signpost chipps singletrack world magazine

Cost of living crisis and Singletrack – An appeal

by 260

We are under some pressure and we thought you should know about it now before it gets worse and things get harder.

mark headshot staff

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

The cost of living crisis is affecting everyone and the cost of doing business here at Singletrack is not immune. Postage costs and print and paper costs have risen as have all other aspects of the business. Don’t worry! We have no plans to stop printing Singletrack, despite the fact the costs of printing have jumped up almost 20% in 18 months and are forecast to go even higher over the next 12.

What this does do, of course, is apply a great deal of pressure to the eventual price we sell everything from memberships to merch. That pressure is becoming pretty unbearable. We haven’t put up any of our prices so far and we are trying every trick in our arsenal of cunning to avoid doing it going forward. Putting up the cost of a membership across the board will be hardest felt by those of you who can afford it the least and so we want to do something else instead and we need your help.

First of all, if you can afford to then we appeal to you to become a full member. Digital or print & digital, it really makes little difference. The more members we have the more of the price increases we can absorb. In short we can afford a smaller margin on each thing we sell if we sell more of them.

Secondly, and again, if it’s affordable, have a look through our merch and know that every t-shirt sold helps us keep the rest of the business running. 

And thirdly, and only for those that can really afford it, there’s the simple act of making a donation. 

You can make a simple one off donation by clicking the button above or, if you like, you can add a regular donation of your choosing to your existing annual payment by dropping Zoe an email at..

Singletrack is a community that has grown over 21 years to become more than just a business. It’s a place where many of you come when things are tough and the compassion that we have all witnessed over the years when one of us is in trouble is truly humbling. It feels like it’s not just ours and hasn’t done for a long time – and that’s the mark of a real community. No one can own a community. By definition it belongs to everyone who supports it.

We have never been driven by making a profit. We’ve been driven to be sustainable and just to continue to exist – Of course, profit is necessary in order to exist but to me that just means profit is a tool to be used in order to reach the main goal of sustainability – profit is not the ultimate goal here. Over the years Singletrack has employed several dozen people, providing a steady income. For me personally as a co-owner of the business that gives me a great sense of satisfaction. My greatest wish right now is that we continue to be an employer. That we don’t have to downsize and cut costs in order to continue to exist. That we continue to be a different business to all the others in our market and that we continue to be a community of people who love what we do day in, day out.

If you are in the position of having to cut back on your outgoings then we do not want to be a contributing factor to the position you find you are in through no fault of your own. Cancel your membership if you have to. You will always be welcomed back if you choose to return when things are more comfortable and the community will be there for you whether you pay in to it or not. If it will help then speak to Zoe who can help with downgrading from print to digital to save you some cash.

But if you can, then we urge you to join us – we need you. We need more people like you and so if you could spread the word and encourage others to come and pop by that would be brilliant too. And if you spot a newbie to the community, help them out. Welcome them and make them feel at home.

We have plans.

The best way to ensure sustainability is to adapt and there are changes on the way. First of all, there’s a new look to the website coming. The decorators are in and in the next few weeks we will be launching the new site theme. We hope you are going to like it – it will organise our content better and make it easier to find stuff.

Then come some technical developments including fixing the site search, some nice new features for everyone and a bunch of full members only benefits and very useful products. 

We are already migrating our downloads area to a new, much more streamlined system that will not only make it easier to find archived features and issues but also improve the speed and stability of the website.

The magazine itself is going to change. For our loyal print fans we think we have found a way to make it not only better but also more sustainable. We have some paper changes coming that we think you are going to like and Amanda is already working on a new layout and design that we are all quite excited about.

We have more plans in the pipeline too for you all, but rather than leave things until they are a major financial problem I thought I’d avoid that awful moment down the line where I have to make some really tough decisions only to have you guys say things like, ‘Why didn’t you say something earlier?’. That’s common in business. Things get left until it’s too late because of things like shame, or fear of looking weak. Well, I think over the last 21 years we’ve come to know each other well enough that I can avoid that. And so I’m speaking up now, while it’s not too late to do anything about the tough times ahead.

