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.