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Welcome to the Cycling Active website

Singlespeed convertor for Campagnolo

Interesting but not that much

After 14 issues of publishing Cycling Active magazine in the UK we thought we’d better get our website sorted.

While the monthly printed format gives us opportunities to get lovely and arty – and we still don’t think you can beat a magazine for reading on the train – there’s no doubt that this instant interwebby medium opens up lots of fun potential.

It’s maddening when we hear and see things that it would be great to tell you now and worse when we see the story on other publishers’ web sites half an hour later.

Yes, we’re realistic that there are other cycling sites out there and most of them are brilliant depending on your particular passion for £5,000 carbon racers or whatever. We think that the more experienced you already are and the more specific and in-depth your requirements, the better you’re served.

The problem is that there are many people who don’t know or even care that much about cycling and find the coverage in most cycling magazines and websites impenetrable in the extreme. They – you? – just want to cycle more, get some information, and not feel spoken down to.

As we have tried to do in the magazine, Cycling Active‘s website will use normal language and we’ll try to remember that cycling is just part of your life and by no means the most important.

We’ll sometimes fail miserably, of course, not least because we’re literally surrounded by other cycling writers, designers and photographers all busily putting together Cycling Weekly, Cyclesport and mbr and we’ll get carried away with enthusiasm for the next exciting ride or shiny widget. You’ll tell us we’re sure because you can leave comments at the end of each post and that will hopefully keep us in line.

Mainly, though, we’re hoping that apart from praising our priceless prose and sparkly pics to the skies, you’ll be asking questions which will help you to get more from your cycling.

Most of us working on the magazine and site have been riding bikes long enough that we’ve raced, commuted to work, crashed mountain bikes and tootled around in town so we’re really not too obsessed with any category as long as it involves bicycles and that more people are riding them. We simply love cycling and hope to be able to help you love it, too.

If our snail mail post bag is anything to go by, we already have some lovely followers who will tease, giggle and generally enter into the spirit of the thing.

Certainly, some of our happiest moments have been in riding with a few friends to a cafe and chatting about anything and everything including saddles, cheese, hills, chain oil, gear ratios and which shorts are the most comfortable. Fancy coming?

Robert, Luke, Matt, Rebecca, Ben, Jim & Nick

5 Comments

  • Martin Fitzpatrick says:

    First of all, can I say how good it is to see you on the web? As you mention in your “Welcome to the Cycling Active website” article, there are times when the immediacy of web and email communications just can’t be beaten.

    May I also take the liberty of making a couple of suggestions? Having recently taken part in a review of my own company’s website, I know that it can be hard to see your new creation from a 3rd party perspective, so I’d like to present that perspective to you if I may.

    The first thing I would mention is that the main thing that makes people love or hate websites is accessibility, by which I mean the ease of finding ‘stuff’. Many webmasters concentrate on getting material onto the website, which is good, but they don’t think about how people will find it once it’s there. Take, for instance, your “Welcome to the Cycling Active website” article. It’s a nice article, good editorial tone, all the rest, lovely. However, to get to it the reader needs to go to the News tab (not the Home tab as one might expect) and even then it’s the second article down; next week it might be the tenth. Which isn’t the worst thing in the world, but to my eye it seems to point to people thinking more about getting the article in there than about how to get it back out. Maybe a small change in approach, starting now, could make for a website that will grow and grow in popularity as time goes on, rather than just being ‘alright’.

    The second thing I would like to suggest (and I suspect that you might be working on this already) is a ‘forum’ section. We’re all out here clocking up hours of experience on all the topics you cover in the mag, and we’ve got something to say! Ideas, questions, tips & tricks, they’re all out here if we only had a voice to share them. I know it’s a big piece of work, but it invaluable to us cyclists/readers and (nudge, nudge) will also tie in your readership to feeling they have a share in the magazine- which can only be good for subscriptions!

    Good luck for the future- though, if the content of your website lives up to the excellence of the magazine, you probably won’t need it!

    Regards,
    Martin.

  • Nick Rearden says:

    Martin, thanks, kind comments and thanks for the suggestions. On point 1, we’ve been debating that precise point which is how prominent to make that ‘welcome’ because we can move it around at will although it rather get buried today on the home page by a large influx of bike reviews. I’ve moved it up a bit! You’re right.

    On the second issue, we have talked about a forum having had some considerable experience with our Cycling Weekly site http://forums.cyclingweekly.co.uk/ubbthreads.php plus there are loads of others.

    Our hope with Cycling Active is that the forum is these comments on the bottom of articles. The advantage then is that the topics usually, but not necessarily, will be on the subject of the story so that, say, someone interested in cycling with a replacement hip will gravite towards an article on that theme.

    It’s early days, we’ll see. But this is a start and thanks for being so ahead of the game.

  • Simon Adams says:

    Good to see the online presence. I have been enjoying the magazine and cycling so much for the last 18 months my motorbike is going to be sold to make way for a nice new rohloff equiped touring bike very soon.

    keep up the good work.

    Simon

  • Nick Rearden says:

    Thanks, Simon, very kind. Rohloff lovely and the less expensive Shimano 11-speed is starting to appear more widely. Don’t think you’ll beat the Rohloff for sheer durability, though.

  • sean walsh says:

    I wonder if you have any plans to reproduce the logo you use for your “cyclists fighting cancer” articles, as cloth patchs/pin badges to help fund their cause.I think the design is perfect for the job.
    All the best with the mag’ and website for the future.

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