We appreciate every one of you, from casual visitors to our squad of life members. Everyone who visits Singletrack is a contributor to our future. 

Cheers

Mark

Publisher/Co-founder on behalf of the whole Singletrack team

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Viewing 40 posts - 201 through 240 (of 260 total)
  • Cost of living crisis and Singletrack – An appeal
  • vondally
    Free Member

    Just a random comment but my interaction today with the stw team was fab, and reminded me what stw was, and is about. Thanks

    johnjn2000
    Full Member

    After buying and tasting the coffee I have now paused my Pact coffee subscription and will be buying from STW – Purveyors of Fine Coffee

    notsospeedychix
    Full Member

    I’m a huge fan of print and hope that the critical mass required to continue to support both the magazine and all of the great editorial content in it is able to survive and thrive. I’m a subscriber from the US (and would understand a price increase). Will encourage other locals to consider making the addition of a digital or print sub to their reading. Another favorite pub was recently consumed in a large venture purchase and almost immediately put out of production. A huge loss.

    pondo
    Full Member

    Membership upgraded. 🙂 Do I have to cancel my digital only subscription, or has that just been upgraded?

    v7fmp
    Full Member

    plan is to subscribe come pay day.

    johnjn2000
    Full Member

    I was going to donate some cash however thought that there might be a better way. If there is anyone out there who genuinely can’t afford a digital subscription but really wants one, let me know and I will gift it. Same price as the donation I was going to make but double the benfits I am thinking.

    A one time offer, I am not Elon Musk

    the-muffin-man
    Full Member

    Live Q&A?…

    …how about getting the forum big-hitters to have a scrap on Todmorden rec once a month. You could make it pay-per-view! 🙂

    “…and Binners takes out TJ with a Greggs steak bake – things just got messy!”.

    bearnecessities
    Full Member

    “And a stale pork pie caught him in the eye and Ernie bit the dust”

    jhinwxm
    Free Member

    Any discount codes?

    duncancallum
    Full Member

    Geoff had some new finery coming

    Cougar
    Full Member

    “…and Binners takes out TJ with a Greggs steak bake – things just got messy!”.

    Highly implausible. You really think Binners would waste food?

    mogrim
    Full Member

    Renewed. I was a member previously, then my credit card expired and I decided to make the most of it to cut down on recurring fees – none of them huge, but bit by bit they all add up. But given I do read STW most days it seems only fair to sign up again!

    boxelder
    Full Member

    £39/yr Print+ – struggle to buy a half decent tyre for that.
    I was thinking of cancelling my sub, after probably 15+ yrs, but you’ve convinced me to find the saving elsewhere.
    Don’t really need a new tyre anyway.

    Mark
    Full Member

    Thanks for sticking with us @boxelder 🙂

    Rubber_Buccaneer
    Full Member

    “And a stale pork pie caught him in the eye and Ernie bit the dust”

    😀 Two reasons I LOL’d at that, one I’m old enough to remember the song and two I once looked in one of the political threads

    goforest
    Full Member

    Hang in there Guys and Girls your mag news letters and brings so much to us

    Paul

    crazyjenkins01
    Full Member

    I’m currently on a digital sub, paying monthly.

    Anyone know if I can I upgrade to Print and pay the rest of the year sub in one hit?

    Mark
    Full Member

    Drop Zoe an email on subs@singletrackworld.com and she can help.

    Cougar
    Full Member

    I’m old enough to remember the song

    Doh, I missed that. Number 1 when I was born, that.

    crazyjenkins01
    Full Member

    Thanks Mark

    thenorthwind
    Full Member

    I’ve just “donated” £20, but it’s not a really a donation. I shall explain…

    Earlier in the year, I wanted to downgrade to digital only to save a bit of money, only I was too slow and it auto-renewed, so I had to contact STW Towers. I mentioned I wasn’t working as a reason, mainly so they wouldn’t think I thought the mag was s**t. That’s true, but only because I quit my job to have a few months off, so entirely my choice.

    Zoe reduced my payment, but insisted on still sending me the mag, despite me explaining and trying to refuse, purely out of concern that I was unemployed and needed the mag to help me through.

