Author Topic: What to do: 15 years of Adventure Cyclist magazines?  (Read 3451 times)

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Offline BikeFreak

What to do: 15 years of Adventure Cyclist magazines?
« on: September 07, 2016, 02:11:27 am »
Hi,

I have now been a member for 15 years of the Adventure Cycling Ass and received all the magazines. I have a huge pile of magazines, but I have never read one of the old magazines or tried to find information in them. How do you handle your magazines? Do you store them, throw them away right after reading, do you sell them on ebay (are they even worth selling)? As you know, many people have a hard time throwing something out where there might be a tiny chance ... of you know :-). Has anyone of you regretted getting rid of all your magazines that just take up space?

Lucas

Offline DaveB

Re: What to do: 15 years of Adventure Cyclist magazines?
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2016, 09:08:18 am »
I keep the past year's worth of issues as those are the ones I'm likely to refer back too.  After that they go into the recycle bin.  Unless you have every issue ever printed from Volume 1 Number 1 onward I can't see the collection has any value. 

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: What to do: 15 years of Adventure Cyclist magazines?
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2016, 09:42:01 am »
I might flip through the older issues and cut out articles from some of the better authors -- Sheldon Brown, John Schubert, Willie Weir, for example.  The best of AC could fill a few file folders, and the rest could be recycled.

My wife would probably appreciate it if I'd do that this winter...
« Last Edit: September 07, 2016, 09:45:46 am by Pat Lamb »

Offline BrianW

What to do: 15 years of Adventure Cyclist magazines?
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2016, 08:18:28 pm »
If you are a member, doesn't ACA have it all online now, including back issues?

and John Schubert is a friend of mine... I'll have to show him that he rates as one of the "better authors." :-)

Offline canalligators

Re: What to do: 15 years of Adventure Cyclist magazines?
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2016, 11:49:36 pm »
I cut out reference material (maybe once per year) and pass them to my daughter for her and grandkids to read. She recycles them.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: What to do: 15 years of Adventure Cyclist magazines?
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2016, 09:46:01 am »
and John Schubert is a friend of mine... I'll have to show him that he rates as one of the "better authors." :-)

Please do.  I'm afraid I took him for granted for too long -- knowledgeable, fair, and I suspect he was part of the annual touring bikes compendium that I studied for several years.

Nowadays, Adventure Cycling seems to reflect the schizophrenia within ACA itself.  I expect to read "Biking with Brown Bears" any issue now.  It'll be right after an announcement that some paved ACA route has moved off a four-lane road, recently paved, with daily traffic of 500 vehicles, because a parallel rail-trail opened up surfaced with leftover riprap, all because someone wrote an impassioned blog post on how uncomfortable they were riding on a road without a shoulder and sent a link to AC.  O'Grady's "reviews" are cute, but they're like "Buycycling for Touring Bikes;" slap a "touring" label on a kid's tricycle and he'll find two pages of lovely things to say about it.

Whew.  Makes me question why I'm still a member? 

Offline adventurepdx

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Re: What to do: 15 years of Adventure Cyclist magazines?
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2016, 02:27:39 pm »
Nowadays, Adventure Cycling seems to reflect the schizophrenia within ACA itself.  I expect to read "Biking with Brown Bears" any issue now.  It'll be right after an announcement that some paved ACA route has moved off a four-lane road, recently paved, with daily traffic of 500 vehicles, because a parallel rail-trail opened up surfaced with leftover riprap...

Does such a thing as a four lane road with shoulder with a daily traffic count of 500 actually exist?  ;D

On another note, I haven't been a member of ACA as long as some of you have, so I don't know what the magazine looked like in, say, 1996. But overall, I've been fairly pleased with it as of late. But there are some articles/themed issues that I either gloss over or don't read because the subject interest me. (Like anything to do with fully supported tours, no matter how beautiful the setting is.) That's going to be the nature of an organization like ACA, which is trying to appeal to a wide set of people who like "touring". And if it wants to stay relevant to a younger generation of folk who have a different definition of touring than an older generation, it's going to be reflected in the magazine.

