemed like a weak cousin to Bicycling, which we’ve never cared much for either.

Rodale purchased the mag in 1987 and supported it well in its heyday during the 1990s. Mountain Bike had some great writers, including Zap (Zapata Espinoza) and Captain Dondo. Another favorite was Dan Koeppel and his long-running “Hug the Bunny” column.

Dondo moved on, Zap was fired, “Hug the Bunny” disappeared and Mountain Bike became simply a way to sucker mtb addicts like ourselves into subscribing to the lamentably bland Bicycling magazine.

Which means that Rodale’s pledge to “fold the contents” of Mountain Bike into Bicycling is pretty much empty talk, similarly aimed at snagging mtbers into staying with Bicycling.

We doubt the ploy will work, particularly since we doubt its sincerity in the first place. Lesson No. 1 of publishing is that you can’t get rid of the good writers and expect readers to hang around just for the ads.

Instead our suspicion is that Rodale has folded Mountain Bike simply because the magazine business is on its last legs. Our inbox just recorded an email from Rodale offering Bicycling at $5 a year for 11 issues. That smacks of desperation to us.

Mountain Bike lasted a quarter of a century and took us through the sport’s salad days with literary acumen and grace. Its Rodale incarnation, albeit anemic and lackluster compared with its predecessor, will nonetheless be missed.

Further info from Bicycle Retailer.

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Bicycling Magazine Places 11th in New Rankings Thu, 08 Apr 2010 20:05:10 +0000 In Bike Intelligencer‘s newly released ranking of the Top 10 American cycling magazines, Bicycling magazine has placed 11th.

“This is a remarkable showing, given that there aren’t actually 10 American cycling magazines in existence,” said BI editor Paul Andrews.

The magazine jumped in the standings from 15th two years ago, largely as a result of four cycling magazines going out of business.

“The fact that Bicycling is still around shows its resiliency and staying power in a difficult publishing market,” Andrews said. “In an increasingly digital age, Bicycling continues to arrive month after month in the mailboxes of dead people whose subscriptions have yet to expire.”

Published by one of the most respected names in publishing, Bicycling is often called the bible of the cycling industry.

“That’s not just because it’s stuffy and dull,” Andrews said. “It’s also because it’s widely quoted by people who have never read it.”

Asked how Bicycling can improve on its showing in future rankings, Andrews said, “It might consider using people who ride bikes in its photos instead of agency models. Oh and no more running the same stories about the perfect spring training regimen and best energy drinks over and over.”

For the editors of Bicycling, the word ‘edge’ has “only one meaning,” Andrews said. “The side of a piece of paper.”

Release of the BI rankings coincides with Bicycling‘s ratings of the Top 50 American cities for cycling, in which BI‘s home town of Seattle placed fourth.

“As with Bicycling‘s ratings, BI‘s results were compiled by our crack team of investigative rankers,” Andrews said. “We considered an exhaustive list of factors, including layout, number of similes, smell, variety of fonts and type of ink.”

Bicycling‘s relegation of former No. 1 Seattle to the also-rans in its survey received “only passing consideration,” Andrews added.

Finishing ahead of Bicycling in the rankings were:

    Mountain Bike Action
    Bicycle Times
    Tricycle World
    Cargo Bike Action
    Meals on Wheels Gazette
    Folder Bike Action
    Hub Maintenance Review
    Pneumatic Quarterly
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Daily Roundup: Tour doping con’t, Rider down in Seattle, Lance’s chances Mon, 06 Jul 2009 07:04:14 +0000 This Day in Doping: Lance Armstrong will be “particularly monitored” for doping violations throughout the Tour. Not that monitoring “particularly works,” given the rampant abuses, but the UCI wants to at least keep up appearances.

The “particularly monitored” Tom Boonen was kicked out of this year’s tour for cocaine use, then reinstated. (Rightly so, since evidence points to cocaine not even being a performance-enhancing drug; it just makes you think you’re better.) Now he’s just trying to stay upright.

This year’s Giro d’Italia winner, Denis Menchov, is also being “particularly monitored,” at least to the extent of being interviewed by and giving evidence to Austrian police investigating blood doping. Menchov is trying to become the first Giro/Tour back-to-backer since Marco Pantani in 1998, a year before Pantani tested positive for blood doping in the Giro. Pantani died in 2004 from cocaine abuse.

So you see the pattern. The UCI can “particularly monitor” all it wants. Until the system is made foolproof, though, and Big Money quits forcing riders to dope, we’re going to have a tainted sport. The rider cut down by a driver suspected of driving while drunk was an experienced cyclist. Having ridden that Dexter N. route countless times as a bike commuter over the years, I’m a bit puzzled about the “crossing the street” part. Not that the cyclist wouldn’t have that right, but the Aurora exits dumps right into Dexter N. heading southbound. There isn’t much reason to cross the exit or Dexter, unless the cyclist happened to live across the street or had some other reason to do so. Just a pointer for future clarification. Otherwise it looks like a tragic case of an all-too-familiar driver-cyclist scenario.

Can Lance win this year’s Tour? Bicycling magazine weighs in with a yes. We say no. If Contador goes down from injury or other misfortune, Lance will still have to support Levi. If Levi and Alberto both go down, there ain’t much left to support Lance. And this would assume that if Contador goes down, the other favorites cave as well.

Let’s say Lance is doping and beating the system. He’s still old (almost 38), has been away from full-time racing for four years, has the residual shoulder injury and the psychological second-guessing that goes with four bad falls this season already, and wouldn’t be the only leader in the Tour gaming the system anyway. Plus the UCI has made it clear through various cage-rattlings (like the above “particuarly monitored”) that it won’t be looking the other way if Lance somehow does vie for this year’s crown (and that could include looking the other way for his foes).

I understand why Bicycling and major media have to prop up the Lance dream — the huge sponsorship dollars involved, American media coverage, associated advertising and so on down the money chain. And that’s fine, everyone has the right to make a buck. But we called Lance’s bluff on the Giro early and often, and were the only ones to do so. We turned out to be right, and we see no reason to change our stripes now.

Having said all the above: Go Lance! Prove us wrong!

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