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
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.