The 1st ever ST magazine

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  • The 1st ever ST magazine
  • I remeber seeing it in a bike shop in Edinburgh (the one near the junction of Bellevue and East Claremont Street, down the road from Broughton Street).

    A moment of epiphany – a mag aimed at those of an uncertain age. Those poor lost souls who wavered between the age of being downwivdakidz and wise old sages.

    It was exciting. Finally – a mag which spoke to me on my terms, intelligently and with no small amount of vitality and vivacity. The lack of shouty adverts was a big plus too.

    Life went on, despite the discovery and I lost the road for a good few years, only to find it again, in the shape of STW forum, whilst trying to find out what the big ruckus was, regarding tubeless tyres.

    I’m now subscribing again and although the voice is the same, I wonder if I now hear it in a different way.

    I’m genuinely upset by the spate of recent bannings. So upset that I tried to log into mleh but it’s been so long I can’t remember my password or username, so no solace there.

    I completely understand that STW is a business and must be run as such but as has been mentioned more than once, it’s a sum of its (interesting) parts.

    *feels a bit drained *


    I bought mine in the cafe at Afan. It was cheap as it was an old copy, the next issue was for sale at the full price.

    Premier Icon rOcKeTdOg

    i bought mine in smiths, must find it, did it have an orange 5 review and a planet x compo in it?


    I think I brought the first one from Chipps at the bike show?

    Premier Icon ton

    planet x compo………..a bike for leking about on’t moors on 😆

    Premier Icon brant

    planet x compo………..a bike for leking about on’t moors on

    they were good them.

    still got the stw one in my garage.

    Premier Icon jwr

    My first 50:

    20090613_5245_Singletrack_50-Edit_1000px.jpg by jwrfooo, on Flickr

    I started a subscription at issue 4 (and got the previous issues on backorder). This coincided with me getting back into cycling after several years off the bike.


    Premier Icon psling

    I got mine from 559 Bikes in Chepstow and then subscribed. Mostly enjoy it; some issues have more for me, some issues less.

    Have to confess that I’ve never been the type to let the day-to-day shenanigans of a website upset me though 😕

    Premier Icon Sanny

    My mate Pistol Pete was the first cover model while I was photo gimp for the cross ride article shot in Black Spout Woods in Pitlochry with Chris Duncan of Velo Club Moulin. It was pretty cold when we did the pics but nothing compared to the proper winter we are enjoying at the moment. 😀


    First issue I bought was number 9. Guess that makes me a trend-following arriviste 🙂

    Premier Icon DavidB

    Russ Pinder sold me mine. I think there were a load of volunteer distributors/contributors in the early days and I worry that those people are forgotten now the mag. is a true commercial venture.

    Premier Icon Dogsby

    Have been a subscriber since issue one when 500 was the minimum number of subscribers required to make the whole thing float. I wonder how many there are now.


    Premier Icon DoctorRad

    I am lifetime subscriber #1 and I still have my copy of issue 1 somewhere


    i read it in mbmb’s chalet in chamonix

    Premier Icon ourmaninthenorth

    Only discovered the magazine when it had hit double figures, having been in and out of the gofar site before I got properly back into riding.

    I’m still a subscriber since, I dunno, issue 14 or something, although I have to confess I tend to move the magazines on these days, so don’t retain copies.

    Premier Icon racemonkey

    I got issue 1 at the bike show too and have been subscribing ever since.
    Think I remember it coming with a goody bag IIRC.

    Sadly I think I have all the old copies in my loft.

    I didn’t post much then ( I think it still may have been “go far” ) as I wasn’t one of the original suspects in the “virtual pub type thing” that this place used to be.

    Don’t post much now either although I do lurk quite a bit.

    Premier Icon DoctorRad

    Glad some of you remember when all of this was orange and lilac…

    Still waiting for my subs copy, don’t spoil the surprise by telling me what’s in it. 😆

    Premier Icon stever

    I remember those gofar clowns and the ‘if you all pre-subscribe we might make this thing fly’. Hi Matt 🙂
    I know they can’t and all, but it’s a shame they can’t get away with things like the #5 cover any more.