Offline DaveB

Re: What to do: 15 years of Adventure Cyclist magazines?
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2016, 05:02:12 pm »
Nowadays, Adventure Cycling seems to reflect the schizophrenia within ACA itself.  I expect to read "Biking with Brown Bears" any issue now.  It'll be right after an announcement that some paved ACA route has moved off a four-lane road, recently paved, with daily traffic of 500 vehicles, because a parallel rail-trail opened up surfaced with leftover riprap, all because someone wrote an impassioned blog post on how uncomfortable they were riding on a road without a shoulder and sent a link to AC.  O'Grady's "reviews" are cute, but they're like "Buycycling for Touring Bikes;" slap a "touring" label on a kid's tricycle and he'll find two pages of lovely things to say about it.

Whew.  Makes me question why I'm still a member?
I still enjoy reading AC but I agree that some of the articles are getting pretty far afield from rides "normal" people can even think of doing.   I further agree with your take on O'Grady's bike reviews.  His definition of "Touring Bike" seems to be rather wide and includes some pretty unsuited bikes.  How can you recommend a touring bike that has a 52x11 high gear and a 39x25 low gear?

Offline adventurepdx

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Re: What to do: 15 years of Adventure Cyclist magazines?
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2016, 11:38:16 pm »
I still enjoy reading AC but I agree that some of the articles are getting pretty far afield from rides "normal" people can even think of doing.   I further agree with your take on O'Grady's bike reviews.  His definition of "Touring Bike" seems to be rather wide and includes some pretty unsuited bikes.  How can you recommend a touring bike that has a 52x11 high gear and a 39x25 low gear?

So, should the benchmark of what tour reports go into Adventure Cyclist be whether or not a "normal" person can do it? And how would we define normal?

I look at Adventure Cyclist the same way I look at some other bike adventure mags: some of the stuff I could or would want to do, some of it I couldn't or wouldn't. But that's not the point. I think the key thing is whether the report is interesting and compelling, and there's a healthy mix of bike touring stories, and all types of bike touring. ACA is a broad organization and there will be things in the publication I can't get into (like the fully supported tours I mentioned above). But I'm okay with that.

As for the touring bike reviews, I guess if you define a touring bike as basically a road bike with beefier tubing, relaxed angles, mountain bike gearing, and lots of ways to hang racks and bits for a four pannier setup, then yeah, I guess many of the bikes recently reviewed in Adventure Cyclist don't fit that definition. But the definition of bike touring is becoming more elastic, and a lot of it now is about doing it with a bike that can tour, not necessarily with a  "touring bike". Then there's the whole bikepacking thing which is definitely not a traditional touring bike. And I think a lot of folks are interested in seeing these different approaches, not just another iteration of a 520/LHT/Randonee/etc.

As for gearing, some bike companies are putting some pretty high gearing on what would be considered a traditional touring bike. For example, when MEC (the Canadian equivalent to REI) introduced their touring bike, the National, it came with a 50-40-30 in the front. They've since changed it to a more reasonable 48-36-26, though, but probably after a bit of grumbling.

Offline DaveB

Re: What to do: 15 years of Adventure Cyclist magazines?
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2016, 09:47:06 am »
So, should the benchmark of what tour reports go into Adventure Cyclist be whether or not a "normal" person can do it? And how would we define normal?
I knew the moment I wrote that that someone would jump on the term "normal"  No, I'm not against articles on exotic and unusual touring destinations but there has been a preponderance of them lately.  Perhaps more accessible locations have all been written about?


Offline adventurepdx

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Re: What to do: 15 years of Adventure Cyclist magazines?
« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2016, 02:25:38 pm »
I knew the moment I wrote that that someone would jump on the term "normal"  No, I'm not against articles on exotic and unusual touring destinations but there has been a preponderance of them lately.  Perhaps more accessible locations have all been written about?

Well, "normal" is a loaded term, so I apologize if you felt I jumped on that. As for the magazine, maybe it's an editorial decision to get more interesting/unusual destinations. Or maybe it's what people have been submitting to the publication. We won't know unless we ask. Of course, if you want stories about more accessible locations, you have to write some!  ;)

Offline alexstrickland

Re: What to do: 15 years of Adventure Cyclist magazines?
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2016, 09:48:10 pm »
Hey everyone, Alex Strickland, Editor-in-Chief of Adventure Cyclist here. A colleague let me know about the thread and I couldn't resist jumping in. A quick preface: I'm at the Interbike tradeshow in Las Vegas this week so my responses might be a little slow — thanks for you patience. Plus, you can always reach me at astrickland@adventurecycling.org. OK, on to a few things:

- First, digital archives can be found at adventurecycling.org/archive. It's not complete issues, but rather individual stories, columns, etc., dating back to 1983. They're pretty easily searchable by keyword or a number of other filters. I use it all the time, as it's much easier for me than digging through physical back issues. Plus, you can sort by author, so it's easy to pull up the older Brown/Schubert/etc. pieces.

