Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Sorry for the week of no posts. I've been thinking...

I started writing about cycling for California Bicyclist and Winning in the spring of 1983, so I’ve been doing it for 25 years almost to the month. In that time, I have had maybe 20 editors – more accurately people who dealt with the business of producing publications.

Only a few have returned my emails, even simply to acknowledge that they had received some piece I’d written and to assure me that they would read it when they had time. Some, I’m convinced, did not glance at the pieces until deadlines loomed. They were busy.

Only one or two worked with me to make the pieces better. The writer/editor relationship that you imagine is scarce indeed. And fleeting. Editors have other priorities.

Often, if they did read the pieces, they took clean, fussed-over copy and inserted errors, making me look and feel like a fool. This has happened countless times. Not once did an editor apologize to me or explain to the reader that the error was not mine.

I have never done well with this sort of casual treatment. I have also never made much money, certainly not enough to wait for email responses that never came or to put up with editorial sabotage.

I have decided that 25 years of this is enough. I will no longer contribute articles to editors of cycling publications – with one exception.

The exception in my cluster of editors is Claire Bonin of the Bicycle Paper in Seattle. The BP pays me in pennies but Ms Bonin is a prompt and thoughtful correspondent. She makes it worthwhile for me to continue with the BP.

I will continue to write about cycling for my blog and the Bicycle Paper, and about motorcycling for CityBike, Motorcycle Sport and Leisure, and Classic Motorcycle Mechanics.


blackmountaincycles said...

Their loss is our gain. Looking forward to more great posts (and reposts of older articles).

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure those editors will notice your absence. Maynard, there's a reason they haven't been calling.

VC Slim said...

We always enjoyed running your stories in the Violet Crown News. I'm glad to have found this site and that you update it frequently. Congrats on your semi-retirement.

Happy trails,
Greg Hall

Nick Sakes said...

What?! I just found you, Uncle Maynard!

This is sad.

Anonymous said...

Maynard, wherever you are, I'll be there. Thanks for your enlightening columns.

Kirk said...

The posts/articles have made me smile, caused tears to well, and crystallized memories, thanks for taking the time to put pen to paper (or hands to the keyboard).

(You may/may not remember me, I was one of the taller riders on the Jelly Belly Team (and rode a year on the previous team), I still vividly remember you finding me water at the top of the Mogollon, thanks again for that, for all the "service" throughout the years, and always taking the time to say hello.)

Kirk Albers

John In Colorado said...

i've been reading your stuff for a long time - as long as i can remember reading bike mags. (did you write an article a long time ago about chasing mr. black socks?)
i'm sorry that editors are busy and they suck somewhat. i guess it's not worth the hassle to you anymore.
i'll keep reading from here.
gotta get off my butt and out in the bike....

Mauricio Babilonia said...

It's the cycling world's loss, Maynard. I always enjoyed reading your columns.

Oh, and anonymous May 14, you can blow it out your anonymous chickenscratch bottom bracket drainhole.