Letter from the editor: Escape on two wheels

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CyclingTips readers,

Whenever and wherever possible, CyclingTips is going to embrace the stories that allow your imagination to wander, even if your body can’t.

There’s a browser tab that sits open on my laptop all day. On it, the live analytics from CyclingTips.com tick over, second by second. I can see how many of you are on the site, where readers are, how they got there. I can see when stories spike, and when they fall flat. I can see, in real time, what captivates you. Every time we put a coronavirus story up, you are not captivated.

This was confounding, at first. These are major news events. But the explanation was right in front of us. Now, more than ever, we all need opportunities to remove ourselves from the endless thrum of pandemic, if only for a short time.

I want CyclingTips to be that place for you. We’re not doctors or nurses; we can’t save lives (except by staying home, which we’re all doing). This is our contribution to mental health, both yours and ours.

Dreaming of a new gravel bike? We got you. Want to scroll through a pile of beautiful photos from a place you’ve never been, but might go someday? Scroll away. Maybe you just want to think about bike pumps instead of pandemic for five minutes. You’ve come to the right place.

I told our writers in last week’s editorial meeting to let their freak flags fly, and they’re taking me up on it. I hope you had fun with our Choose Your Own Adventure story, racing through a Milan San-Remo that never happened. We’re already planning one for Flanders. If the Tour de France gets canceled, we want to write a fictionalized version, using the real route and real riders, even the real weather that day. This week, you’ll get to vote on a March Madness-style bike race bracket.

It took two CT staff, Iain Treloar and Matt de Neef, the better part of a week to put together the Choose Your Own Adventure piece. We’re able to double down on these sorts of resource-intensive stories, plus increase reviews, how-tos, and other tech coverage, because of you, our audience. Your support, particularly that of our VeloClub members, is crucial right now. If you find value in what we do, in the escape we provide, please consider joining.

Stay safe, stay healthy. Here’s to the Beauty of Cycling. Inside or outside, that can never be taken away.

Caley Fretz

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