When it comes to long-form journalism on bicycles, there aren’t many outlets. I’ve positioned RKP as one—very deliberately, I might add. There’s also Peloton Magazine. The other real option for a writer hoping to publish a piece upward of 3000 words—and this may come as a surprise—is Bicycling Magazine. I see plenty of snarky comments about Bicycling on social media for their how-tos and listicles, but I’m not sure how many dedicated cyclists have really looked closely at the magazine in the past few years.
Beginning with Peter Flax’ tenure as the editor, the magazine made a big shift toward more long-form work and toward the interest of dedicated cyclists. It didn’t read like it assumed you’d been a cyclist for a single year. It took yet another step away from newbyhood when Bill Strickland took over as editor. If you haven’t listened to Fatty’s interview with Bill on the Fattycast, I suggest you do. It’s a terrific discussion of craft and of cycling. He also explained how he sat down with the brass at Rodale and asked them to let him and the staff create a bike magazine they wanted to read, to write as cyclists for cyclists. And they let him.
I’ve been wanting to write about flow states for a broader audience, to have a chance to talk about flow and how perfectly suited cycling is to achieving it, and I decided to approach Strickland about doing a feature for Bicycling. He bit.
The piece is out now, in the June issue of the mag, which just hit newsstands. Senior Editor Gloria Liu edited the feature. She brought a deft touch and boatloads of insight. Without her efforts the piece wouldn’t be nearly as good. Another big nod to Design Director Jesse Southerland who let me regale him with the wonder that is flow over dinner one night at Interbike. Lucky me that I happened to be seated next to him. Lucky you that it inspired him to get creative with the art.
Readers of RKP will be familiar with the themes, but not all of the science I go into in the feature. I connect some dots that will surprise any cyclist, I hope. Yuri Hauswald also goes into some depth about his win at Dirty Kanzaa.
I hope you’ll give the feature a read, and after that, I hope you’ll check out the rest of the magazine. This is not the Bicycling you stopped reading in the 1990s.