    Premier Icon Mark

    I just checked…

    There are currently 7 people on the banned list.

    In November we had 425,000 unique users visit the site.

    The trouble with the tiny number of trouble makers is that they are a very VERY vocal minority that seems to be intent on propagating some belief in a heavy handed moderation policy that actually doesn’t exist. It’s not the vocal minority that we cater for but the silent majority, and the feedback we get from them supporting our moderation policy tells us quite clearly that we are on the right track. For every abusive user we rarely ban who states ‘it’s just a laugh..’ there’s hundreds of users who are glad to see the back of them. We don’t want…. actually… The majority of forum users don’t want foul language, abuse and mysoginistic posts – They really don’t. And while that’s the feedback we overwhelmingly receive we will continue to support the majority and strive to moderate this forum accordingly.

    But come on…. there are seven people banned.. 7. That’s not even double figures! In fact the banned list has never hit double figures… EVER!

    That said, it’s Xmas and in order for us all here to have at least some time to switch off from this place and not worry about checking it every few hours (or more) over the holiday period, any bans handed out from today will be for the whole christmas period.. Which is a repeat of the exact same policy we had last Christmas..

    As for the good old days of when we weren’t a commercial business… well give or take a decade getting used to running one, we’ve never been anything but a business. It did take us three years before we were earning enough to pay any wages mind, but it was always a full time job for at least three of us right from the start 🙂

    Ah.. Orange and Lilac! 🙂
    Stolen Van with 1800 copies of issue 1 in it plus all my underwear…
    Van was returned… including all the mags.. Sadly my underwear is still missing. 🙂


    I think there were a load of volunteer distributors/contributors in the early days and I worry that those people are forgotten now the mag. is a true commercial venture.

    Yup, rode around West Yorks with a BoB trailer full of mags getting shops to stock it. Not an easy thing to forget…

    Premier Icon rapiddescent

    I think the cheque I wrote to advertise “Rapid Descent Innovations” in Singletrackworld issue 1 was the first cheque ever cashed by GoFAR enterprises Ltd. I was on the original GoFAR team before the magazine came about. Really really pleased about the way that the magazine has taken shape and become a business. Matt and the team did a good job getting this going

    wasn’t it the first mtb cover to have a bike rider facing the other way?

    Interestingly, I found my first copy last night- issue 7, autumn 2002. It was quarterly back then and the website changed with every issue. It was interesting, had loads of “unusual” but eloquent articles.

    I don’t read it now, but did get all the way up to about issue 45 and my housemate still reads it- I think my riding style has changed and the middleagedmincecore of ST no longer appeals to me while Dirt appeals to me a lot more.

    Premier Icon BigJohn

    I’ve got the issues 2 – 53 if anybody wants to make me an offer. Stafford-based.

    Premier Icon aracer

    In fact the banned list has never hit double figures… EVER!

    How pathetic – we’re quite clearly not trying hard enough!

    Was fairly active on GoFar and one of the original subscribers (though I stopped getting the mag for a few years and only restarted following the evilzone episode – have to admit I am considering un-ubscribing again, as I seem to have lost my biking mojo and tend not to be that inspired by the mag – have only read about half of the current one).


    I think I had one of the pre-production/mock up copies which Chipps and Mark gave me in a Yorshire pub over lunch.

    I’d taken them some bikes and bit’s to test and they were trying to sell me some advertising. We had no money at the time to do so, but gave them a bike to give away to one lucky, new subscriber at the bike show at the NEC.

    Glad to see things are still going well. It’s still my favourite mag and I do spend far to long on here!


    The trouble with the tiny number of trouble makers is that they are a very VERY vocal minority that seems to be intent on propagating some belief in a heavy handed moderation policy that actually doesn’t exist.

    Having used a few other forums I’d totally agree with that. On one forum I’ve seen a thread closed becuse the conversation went of topic! 😯 Do that on STW and there’d be no threads at all!

