When I started riding all the time, I subscribed to Bicycling magazine and I thought it was great. I picked up the odd cycling magazine by other publishers and enjoyed them as well.
The more experience I gained, the more I wondered if I should let my subscription lapse. I hung in there at the end because the writing was entertaining, and I enjoyed getting cycling news (something the newspapers just don't seem to print). I stopped the subsciption when I gained internet access.
I recently read an article at
and I've got to say it has a great point when it says,
and this is what ended up happening to me. I didn't buy the latest bike, I bought what I could afford. A good, used bike that I had for years. I never did any racing, so I didn't wear a heart monitor or eat a regimented diet or went out "training" on days when it was a good day to stay in and read a book.The sad truth of these magazines is that if you read a year's worth of these magazines you've read everything they have to say. They could just as well put up a web site, cover all the usual topics, create a good index, and save the trees.
Sooner or later you realize these publications do not exist to serve you, the reader, but rather, to serve the bike industry. The advertising that they carry (boy do they ever carry advertising) is not incidental to the articles, it's exactly the other way around. The advertising is the raison d'etre of these publications.
You, the subscriber are, incidental. You matter only in gross numbers. The larger the distribution, the more they can charge for the ads.
It's not about riding bikes. It's about selling bikes.
After a few years of cycling, most bike riders come to understand virtually everything they will ever need to know about bikes. Bikes are fairly simple machines.
And most come to realize bicycling is not about next years bike, or the latest craze in gear clusters.
Bicycling is about the moment, the road, and the ride.
From where we stand, we can find out more reliable information about equipment at the Local Bike Store. We can find more timely race results on any number of web sites.
I have commuted all year round for 18 years. I run errands on the bike. I take rides on weekends because I always feel better when I get home.
Sometimes, I think, we get sold something when we're not really thinking about it and end up not enjoying what it was that we enjoyed in the first place because we've unknowingly had our minds changed about cycling by companies that can make a profit from us.