    I didn’t mention this on here at the time, not wanting someone to read it and try it on (this being an open forum), but here we are now. I’ve paid for the sub I’m still getting, and hopefully other people will see from this the kind of people them at STW are, and that it’s not hollow words about “community” etc.

    The gesture meant far more than the magazine does, even though I wasn’t really in need.

    aide
    Full Member

    Donated a wee amount to the pot. Keep up the good work at STW towers folks. Would hate to lose this place

    Markie
    Full Member

    I’m torn. STW has been a part of my life for decades. I’ve been a buyer then subscriber, on and off, through that time. A recent political (for want of a better word) declaration by the magazine was IMO so negative that I felt I had no choice but to cancel my subscription. Others apparently felt the same and, having posted to this effect, were told by those close to STW that their money was neither wanted nor missed. I’d like the forum to continue and understand it’s intrinsically linked to the magazine and staff. Like I said, I’m torn.

    frankconway
    Full Member

    Just made a one-off donation and will follow-up with a more modest monthly donation.
    I wish there was more in Charlie’s shop which appealed…bum butter received, Hackney GT top out of stock, will order some coffee.
    Any update on re-stocking the Hackney top?
    Markie – refresh my memory about the ‘political declaration’ you refer to.

    benos
    Free Member

    @markie I cancelled my subscription because of that. I like the magazine a lot and the forum a great deal, but I think I’m not as torn as you because I only discovered it and subscribed in lockdown.

    Of course I understand others feel differently, but as I see it STW has chosen to become politically active in a way that discriminates against women and will be detrimental to my daughter’s chances as she grows up. I don’t want to help them by giving them my own money. Obviously I’m still helping them with my clicks, but that’s as much as I’m prepared to do while using the forum.

    frankconway
    Full Member

    Markie – ah, that one.

    benos
    Free Member

    I shouldn’t have gone into details – I don’t want to rekindle that discussion and won’t say any more here. To put it more as Markie did, if a previously apolitical organisation you support in some way decides to become politically active on an issue, then your own politics become a factor.

    pondo
    Full Member

    Is supporting inclusion and diversity political?

    Markie
    Full Member

    The thread linked above is prob the right place to carry on a conversation about the claim that allowing men into women’s spaces is supporting inclusivity and diversity.

    pondo
    Full Member

    You brought it up but ok – great, thanks.

    too bloody old
    Free Member

    I love and respect the first line ..”Estimated reading time : 8: mins. Thats so polite !

    funkmasterp
    Full Member

    Is it possible to pay a bit more for your sub? Buy the crazy Piñata gloves, they’re ace! Also the innertube belt and the shirts!

    Mark
    Full Member

    We are working o a solution for that. But in the meantime you can drop Zoe an email and she’ll adjust your existing payment manually. Subs@singletrackworld.com

    BruceWee
    Full Member

    I don’t think I ever talked about my feelings on the ‘political’ statement that STW made so I’m going to do that now.

    I subscribed because because I wanted to read the article on Jamie Hibbard back in issue 139. I remember him suddenly disappearing from the scene and thinking that was a bit odd but I didn’t realise the levels of homophobic hate mail he was getting or that he was getting abused in the street and on the trails for being gay.

    Ironic, given the fact he was entirely hetrosexual, at least as far as I know.

    This brings me to why I think the statement STW made was so important. Back in the 90s it wasn’t enough to just be straight if you wanted to avoid homophobic abuse. You had to ‘appear’ straight at all times.

    In the UK now the country is drifting towards a stance where more and more limits are going to be imposed on trans people. This is not going to stop with trans people.

    If you are going to put up barriers people are going to feel it is their duty to police these barriers. It won’t be enough to simply ‘be’ cis-gender. You will also have to appear cisgender at all times.

    Many of the comments in support of Nadine Dorries talk about protecting our children. They don’t seem to take into account the fact that our children are going to be pressured into ‘appearing’ cis-gender at all times or risk accusations, persecution, and abuse.

    I’m a fairly terrible father in many many ways. One thing that I am at least sure of is that I am going to support my kids no matter how they choose to see themselves. I don’t want my son to have to present himself as ‘masculine’ or my daughter to have to present herself as ‘feminine’ in order to live a quiet life. I want them to grow up to be themselves, nothing more or less.