- Second, the "normal" debate is really a fascinating one and something we try to strike a balance on. I don't want to sail around the world or climb K2, but I love reading about it. We hope that bringing stories of "capital A" Adventure are entertaining and inspiring, if not instructional. With that, though, we do try to capture some more manageable trips. One thing I personally find interesting is that I might receive a bunch of feedback about a specific issue leaning much too far in one direction, but by the time the reader has seen it and written the note, another issue is already off to the printer, which leans quite far in the opposite direction. Where I might see a balance with the benefit of knowing what's coming down the line, readers might sometimes only see the big swing off to one side.
Regardless, it's something we're always looking at and trying to figure out the best combination of submitted pieces, assigned stories, etc.

- Finally, regarding POG's reviews: this was also really interesting to hear (read?). In general, we subscribe to the idea that there's no sense wasting ink in the magazine on bad products, largely because SO many of the bikes out there are so very good. Long before a review makes it onto the page, at least a handful of folks have determined that the bike is worth investigating — in some cases despite taller gearing, a weird fork, etc. — and so odds are any negative commentary are more nits to pick rather that out and out warnings to avoid. Do we miss on occasion? Without a doubt. But hopefully O'Grady's reviews are entertaining as well as informative, I certainly find them to be.

With all that said, I hope you don't read this as defensive. I find the process — and how the editors and readers view it — completely fascinating and despite what you might think, we don't get a ton of feedback on the mag. I love a good conversation, so consider this my small contribution. Look forward to hearing people's thoughts and continuing the back and forth!
  -Alex

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: What to do: 15 years of Adventure Cyclist magazines?
« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2016, 12:56:04 pm »
Finally, regarding POG's reviews: this was also really interesting to hear (read?). In general, we subscribe to the idea that there's no sense wasting ink in the magazine on bad products, largely because SO many of the bikes out there are so very good. Long before a review makes it onto the page, at least a handful of folks have determined that the bike is worth investigating — in some cases despite taller gearing, a weird fork, etc. — and so odds are any negative commentary are more nits to pick rather that out and out warnings to avoid. Do we miss on occasion? Without a doubt. But hopefully O'Grady's reviews are entertaining as well as informative, I certainly find them to be.

Having had my 2 cents input, I was going to leave it alone.  The gearing issue is one I remember several reviews glossing over or ignoring completely.  But perhaps I can learn something with one more question:

What kind of touring is appropriate for a bike with, say, a 27-30 gear inch low gear?

Offline alexstrickland

Re: What to do: 15 years of Adventure Cyclist magazines?
« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2016, 01:08:59 pm »
Hey Pat,
  Light, real light! We cover a couple of bikes a year with low gears in that range, almost always bikes spec'd w/ Shimano road drivetrains, as that's about as low as they can go without some modifications.
  In those cases (I'm thinking of a bike like the Niner RLT https://www.adventurecycling.org/default/assets/resources/20160201_RoadTestNiner_Legan.pdf) some of the rationale is often that the bike could be a good touring platform, though perhaps not exactly as equipped from the manufacturer. Or, especially with the kinds of bikes we might cover in the February supported touring and events issue (keep an eye out for a GT in the 2017 issue), we're looking at sort of "quiver-killer" bikes that folks might ride unloaded in Ride the Rockies-type events or very lightly loaded on a credit card or supported tour.
  Coming out of Interbike we saw some intersting "micro-compact" cranksets that should be interesting to keep low gears low with road drivetrains and continue to see manufacturers dropping front rings bit by bit to gear bikes lower in the adventure category, a welcome change that saves consumers from having to immediately make changes.
  -Alex

Offline marti jacobs

Re: What to do: 15 years of Adventure Cyclist magazines?
« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2016, 12:40:16 pm »
Im a big fan of John Schubert , too
Four wheels move the body. Two wheels move the soul.