An Amusement & Diversion for The Genteel Cyclist. Daily.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Dirt Rag: W'appened? The writing on the wall...




On the Dirt Rag sitch: I am going to read between the lines here, and use my spidey sense, developed over long years on the bike and in the publishing industry.

Brad and Jeff (a) wanted a piece (or a bigger piece) of ownership in Dirt Rag World Enterprises; (b) saw the opportunity to create a new title for DRWE; (c) created Urban Cyclist to do both, in spite of the fact that Ownership did not go along with the idea.

Ownership (Michael? Maurice? Whoever) wanted to keep their eyes on the prize, and stay focused on the Flagship Title. They did not see the need for a new spinoff publication. The impulse to create Urban Cyclist ought to have been turned into an impulse to keep Dirt Rag hip and urbane.

Here's a slightly more cynical take: Ownership doesn't like new, possibly lucrative ideas coming from uppity employees using their computers to create an unauthorized new 'zine, no matter how street it might be. Doing that when you're told not to is a recipe for obtuse legalese like "diverting company resources."

I can certainly see both points. Dirt Rag is a hoary old success story, and I'm a little surprised they haven't branched out a bit more into other titles and offerings. It gives them some level of street cred, I suppose. But: There is very little money to be made in publishing magazines, you simply don't make enough dough to feed a family of five or more. The fact that Dirt Rag's masthead is as shallow as it is tells me either that they do not make much money and never have, or else Ownership is shitting in tall clover while the rank and file wallows in the sty, or else they spend their money in interesting and noble ways, like sending Maurice on a national tour every summer to hit every major bike festival in the land with a smile and a cold brew and lots of black merch.

I have no idea what I'm talking about, this is merely speculation on my part.

Bike porn: The Honyocker's commuter. Fenders held on with 5-minute permanent epoxy, no shit.

4 comments:

verlaine said...

OK I give up, what are the bar-end shifters attached to? Invisible derailleurs?

The Honyocker said...

Those fuckers are stuck in the ends of the bar.

But they are now a sort of adjustable windfoil, like you see on the ends of Northwest Airlines wings.

The Honyocker said...

Er. No, those are my light switches.

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