Why we (probably) won’t be making a themed women’s issue of Singletrack Magazine

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As part of our Members’ Newsletter we give our readers the chance to ask us questions about what we do. Not all of them are quite so in depth as this, and some questions get answered in the newsletter. This question, however, requires a rather long answer, so rather than make a humungous newsletter, I thought I’d answer this here. ‘Would you consider doing a women only issue – so every article and advert only features female riders (Rouleur did it two years ago and apparently the initial run sold out)?’ The short answer is never say never, but probably...

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Hannah Dobson

Managing Editor

I came to Singletrack having decided there must be more to life than meetings. I like all bikes, but especially unusual ones. More than bikes, I like what bikes do. I think that they link people and places; that cycling creates a connection between us and our environment; bikes create communities; deliver freedom; bring joy; and improve fitness. They're environmentally friendly and create friendly environments. I try to write about all these things in the hope that others might discover the joy of bikes too.

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  • This topic has 22 replies, 18 voices, and was last updated 1 year ago by fatmax.
Viewing 22 posts - 1 through 22 (of 22 total)
  • Why we (probably) won’t be making a themed women’s issue of Singletrack Magazine
  • cynic-al
    Full Member

    Interesting and I get it.

    Maybe have an “outliers” (there’s probably a better name) section in each mag?

    Full Member

    The trick to truly structural and cultural change is to have these articles by women in every issue, or on the website site every week. Unless your themed issue is a pathway to making that happen, I personally think it’s more of a publicity stunt than a game changer

    ^ this.
    Please keep doing what you do, cover the breadth and depth of MTB and related stories, taking great pictures and making inspiring stories for all.

    Full Member

    I think this is absolutely right, whether it’s a story of an up an coming female enduro rider or a group ride with mixed or two men on an epic….. it really doesn’t matter. It’s all bikes, just bikes and biking, keep up the great work team!

    Full Member

    @cynic-al Outliers? I really don’t understand what you mean here. I decided I’m going to put my two bob in on this as an F.B.U. fairness at work/equal opportunities observer for many years. However, it’s a subject that is best discussed in daylight hours with a cup of tea and a slice of cake!

    Full Member

    Yeah outliers not the best word. I just mean the type of stuff they might want to theme issues about.

    Full Member

    I get that including articles by/for/about women in the mag is and should be the norm, and you know your market better, but I have no problem with the idea of an issue solely dedicated to women, to attract those who maybe wouldn’t normally look at the mag perhaps?

    Just floating an alternative viewpoint. If you can’t afford to lose the neanderthal readership then fair enough. Women do amazing things across all aspects of cycling, if a one off issue gets them publicity and raises the profile and maybe reaches and inspires other women and girls, I’d back it happily.

    The fact that you’re even having this conversation and being open with your thought processes is good to see.

    Free Member

    The trick to truly structural and cultural change is to have these articles by women in every issue, or on the website site every week. Unless your themed issue is a pathway to making that happen, I personally think it’s more of a publicity stunt than a game changer

    Yes, this. Making an issue (arf!) of something doesn’t help to normalise it, it just serves to make it more ‘other’ and gives idiots more reasons to be idiots. Be inclusive by not having exclusives (you can use that if you like!)

    Full Member

    I agree with that and on your take Hannah.
    As cyclists / people who ride bikes, we’re often a collection of outsiders in some way or other; which actually makes us all insiders really doesn’t it!?!

    Just keep writing / doing good stuff….simples 😆

    Full Member

    This subject of having a women only edition is quite interesting. I’ve always thought that STW magazine has been an outsider in the cycling magazine and cycle industry in the way that it appears inclusive to both genders.
    However, I do think that the bike industry as a whole is dominated by white men and cycling as a leisure pursuit by white men with reasonable “disposable” income. The question is, how do we encourage more people from disadvantaged and different ethnicities to enjoy the freedom and fun that a bicycle can bring?
    During the first lockdown I was inundated with people from disadvantaged backgrounds who needed their bicycles to get to work and avoid public transport. I got their bikes running and safe, often for nothing, pointed out training schemes and gave them the Chesterfield Cycle Campaign maps. The smiles on their faces were something to see, hopefully they’re still cycling! There are lots of schemes around the country that recycle bikes and distribute them but I’m not sure how far their “market penetration” goes. Sometimes magazines may put off prospective cyclists by giving too great an emphasis to the need to have the latest gear and spend most of your time doing jumps, I stopped reading most of them due to the macho nonsense – show us your injuries etc.
    Which brings me to Issue 141. The articles about Hattie Harnden and the Minehead club can’t help but enthuse beginners, but in particular Pilgrim’s Regress, normal people on normal bikes – not a strap-on in sight!
    Now, STW, how do you encourage more ethnicities into cycling?

    Full Member

    it appears inclusive to both genders.

    How many genders?

    Full Member

    Both biological sexes better?!!

    Full Member

    You tell me. I’ve not been..

     an F.B.U. fairness at work/equal opportunities observer for many years.


    Full Member

    Retired in 2010 though, things have moved on, rapidly! I sense a rabbit hole coming along and lot’s of people diving down?

    Full Member

    Shouldn’t it be ‘gender spectrum’?

    Two genders is very 2010….

    Full Member

    I guess the question you need to ask is why would you do it, what is the benefit, and i mean real benefit, not just the benefit being that you can do it.

    Personally i find ST magazine articles, reviews, etc are pretty much for all, how many folk have read a article and thought ‘that’s men only stuff’, honestly, ask the question, what is the benefit and why do it if you’re contemplating it.

    Full Member

    Theres no handbag section ?.
    No wait, i meant er…er…manbag, NO.. thats not it. ummm er…. Bike pack. Yes thats it….plausible.

    Theres no section on bike packs 😀

    I think i’ve got away with that one … 😳

    Full Member

    If gender-based inequality didn’t exist – you wouldn’t need a woman-focussed issue. Unfortunately it does, so:

    themed issue is a pathway to making that happen,

    Sounds a great idea to me. I’m just as interested in hearing about the exploits of women as men.

    Full Member

    Hannah’s article convinced me to keep paying the subscription

    on a practical level if you do a themed edition you risk the following edition having no theme content so it looks like the pendulum swinging backwards

    Full Member

    A ‘the joy of fat bikes’ themed issue – I’m in!! But it better be twice as thick….

    Free Member

    Ha. It tickles me that this is a “members feature”

    Hur hur. Members.

    I would buy a Ladies only issue. I might even argue that people who would be put off ST by a ladies issue are no great loss to the community.
    But you do you. Its all good.

    Full Member

    What a great article and approach. STW does seem to be a making strides both in the magazine, and to a lesser extend on the forum.

    I do wonder if this sort of thing might be the marker of a society properly on the way to change. For me the watershed moment will be when ‘Woman’s Hour’ on R4 is rebranded or the content is disseminated into different programmes. Not that then content is not needed/wanted but it does not need the flag waving above it to say this is safe content made just for you little ladies, away from the ‘manly’ talk of complicated things about politics or numbers.

    Full Member

    Well reasoned and articulate writing from Hannah, as ever.
    From Jenn onwards I’ve always thought that STW was a very female friendly and inclusive mag and female content has been a cornerstone of it.

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