Monday, May 22, 2023

Well, that was quick!


Regular readers might remember we noted a new cycling website debuting a few months back? One rising from the ashes left when Outside bought up a bunch of 'em and started doing the "vulture capitalist" thing - combining 'em and handing out pink-slips to most of the talented people who created or wrote for them.

Zio Lorenzo liked the writing of some of them and wanted to give a middle-finger salute to the Outside folks so he tossed the $99 they asked for into the hat. Enough of us did to make them actually launch the thing just before Milano-Sanremo.

Zio had hopes they might do something different since the entire idea was based on subscriptions rather than advertising. They promised as much with lots of talk of what they could do with a site not in any way compromised by a relation to or need for advertising revenue.

Sadly, nothing much changed. Zio thinks part of the reason was the fact that all these people grew up under the advertising model. For too many over the years in the cycling-enthusiast press the goal seemed to be to kiss-up to one of the larger advertisers long enough to get hired by one of 'em as a PR hack. Anyone familiar with recent editors of Velonews, etc. can see their names now listed as just that for a bike company, component maker, etc.

ESCAPE seemed to grovel at the feet of the industry mostly by habit Zio guesses? Worse maybe was the clubby, "you are what you buy" culture in their comments sections where readers would receive atta-boy comments when recounting whatever it was they bought and how they used it. Zio made comments critical of this practice and wrote a few emails to the editor/publisher questioning whether this was what he'd paid $99 for? There was no response.

The final straw was this morning's email from these folks inviting me to pony-up to buy a shirt from them. Why? To support a retired journo friend's Race Across America effort. Really? Not for a guy who has fallen on hard times with health problems, not for victims of flooding in Australia or Emilia-Romagna, tornadoes in the USA or war in Ukraine or famine in Africa, but one of their journo crony's more-or-less cycling vacation!

Is there a better example of the self-centered, navel-gazing cycling community than this? That was it for Zio, posting a "How can you be so tone-deaf?" comment on their website, prompting an almost instant ban on his comments there.

No problem! Cancel Zio's subscription and since whatever's left of his $99 is yours, YOU can donate it to this "worthy" cause!

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