Singletrack’s Newsletter Subscription Drive

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We are on a recruitment drive to get more of you signed up to our once a week email newsletter. There’s already 8.5k of you signed up and if you are one of them then we thank you very much and if you’d like, you can move on to something more interesting as you will already be familiar with the rest.

We want to get to 10k subscribers.

Why? Because the more we have signed up to our newsletter the more attention we get from potential sponsors and direct advertisers who want to get in on the action. This is to the advantage of all of us as we get to pay the bills and fund the site.

Signing up below means you will start getting Hannah’s email newsletter every Friday. If you like it then that’s great and you can expect more Friday fun in your inbox. If you don’t there’s a link at the bottom of every newsletter that will unsubscribe you with just two clicks.

It’s free of course but you being a subscriber has a great deal of value to us. So check out the example newsletter below that Hannah sent out a couple of weeks ago and if you like it and want to support us then consider signing up in the box at the bottom of this page. Your email address is safe with us – we never share your details and we will always be appreciative of the trust you place in us by letting us use it to send you our newsletters.

The Destruction:Fun Ratio

We all know that if we ride our bikes a lot, they will gradually disintegrate. If you commute by bike you’ll feel this particularly hard, since who can face cleaning a bike after every midweek commute, come rain or shine? The regular rider who gives their bike a bit of a sluice down before heading to the shower can stem the grind a little, and the Saturday rider who then spends Sunday cleaning down and regreasing every nook and cranny may slow the ravages of time longer still. But there’s something that feels all wrong about such a ride:cleaning ratio.

What is the right ride:clean ratio? Any commuter will tell you that 10:1 (if you count the way to work and home as two rides, which I totally think you should) is not enough. But 1:1 is too much. Should we count the ride bit of the equation in numbers of rides, or hours? There’s probably some mathematical rule that says ratios can’t be measured in different scales on either side of the colon, but then the rulers of mathematics probably don’t call it a colon either. And regardless of how fast and loose I might be playing with the theories of maths here, the fact is that it’s not as simple as how many hours of riding you do. There are variables at play in the type of mud (NB I’m assuming there is basically always mud – it is a mathematical constant), the number of descents or ascents, and the drying out time.

I haven’t put this theory to any quantitative testing because I’m playing fast and loose with science as well as maths here, but I’m pretty sure that four one-hour rides each a week apart will do more damage than two two-hour rides across a fortnight. There is something about the drying out and sitting in encrusted mud that is bad. It does not preserve a bike, it pickles it. And so whatever the number is on the ‘ride’ side of the ratio, the destruction that occurs is a product of riding and drying, mud and water, braking and grinding. You could probably write it down, with Greek symbols and stuff. But this is not A Level maths, this is maths for the flippant. I’ll make a small adjustment to the equation: let’s say it’s not ride:clean, but grind:clean that we’re trying to solve, where the answer gives us the right amount of fun balanced against an acceptable amount of destruction.

You cannot simply up the amount of ‘clean’. If you have a zero grind antecedent (yeah, I googled it), then you might think that any value over zero in the clean side of things is putting you into restoration, and that 0:0 would be stasis. But put any bike to the back of the shed for a season and you’ll know this is never the case. You cannot just dig it back out and ride. Tyres need to be pumped. Sealant needs to be refreshed. But somehow the gears also need reindexing, the brakes need bleeding, and the stem bolts tightening. There is an attrition that happens even when you don’t ride. This is the unfair truth of things.

Which means, of course, that doing some riding is always better than nothing. Just give things a clean from time to time too. At about a 4:1 ratio, I think. Get out there there now and add to the grind side.

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Author Profile Picture
Mark Alker

Singletrack Owner/Publisher

What Mark doesn’t know about social media isn’t worth knowing and his ability to balance “The Stack” is bested only by his agility on a snowboard. Graphs are what gets his engine revving, at least they would if his car wasn’t electric, and data is what you’ll find him poring over in the office. Mark enjoys good whisky, sci-fi and the latest Apple gadget, he is also the best boss in the world (Yes, he is paying me to write this).

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Viewing 12 posts - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)
  • Singletrack’s Newsletter Subscription Drive
  • wheelsonfire1
    Full Member

    I’d love to give it another go, I cancelled the every day emails some time ago and the weekly disappeared at the same time. Apparently after six attempts to re-sign, I am in fact a robot!

    Full Member

    Repeated CAPCHA failures. Something not right here

    Full Member

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    Full Member

    You could send everyone 2 newsletters, like I get in my email… that would almost double your subs! 😀

    Full Member

    The best insightful, creative writing about MTB, which is a big ask given all the tech, riding quantification and politics there are with this activity. Now get off my astroturf!

    Full Member

    Open rates are the most important commercial metric and sending everyone 2 emails would seriously reduce that number. But our newsletters have between 40-50% open rates, which is way above the industry average and testament to how actually good they are. We want our newsletters to be a source of actual content and not just a list of links like so many others are.

    Full Member

    Same as @desperatebicycle I seem to get the newsletter twice (on different days) – I have only ever had one account AFAIK.


    Full Member

    So we send out the newsletter on Fridays and then monitor the stats. We get to know how many email opens there are. After a few days we resend the newsletter out but only to the subscribers who didn’t open the first one. So, in theory, if you get two it’s because you didn’t read the first one. The second email to non-openers tends to score us an extra 10% opens.

    Full Member

    After a few days we resend the newsletter out but only to the subscribers who didn’t open the first one

    That’s quite spammy, isn’t it?

    (I have a rule forwarding mine to my work email and I read it from there… )

    Full Member

    It’s pretty standard practice. Mailchimp have it built in. If it’s perceived as spammy then it’s a quick click and it goes into our unsubscribed list and you never see one again.

    Full Member

    I have some vague memory of receiving a newsletter from somewhere (might not have been STW), and I got each one twice. Now I wonder if it might have been due to running a privacy defence browser extension that might have stopped the tracking of me opening the first one.

    Would I be right to think that a large number of subscribers and a good open rate, let you justify better rates for adverts or sponsored content?

    Full Member

    Something like that.

Viewing 12 posts - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)

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