A few weeks ago I got a notice saying that my subscription to Bicycling magazine is due to run out after the August issue. I plan to let it expire. But before I tell you about how much I don't like Bicycling magazine, let me tell you some good things that they've done.
With their magazine, that is. I could bore you with facts about Biketown and Biketown Africa, but I'd rather give them some kudos for some of the changes that their new editor, whose name at the moment escapes me, has made.
Like dropping Style Guy. If I wanted to read someone pontificating on the value of bibs versus baggies, I'd read BikeSnobNYC.
And she gave BikeSnobNYC a regular column. But if I wanted to read BSNYC, I could always just read BikeSnobNYC.
Also, I commend her for giving cycling attorney Bob Mionske a regular column. Knowing the rules of the road and knowing what the law is for cyclists is invaluable information.
But the problem I have with Bicycling, is that it doesn't cater to fitness cyclists. Okay, maybe I'm not really a "fitness" cyclist since I do have a purpose for my riding besides just staying trim. But I'm also not a hammerhead that averages 20 mph on his easy days. Often it seems that if you're not racing, you're not really cycling.
That's also backed by their exclusion of any bike that costs under $2,500 from their reviews unless it's a cruiser or for your 13-year old kid. Some of us don't have $2,500 to spend on a bike because we have mortgages and electric bills to pay. And really, if you're not racing, you don't need to spend $2,500 on a bike.
I'm also a little disappointed by Mountain Bike that's included with my subscription to Bicycling. Maybe that's just because I don't know the difference between free riding and cross-country. I thought mountain biking was about riding knobby tires on trails, but there are so many sub-categories, it's impossible to keep up. Maybe that's why I'm such a lousy mountain biker? So I've tried to read Mountain Bike, but it simply doesn't hold my attention.
There are also a few articles you can expect every year. The January-February issue will have on the cover somewhere "New Year, New You" (also true of Runner's World) and every summer you can read "Ride Your Best Century Ever" and somewhere in-between you can learn how you can "Lose Five Pounds Now!" But there's a general lack of human interest stories (with the exception of the amazing Jock Boyer article a couple months ago and the regular "toot-your-own-horn" Biketown stories).
It just seems like Bicycling has lost touch with the roadie on a $1200 bike who can't keep up with the pack at the local "citizens" race. Or maybe I'm just more of trail runner these days than cyclist...