Dirt Rag: Six Feet Under

I don’t know what to say here, other than this is another drab day for cycling journalism. Growing up in the midwest during the 80’s, I loved riding my bike but didn’t really know about what was really out there until copies of the stalwart cycling publications of the day started showing up on the publication racks of our local supermarket. My knowledge, and love, of cycling expanded with every flip of the page, and this has remained the case to the moment of this writing. There is no substitution for the feel of a print magazine, the back page ink migrating to grimy fingers as every picture, word, advertisement etched in the mind after countless thumbings-through. There will also be no substitution (or replacement) for Dirt Rag magazine.

Dirt Rag magazine was cut from a different cloth as it were, a publication well ahead of trends such as 29’ers, gravel racing, and they put on their own festival, Dirt Fest, which celebrated all things dirty. Their covers were spectacular and often true art, featuring incredible illustrations by artist Ryan Inzana. Their editorial section was pretty legendary, and they even gave my good friend Guitar Ted his start in Bike Writing back in another century. (shout out to GT!) I’m disappointed to see that they will not be switching to at least a digital-only format, but absolutely respect their decision to be done when they want to be done and not try gently gliding into a digital finish line somewhere down the road.

Its sister publication, Bicycle Times, was one of my modern day favorites and covered all the fringe “disciplines” others skimmed over: Commuting, Cargo Bikes, Gravel, Touring, and more. Bicycle Times sadly went by the print wayside a few years back, beginning a short stint as digital-only, which I imagine bolstered the decision to skip this step with Dirt Rag and exit the world gracefully. Thank you, Dirt Rag, for 30 years of dirty journalism, and for all that you have done for the cycling community, journalism, and the sport. Love y’all.

Published by wiz

Nomadic Wizard, First of Their Name, Two-Wheeled Tourer of Earthen Worlds, Destroyer of Equipment, Salty of Word. Vicariously ride through the mountains and deserts of this mortal realm via the scritch-scratching of my modern-day petroglyphics.

2 thoughts on “Dirt Rag: Six Feet Under

  1. A comment- (YES! A real comment on the blog) When I think about this, I have mixed feelings because I think- and maybe I am wrong here- but people like me helped usher out print media. It doesn’t feel good to say that, because I- much like you- love magazines. I recently subscribed to the Fretboard Journal, so yes- I still get mags when it is something I am interested in. But yeah….. This subject bothers me, and I don’t have the space here to share what I am thinking, but it all stems from that feeling that I had something to do with this, if that makes any sense. It sounds like maybe I’m grandstanding or whatever, but that isn’t where I am coming from.


    1. THANK YOU FOR MY FIRET COMMENT! There is merit to what you’re saying, and I hadn’t thought about it that way. You can provide a much more immediate turnaround on information, reviews, editorials, all in the same realm and without having to answer to advertisers (side eye glance at Bicycling). It’s hard to compete with that, and I can imagine trying to sell advertising in print magazines is getting more difficult by the day and in a way contributed to the demise.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: