Having only returned to cycling a few years ago, I've never read a hard copy bicycling publication. But as a long time follower of Thoroughbred racing and breeding, I've subscribed to several publications in that arena since the 70s. Only one remains in business and we still subscribe (my wife shares this interest), but now find they sit in a pile unread. We get the information we need and want elsewhere and their 'exclusive' content has declined in both quality and quantity to the point that we just don't bother anymore. With rates somewhere near $100/year, it won't be long before we decide to stop sending the check.
Similarly, I read one and often several newspapers every day for most of my life. I no longer do. The prices kept rising for an increasingly inferior product. My father was a newspaper editor and one of my brothers followed in that career, so I felt a certain allegiance to print media for the longest time. But I just don't think the industry was capable of adapting to changing times and as a result is fast becoming an anachronism. Magazines and newsprint will be an historical artifact in 20 years.
Personally, I hope we are seeing a temporary leveling-off as opposed to the onset of decline. Considering the ever-growing percentage of Americans under the age of thirty who not only don't drive but have chosen to not even get a driver's license, I think it's too early to declare the third bike boom dead.
"For the past five year, Portland, OR has seen no change in the percentage of residents who ride bikes to work (6%). Boston, MA has been flat for four years (2%). Sacramento, CA is has been stuck around 2.5% for four years. New York City is just getting in the game at 1%, so it hasn't made it there yet. Even Davis, CA, the former Bicycle Capital of the World, has stalled in it's attempts to recapture its former status."
Not so sure commuter participation has much or anything to do with enthusiast magazines going belly up. It really comes down to the shift in the culture...ie, shift towards an electronic culture. My son reads stuff on line all day long. Would never think of buying a magazine, doesn't ever cross his mind. Still a shame, though. If it ain't in print, how will it be preserved?
Electronically, of course? Until a file is purged or the storage format is changed. Who remembers floppy disks of various sizes? Not the twenty somethings. Electronic mags are temporary. Won't be able to go back 100 years to read a review on a 2015 Cannondale or something unless somehow, somewhere, someone has it stored on a server hooked to the web.
It is possible to pick up a book published in 1850 and read it. I wonder if that will be said about electronic only format mags or books 150 years from now.
Mobile, I must admit that of all the electronic versions, the Wall Street Journal is one of the best and most comfortable to read. Unlike my own National Post up here, they seem to understand that the digital version doesn't need to look like a literal newspaper with pages to 'turn'. (By the way, the plagiarizers are at NYT).
I love paper magazines but I don't buy them. I don't read cycling magazines, too full of hype, I don't believe a word. I once knew a writer for Bicycling Magazine. He wrote road bike reviews yet he was not really a road bike rider, he'd get stomped on a group ride. His reviews were pure fiction.
When times are tough people have to choose between food & shelter and everything else which puts magazines on the bottom of the heap.
My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.
Originally Posted by krazygluon
Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
When I read one of these e-books on my IPad, I often open another computer next to me to look up maps, pictures and other related information to better understand the material I'm reading. I still purchase books, but now mostly for their visual content. Just this morning I found a wonderful book of photographs, maps and commentary "The Lost Photographs of Captain Scott". I plan to purchase this to supplement my reading of the tragic Scott polar expedition of 1912. Scott's diaries and other commentary of his expeditions are available on line, for free.
And, keeping up with the bicycle content, it's far more likely that you'll fine a digitized version of a bicycle review, or an old catalog, than it is that you'll find a hard copy some place. I only need to go to velobase.com if I want to see a 1975 Motobecane catalogue that pictures the Grand Jubilees that I bought for my wife and myself. I can't remember the last time I even bothered to look for a hard copy of the owner's manual or parts list for something I own. It's just quicker, easier and more certain to look up the information online. Plus, if you want to see how to repair a window blind or fold up the portable crib that you bought for your grandkids, there are numerous, helpful videos on YouTube.
The environmental benefit of electronic data storage is immense. Only a small fraction of energy and materials used to print, circulate and store hard copy information is needed for the same task using the electronic versions.
Oh, and after cataract surgery, my ability to read a book in hard copy form at night went down to about zero. Now, when I read at night, I always read from my iPad. It has made a massive improvement in my quality of life.
"It could be anything. Scrap booking, high-stakes poker, or the Santa Fe lifestyle. Just pick a dead-end and chill out 'till you die."
Sorry to see Paved go. I liked the pics and some of the stories. On the fence on the larger format, figured this was a marketing choice rather then consumer driven. The real problem with Paved, from my view, the value to cost wasn't there. Just to expensive with so little content, or articles I was interested in. Really, the mag targeted a real niche market, nothing mainstream, even from a cycling perspective.
Guess I'm a minority..... still love print media, always have, and have no plans on changing. I like thumbing through paper and tossing a mag all around the house. No batteries, no lost or corrupted files. And I find it tiring reading off screens and monitors so much, it's a nice break having a hard copy.
Currently subscribe to Bicycling and Road Bike Action. I find enough interesting articles to stay entertained each month and justify the expense, which is minimal compared to other cycling related purchases.
Dedicated e-readers (i.e. e-ink rather than LCD) does not tire the eyes, and just like paper versions they are not backlit - you therefore need normal light to read. The newer ones are really good. You should try one out in direct sunlight. They are very impressive (I have a few different versions, and it is my go-to when I need to read something besides forums, news, and whatever else is on the internet.
Terex, I do hope ebooks created today are still available 150 years from now. For sure the reason Scott's journals are available now is because they survived the 100 years in paper form. If it had been electronic who knows? I do know I do not have a computer today that can decipher a floppy disk. If all my writing had been saved to a floppy, what would I do? Find someone to move it to another format? Could that be done 100 years from now? Doubtful.
Some may comment, "Who cares?" Many folks do. This subject has been brought up plenty of times with "geeks" I know and we all have similar concerns. For example, how do I run data created on a punch card system? I can't. Don't know anyone who has such a device to decode them, but I remember them from my childhood. All that data on those cards is lost, non-recoverable.
You don't need to run the data on a punch card or a similarly outdated format. It is the actual data that might be important. So, with a document, or, hell, a music file or photo, you transfer it to a newer format when the old becomes obsolete. Yes, some books have survived, but a lot of books haven't.
Just look at magazines, or news papers. They too are mostly lost, yet you might get lucky. Movies these days are so often shot digitally, and the good thing about that is that you don't have actual film to protect - you can make as many copies as you want and have them stored various places in the world so that they are safe from fire and general degradation.
Oh, well, I see the fun in finding an old book, but in reality I think that it's at least as likely to go missing (or go up in smoke) as a digital file is unable to being read. And a book, regardless of it being in paper or digital form is not executing code like the punch cards of yore.