The wheels of change seem to have been spinning in opposite directions in New Zealand’s bike industry, with online cycle magazine RoadCycling.co.nz announcing its retirement last week and Spot On Publications this week announcing the launch of New Zealand’s first dedicated road cycling magazine, New Zealand Road Cyclist.
“We’re really exciting about meeting the demand from the thousands of enthusiastic ‘weekend warriors’ who make up the vast majority of New Zealand’s road cyclists,” New Zealand Road Cyclist publisher Chris Gaskell says.
In establishing the magazine, he says input was sought from a number of cycling industry sectors, including bike shops, BikeNZ and of course cyclists themselves.
“We’ve been working on New Zealand Road Cyclist for some time so we get the mix and content right. It is New Zealand’s only magazine dedicated to road cycling and it’s published by people who are passionate and very keen about road cycling.”
That’s all well and good. But what happened to New Zealand’s online magazine dedicated to road cycling? In a statement on the RoadCycling.co.nz website, co-owners Ben and Sarah Christian say after publishing over 1,500 stories, they’re no longer in the position to give the site the time and resources it needs.
They say increasing demand arising from events, teams and international riders requires a commitment they can no longer maintain.
“To meet the growth, we would need to set up our own mini media empire, something which was never our goal, and would be very hard to make commercially viable in the market.”
But it’s not all doom and gloom, with the duo saying they are still looking at alternative opportunities for 2011. “Who knows what we might come up with after we’ve taken a much needed break.”
A look at the AMP Scholarship website shows that earlier this year, Sarah Christian applied for the one of the 2010 scholarships, with the following pitch: “To give New Zealand's world class cyclists, and future world class cyclists, the media exposure they deserve - RoadCycling.co.nz ”.
But while it looks like that reality has been quashed for the moment, clearly it’s a different story for Spot On Publications—who also publish New Zealand Mountain Bikermagazine. Spot On Publications advertising manger Simon Gladstone says the publisher saw a gap in the market and went for it.
The magazine also has an online component, which Gladstone says is bolstered by having a print version of the magazine to drive readers to the website.
He describes the launch of the magazine not long after the closure of roadcycling.co.nz as “purely coincidental” and says he is saddened by the closure.
Taking the reigns of New Zealand Road Cyclist is motivational speaker and indoor cycling coach and instructor, Christchurch’s John McKenzie.