Sometimes, magazines make it crystal clear that I am not their target audience. Take this most recent issue of Bicycling magazine (which I thought I canceled last month, hmmm).
Cover headline: LEANER FASTER STRONGER: A simple plan to get fit and ( trigger warning )
. Oookay. Actively offensive.
Next below headline: Our Favorite New Helmets. I have become anti-helmet for adults, the more I've ridden & read helmet studies. And my scalp infection from my helmet sweat is FINALLY gone. So, no.
BMX Skills for Road Riders. Unlikely.
How NOT to ride your first fondo. Okay, maybe something of interest there, because long miles good, but we still have that racing emphasis.
Master the art of the paceline. Fuck no. Racing BORING.
And, down at the bottom, *SMUG ALERT*!! we have EXCLUSIVE REPORT: Why Cycling Makes You Smarter and Less Stressed. Oh dear.
Flip to the back cover. A *car* ad. "Light is might." Um. Oooookay.
Inside cover. An ad for a bike part I can't identify. Shifters? There's a line pointing to something identified as a brake lever. And they use words like front derailleur in the copy.
Next up is a two-page ad spread for the Tour of Utah. A long-distance race. "Beautiful agony." Hell to the NO. *flip*
Ah! Table of contents. I might enjoy... a comment on bike share, a guide to biking in Detroit, Heidi Swift's Joy Ride column, gear articles on handlebar & rain jacket. Out of 28 items listed with descriptions, I am drawn to 5. That's just not a good ratio. Though I will miss Heidi's column.
Next up? An ad from Specialized, that starts "Remember the 70s?" Yes! I cry, thinking fondly back. It goes on, "Yeah, neither do we." Um, wow. Nice copy for your 40th anniversary ad.
So let's address those 5 items:
1. bike share. No new info.
2. biking Detroit: *GOLD STAR* at least from me, who's never visited. (Should remedy.) 2 pages with places to rent (Wheelhouse Detroit), repair (The Hub of Detroit), eat (Avalon Int'l Breads) & ride (16-mile loops incl. Belle Isle park & Dequindre cut), and local groups & events (Slow Roll, Tour de Troit, Bike the Bridge, ...).
3. Heidi Swift's column -- OMG that was awesome! You should all go read it. It'll show up here
eventually. "Angels". Paying respect to life via biking through a cemetery.
4. gear: handlebar. Ah. As anticipated, all about drop bars. Moving on...
5. gear: rain jacket. Much more basic than anticipated. No new info.
Total: 2 items I enjoyed. Defensive reading deployed (flipped directly to page numbers to avoid blood pressure surges from browsing other articles & ad copy; not entirely successful as is hard to flip directly). Experience insufficiently rewarding. (Although complaining about it afterwards has been great! Thanks for listening.)
Takeaway: if *YOU* like racing, road-biking, spandex, helmets, clip pedals, drop bars, super fuel food, etc., then this is THE magazine in its category for you.
If you are into sitting upright, chain guards, fenders, baskets, panniers, eating regular food, and super-long bike rides, allow me to a) ask What do you read!?! and b) recommend Adventure Cycling
as being relevant to your interests.