    This was a really important statement and one that you’ll be able to look back on with pride in 10, 15, or 20 years. I understand how risky it was given the state of the ‘debate’ in the UK right now (it’s worth remembering that the UK is far behind most liberal countries in terms of trans-acceptance).

    I may or may not have renewed my subscription before your statement but you can be sure that I will always renew from now on (assuming you wanted an argumentative **** like me in the first place but you’ve made your bed now 🙂 ).

    crazyjenkins01
    Full Member

    @Mark, I’ve tried to email Zoe as you said. I’ve used the subs@ address and received a mail delivery failure reply. I tried again to make sure and the same happened.

    Anything you can suggest?

    benos
    Free Member

    @BruceWee said (I paraphrase)

    It’s like homophobia, innit?

    No, it’s not. This is about the entitlement of men (which I mean in the sense of human males) to take from women (which I mean in the sense of human females) as they deem fit. Same as it ever was.

    It’s not progressive. It’s sexism upon sexism upon sexism.

    First, you claim that people can be grouped by their female brains. This is Victorian era ‘ladybrain’ bioessentialism with the twist that female brains can now be born in male bodies. Bioessentialism 2.0.

    Second, you claim the name for female-brained people should be the word we currently use for female people – that the word ‘woman’ should be taken from female people, leaving them no word at all to decribe themselves. This is intentional becuse…

    Third, you claim that every right, space and service women that fought for to allow them to particiapte in a male-dominated society now already belongs to men if they want them, because you just redefined ‘woman’ with some semanic slight of hand.

    I cancelled my sub to STW because I don’t wish to fund a men’s rights movement.

    P.S. My son and daughter can each do what they like. What I don’t do is talk about these things in terms of masculinity or femininity, becuase these stereotypes are what we’re trying get away from, right? Not reify as the very definitions of the words man and woman.

    BruceWee
    Full Member

    It’s like homophobia, innit?

    Ah, so you can’t actually make decent arguments against people so you’ve decided to bravely battle strawmen in the name of women everywhere, I see.

    Let’s put aside the stream of consciousness essay where you took idea from one particular branch of feminist theory and tried to pretend it encompassed all forms of feminism (and that you are of course an ardent feminist yourself) and assume for a moment that you are 100% correct.

    If you are going to gatekeep women’s spaces (bathrooms, changing rooms, shelters, sports, etc) to prevent transwomen from invading then you’re going to have to have some way of identifying transwomen. What is your suggestion to separate transwomen from cis-women?

    Are you going to become one of these gatekeepers where you look at less ‘feminine’ women with suspicion and require them to visit a doctor before you will allow them into a women’s only space?

    What is your policy on intersex women going to be? Are you going to have a list of allowable conditions or are you going to be an absolutist and use Markie’s definition from the other thread, thus making Caster Semenya get changed in the men’s changing room?

    So yes, you were right. It is like homophobia in that you are creating a group of ‘others’ who are not always easy to distinguish from those of us who are ‘insiders’. Because these others are not easy to distinguish, people who are actually insiders can come under suspicion of being ‘other’ which means everyone comes under pressure to conform to conventional ideas of masculinity and femininity.

    https://www.advocate.com/business/2015/06/17/detroit-woman-kicked-out-restaurant-bathroom-looking-man-sues

    This is the direction your own particular brand of ‘feminism’ is leading. Women are going to be challenged (mostly by men) in bathrooms, in changing rooms, in shelters, and on the sports field for the crime of not conforming to a definition of feminine largely created by men.

    If you think it’s somehow going to be different in the UK I’d love to hear how.

    tomhoward
    Full Member

    Guys, there’s a thread for this, and it isnt this one.

    Singletrack World Response to Nadine Dorries’ Comments on Trans Athletes

    BruceWee
    Full Member

    They felt the need to make the point that they are unsubscribing because of the statement. I made the point that I’ll definitely be renewing because of it.

    But yes, it should never have been brought up on this thread. If you want to go, go. Don’t stick around for 6 months explaining why you’re going.

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