It’s been five years this month since TREAD was first launched, below is the launch issue’s editor’s column. Growing from four, to six, to 8 issues a year, it’s a good insight to where we are today.
Never has mountain biking been in such a healthy state in South Africa. It’s wonderful.
On the racing side, the MTN National Cup and National Marathon Series have been stepped up a level and the events are of an international grade, with the Cup Series XC and DH events all holding UCI Category 2 status.
The Absa Cape Epic continues to grow in prestige as the world’s most important mountain bike stage race, while shorter stage races are gaining popularity and quality, offering some of the finest mountain biking and event organisation in the world.
And the hosting of the first round of the 2009 Nissan World Cup in Pietermaritzburg has also been an incredible boost, both for our talented racers and the country as a whole.
On the recreational side, purpose-built bike parks are popping up with increasing frequency, offering safety, convenience and great riding and providing an easy entry point to thousands of new mountain bikers.
Trails are being created or improved or simply opened to mountain biking giving us an increasing number of places to ride, which will help grow freeriding in a country custom made for it!
Then there’s the industry. As road cycling becomes frustratingly more hazardous, more roadies are switching to dirt and the industry is responding to that shift by offering bigger model ranges in mountain bikes, which our research reveals, are outselling road bikes on average, by 26 to 1!
Surely such a healthy and growing market needs solid media support. MiWay have launched a new weekly TV show called MiWay MTB, which is most welcome and long overdue, while local websites dedicated purely to mountain biking are growing in numbers and interest.
But what about a magazine for this market? A magazine aimed purely at the intermediate and experienced mountain biker who desires information and inspiration and wants it to be locally relevant and delivered with authority and quality?
Well, I’m pleased to introduce you to TREAD. A magazine created by passionate mountain bikers for passionate mountain bikers. A magazine that tells the stories of South African mountain biking. Stories of success; stories of passion; stories of commitment; stories of culture; stories through great images; stories with texture, and depth and colour.
There will be four issues of TREAD in 2009 and, if the demand is there, will grow to six issues in 2010. If demand is there! Listen to me. Of course demand is there. We just need your support to make it happen. Give us feedback through our website www.treadmag.co.za or via email and help us make TREAD an even more accurate reflection of your mountain biking soul.
Originally published in TREAD Issue 1, 2009 – All rights reserved