    I was banned from the Ducati Monster owners forum for indirectly suggesting someone might be a cock. I was sticking up for cyclists at the time….. 😕

    Premier Icon DoctorRad

    I (Matt) bailed out in Autumn 2000 and can’t take any credit for getting the print mag onto the shelves. Didn’t realise you guys had to survive for so long without actually making any money, respect due.

    What plans for the tenth year anniversary issue though?


    Subscribed from ish 1 back in the days when I used BM forum and IIRC Shaun was touting for business and reasonably enough said on a thread moaning about the crap mags out there said “well put your money where your mouth is and we’ll try to deliver”. I think they’ve succeeded though maybe the mag is no longer the ‘must read’ for me that it used to be.

    As to bannings, while the crackdown seems to have raised the banned number (or at least the very obvious ones), it doesn’t seem particularly unreasonable to me though I did almost get caught out having not read about the policy of enforcing the rules more than in the past.

    Premier Icon Mark

    Hi Matt! 🙂

    If anyone isn’t familiar with our history DoctorRad was responsible for the earliest incarnation of this very website ( origin of our company name Gofar Entreprises Ltd.

    We are planning the 10th anniversary issue now. That’s issue 64 – due out in March. Nothing finalised yet but lots of good ideas 🙂

    Premier Icon miketually

    I’m one of the five issues for a tenner subscribers too. How the time has flown!

    Premier Icon Mark

    Does anyone remember getting a hand signed letter from Chipps, Shaun and myself around issue 3? We had about a 1000 subscribers then but we had no distribution system for the mags so we had to hand stuff them into envelopes and lick and stick 4 2nd class stamps on every one. Trouble was we personally addressed all the letters and signed them…. then addressed all the envelopes…

    But we hadn’t matched up the letters with the envelopes… so we spent the better part of three days going through 1000 A4 envelopes matching them to the hand signed personal letters we’d done 🙂

    I remember hand delivering some copies of the mag to local subscribers too… 🙂

    Premier Icon StirlingCrispin

    My first issue was issue 4. I’m always at the unfashionable end of a breaking wave.

    First heard about the forum in 2002 after a riding buddy said you lot had been talking about me. Took an age to access on dial-up.


    I’m sure I never got a hand signed letter Mark – I demand one now (please)!


    I got mine from the office… I think.

    Premier Icon Blackhound

    I also subscribed in the 5 for the price of 4 offer at the start. Had rarely read a mag in a few years as nithing much interesting. It appealed to me as even then I was a middle aged mincer….

    Doesn’t seem like almost 10 years though!

    Boba Fatt

    issue six judging by that photo was my first, bought in a little newsagents in Musselburgh

    What really stuck out for me was the amount of guff that was missing from the cover, now you have to subscribe to enjoy that level of neatness

    Premier Icon rapiddescent

    ahhh the early days.
    + the early shows were a lot of fun; especially maniac “Vin Diesel” bus drivers on the way home after a bike show at Islington and selling magazines one-at-a-time to people.

    + losing the van at the NEC and the finding it still full of magazines

    + had some great rides up in calderdale and even considered moving there until I moved straight past and on up to scotland

    + going to a really early trade bike show at the NEC with ink-jet printed GoFAR business cards and bluffing our way into the show – the organising body (pro bike shop) claimed that “The Internet” would never feature in UK cycling.

    I subscribed for a few years from about Issue 4. Got back orders back to 2, but 1 was sold out. I recall one having a whole heap of pages duplicated and a matching heap of pages missing. Think it was #6.

    I asked my mum for the subscription for Xmas or Birthday –

    write the check to Gofar Enterprises, that’s ‘Gofar’ space ‘Enterprises’

    So of course she wrote the cheque to ‘Gofar Space Enterprises’. Cue Tip-Ex – the cheque was still cashed 🙂

    I enjoyed it most when it was small, rustic and local – saddle stitched not perfect bound! I stopped subscribing when it went more international; I recall a photo special having about 2 pages of UK riding and the rest were shots from places I could never go. That wasn’t for me.

    Premier Icon racemonkey

    How is Shaun these days?

    Hope you guys sorted your differences out.

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