Highly regarded road cycling publication Ride Cycling Review is soon to no longer be published as a print magazine.
Founder Rob Arnold recently gave Bicycling Trade the reasoning behind this move.
“The decision that we’ve made isn’t one that we’ve taken lightly,” he said. “It has been years in the making, if you like. We have long produced a fantastic magazine. I’m very proud of what Ride Cycling Review became and what it is today.
“The company that owns Ride Cycling Review is Ride Media and I’m the director of that company. I have no intention of stopping Ride Media and I’m really upbeat about what the future holds. I want to be able to respond more immediately.
“Some of the content of the statement that I put online on April 26th may seem ambiguous but that’s only because it would be foolish for me to try to dictate what direction we’ll be going in when I’m still working through that process myself and I don’t think there’s any more to say right now.”
In the meantime, Rob explained that there will be at least three future print publications yet to come bearing the Ride Cycling Review masthead.
“We’re working on the Official Tour de France and we remain the licence holder for that for the next two years,” he explained. “So we’ll be doing 2017 and 2018 issues and we have rights on the future going forward, but that’s a few years away.
“We’ll also be doing one more regular magazine which will be going on sale in October.”
Clearly this is a time of upheaval after two decades of regular publication for both Rob and his team in particular and cycling fans more generally
“I’ve heard from plenty of readers and also there’s feedback on social media which has been overwhelmingly positive,” he said.
“I think we became part of people’s lives. I like to think that Ride Cycling Review is a bit like the cat that people pat on a Sunday afternoon while they’re sitting in the sun on their sofa, relaxing after a ride. It’s a bit of comfort food in an era of digital. It gives people an opportunity to absorb some quality journalism and some beautiful images and contemplate what their next cycling purchase might be and feel part of a community that I’ve long been proud to be part of myself.
“That’s the feeling that people are trying to relay to me when they talk about what Ride means to them. They just like to cosy up on the lounge and get their fix of cycling inspiration.
That’s what magazines are and I’m proud to have been a publisher of magazines for as long as I have, certainly in the digital era. But I started Ride Cycling Review in 1998 when the digital revolution was already well underway.
“I called it ‘Ride Cycling Review’ because I wanted to review cycling and I think I’ve done that well for 20 years.”
Meanwhile James Yaffa, publisher of Bicycling Australia, Mountain Biking Australia, Bicycling Trade, Bicycling Yearbook said, “I’m always sad to hear of any magazine closing. I don’t know Rob personally but clearly he’s done a great job for a very long time.
Whilst acknowledging that the media environment is undergoing a challenging transition, James was keen to stress that his titles were continuing.
“Magazines are definitely still part of the mix,” he said. “We have a positive viewpoint on magazines. For example we’ll be investing more in Bicycling Australia from July/August onwards including new paper stock and higher production values.
“Media brands, provided they have successfully adapted to the new media landscape, are thriving.
“At Yaffa Media we talk about the brand proposition. We can serve our clients’ messages to their target consumers through print, digital and events in whatever mix is most appropriate for each client.”