Category Archives: Brain Fart

Are we not journalists? Part 2

One reason I keep doing this magazine-publishing thing year after year is my belief in putting more people on bikes. And my belief that the industry and the cycling media work together to  get more people on bikes. The advertisements that support our magazines not only tell readers about their stuff, but support the journalism that should take place. At Bicycle Times and Dirt Rag we strive for that.

But today my soul is weary. Much like in the more serious and important global political discourse happening in God-Blessed America and the world right now, the bike journalism field is following a steeper and steeper fall-line trail downhill. Pay to play. Where rather than conveying honest, objective opinions, so-call journalists write what corporations pay them to write.

Read on. (But please read part 1 first if you have not, thank you).

Recently, in what is now the 2015 ad contract season, I inadvertently  received an email containing a proposal from one of the top mountain bike websites in the world to the marketing department at a parts and accessories and clothing branch of one of the largest bike companies in the world.

Not only did the proposal include the usual “Cost-per-eyeball-per-thousand’ for the site, but it included a specific amount of editorial coverage for 2015. Leaving my heart heavy, especially since the “Client” in question had gotten tons of editorial love from us over the years, yet had never thrown down to support us with an advertising buy.




This left me questioning. Should I send an invoice to the company that’s getting all the free editorial coverage while not throwing us a dime for advertising support?

Or should we stop covering their products in our magazines as a tit-for-tat response? It’s an option I am considering, but one that I feel would break the journalistic code to tell our readers about stuff they will find interesting.

Does anyone else give a shit about where this is going? It’s looking unlikely. Most of the bike media and the corporate world are playing in the sandbox just fine. They both make money, and you, dear reader know, it is all about following the money.

So look around, do your homework. Take everything with a grain-o-salt. Value and respect real journalism when you read it. And support our advertisers! They get it!




Business as usual in the Bike Industry

I was just thinking about how little effect the current doping scandal is having on the bike industry.

Am I the only one who thinks “The Tour” and every other major “Classic” should be cancelled until they can be reinvented as something a little less, um, wrong?

Hell, who’s left to race anyway? The guys that ratted on the guys that got busted? The guys that still get to come back in six months? They’re better than the guys that got banned? NOT.

I thought I was in the bicycle industry because we were doing good things, positive things that make people healthier and made the planet a bit more livable.

I thought we were better than the hoards of Americans we mock from our high horses, those enamored by the idiocy of ball sports, pro wrestling and NASCAR. (All stuff I personally enjoy on some level, like any other red-blooded American, but you get my point).

This win-at-all-cost mentality is not good for the cycling or the planet and does not need to be perpetrated by the bike industry.

Let’s put our dollars into something else. Like getting people on bicycles, the solution to many, (If not all) of the world’s problems.

Heck, just get one pro team to eat one less fancy pro team dinner, I’ll make some good stuff happen. How many miles of infrastructure would one prima-donna racers salary pay for?

Fuck racing and support bicycle infrastructure dammit!

Welcome! I Gotta Floggin BLOG!

Someone else said it first, but those words have been stuck in me head for some time. I want to make something of it, at the very least a little flog where I can share myself outside of my day-to-day constraints, who knows where it could go from there. Maybe I need to start a church so I can do bad things and use that old excuse that a “Higher being” “Told me to do it”, more likely I will use it to praise a few of my favorite things that rotate. Like bicycle wheels. Any one that knows me knows I am into bikes. I want to talk about bikes, tell people about bikes, be bikes.

But there are other diversions. I like pinball for example, another pastime involving rotating masses. And motorcycles, I have two right now. And cars. Yea, as much as I think that bicycles are the solution to all the world’s problems, a red-blooded American boy can’t go through life with out liken some sweet machines now can he? Then there’s skateboards and motorcycles. And let’s not forget billiards, ping-pong and Bocce. Might get into those subjects as well.

But the biggest rotating mass is that big blue ball we’re all sitting on, planet earth. Now I ain’t gonna get all preachy on ya, but this place does hold a warm spot in my heart for sure. And I might want to leave something for my young one after I have personally burned up all the fossil fools with my V-10 powered Hot Rod.

There ya have it.

I urge you to worship at the church of your choice, whatever day of the week suits your fancy.

Father Maurice