Cycling media

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Cycling media

Hi, new here so apologies if this subject is discussed elsewhere. I have always wondered why the cycling magazines rarely, if ever mention the work that Sustrans or any of the other groups like CEofGB does and just concentrates on expensive cycles, lycra etc and imply if you leave the house with no helmet you'll probably die. It seems a wasted opportunity not to get the little regular media there is on a more general footing and covering a wider range of cycling topics. Cycling as daily transport for example and not just for a blast at weekends then back in the garage.


But apart from that - I expect that (controversial) discussion of policy matters might lose them some readers - and certainly won't sell any advertising. The exception I know if is (online) who cover quite a lot of policy matters

I think you're right though there's an opportunity here to pitch articles or a regular column to some of these magazines... a lot of cyclists have no idea what could be done to improve the conditions on the road, and whether you cycle to train or cycle down to the shops you're just as vulnerable to traffic.


AKA TownMouse


There was the shortly lived Cycling Mobility magazine which focused on policy / advocacy matters, but that folded as it was not commercially viable as a subscription magazine (and it was a subscription magazine, not like the copy of Tatler from the newsagents I have down the side of the sofa). It's a microcosm within a microcosm, sort of like having a "third wave feminist" magazine as opposed to a mass market women's weekly. (I think that there are interesting parallels to be drawn between cycle campaigning and other movements, particularly that cycling is not a monolith and that people will often cluster around different ideological sub-groups, there are generational differences and in-fighting, questions as to whether being inside or outside the "establishment" is the best way to create change, arguments about what a "real" woman / cyclist is or is not, whether intersectionality exists or we should ignore differences within an oppressed group, etc, etc...)

Anyway, I certainly think that there are bloggers with a greater wealth of experience and reputation than myself who would be willing to write a column, and sometimes that might be quite dry (such as about changes to local planning such as Community Planning Forums) or quite impassioned and opinionated (such as "Why not to give cars a shortcut with 2 way running - keep the gyratories and just steal a lane for a cycle track") which will generate endless debate between a few people clinging onto the old, non contextual and non intersectional ideology ground in legal rights; and everyone else who has moved on (see what I did there?).



I think the answer is very simple... advertisers. The largest advertisers for mags such as Cycling Plus are the big bike shops and manufacturers (Evans, Wiggle, etc). They want to push their whole line of products, so flash road bikes, the latest team clothing, helmets, etc. They also want to push their products at whoever has the most disposible income, which in cycling terms are MAMILs who are new (or returned) to cycling following the success of British cycle sport. So once again it's the latest roadbikes, full kit (inc helmet), etc, etc. You only have to look at the cover photo, it's always a man with shaved legs, all the gear and a roadbike.


Fatbob's picture

Back in the 1990s a mag called Cycling Today was published - it was the brainchild of (amongst others) Richard Ballantyne and was designed to cater for everyday cyclists with a bit of cycle sport, MTBing etc thrown in. Unfortunately, in common with most mags that don't concentrate on news it was a bit "samey" and eventually became Cycling Plus. Sadly "news" doesn't sell the latest carbon frame to MAMILS (unless it's about some skinny guy climbing fat mountains) so you are dead right, in a word "advertising".


The best bike is a used bike!

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