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Dirt Rag publisher begins era of Bicycle Times

Posted by on March 11th, 2009 at 12:23 pm

This story is part of our special 2009 National Bike Summit coverage (sponsored by Planet Bike). For more coverage, follow BikePortland on Twitter and browse the latest photos in our Bike Summit photo gallery.

National Bike Summit - Day two-22

Publisher Maurice Tierney
(Photos © J. Maus)

I ran into Dirt Rag magazine publisher Maurice Tierney a few minutes ago and was excited to see one of the first copies of his latest endeavor — Bicycle Times magazine.

I have a lot of respect for Tierney and have been a fan (and contributor a few times) of Dirt Rag for many years. Tierney and his team in Pittsburgh built Dirt Rag from a small, regionally-focused newsprint magazine into one of the industry’s most respected publications.

As its name suggests, Dirt Rag started out as a magazine and forum for mountain bikers. But over the years, Dirt Rag’s articles, product reviews, and how-tos began to cover a much wider scope that included advocacy issues and city/utility bikes. It was a natural progression, but it became clear to Tierney that he needed to launch a new title.

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National Bike Summit - Day two-21

Cover of Bicycle Times

Tierney said Bicycle Times will cover a wide swath of bikes and biking issues: “Everything except mountain bikes and the high-end competitive stuff…think of it as Bicycling, but without trying to help you lose weight,” he said with a laugh.

One publisher that is sure to notice the launch of Bicycle Times is Amy Walker of Momentum. I ran into her a few minutes after talking with Tierney and she was excited about the news. “It’s growing!” she said with a smile (the “it” being the bike movement and the energy in the industry toward city biking).

When someone like Tierney jumps into the ring, it’s a positive sign for the health of urban biking — and it’s a very positive sign for people who love good magazines.

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  • Joe March 11, 2009 at 12:41 pm

    love the cover.. classic, I remember when dirt rag first came out, sea otter! 🙂

    have fun,

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  • Hack March 11, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    Got it. Looks cool but haven’t read it all yet. What I did read was good stuff.

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  • Anon. March 11, 2009 at 3:11 pm

    Not to mention the interview with Mr. Maus himself in the first issue.

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  • Jeff Ong March 11, 2009 at 4:05 pm

    Hopefully it’s also Bicycling without the reviews of $2500 “entry level” bikes, $2000 carbon aero wheels for Cat 4 dentists and lawyers, and wall-to-wall SUV ads. Seriously, though, Dirt Rag is a pretty good publication, and this sounds like a good spin-off!

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  • brian mack March 11, 2009 at 4:07 pm

    Dirt Rag Rocks! Bicycle Times should be a great read too if some of the Dirt Rag crew have their hands in it. I hope you are a contributor as well, Mr. Maus.

    b mack

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  • matt borel March 11, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    Jeff Ong (#3)

    GREAT comment.

    I hear you and I took it all seriously. I just let my Bicycling subscription lapse because I was tired of all the things cited above. Good heart in that magazine, but they may have missed their true demographic while pursuing money. In a nut, you can be obsessed with biking, whithout being obsessed with space-aged gear or world domination. Or Uberfitness. I’m betting that Tierney knows it and is letting on to just that. We shall read and see.

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  • matt borel March 11, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    Sorry. Jeff Ong is #4, eh.

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  • Lane March 11, 2009 at 6:18 pm

    While I’m not generally interested in magazines for the most part, this approach to the American cycling magazine seems more realistic than the recycled crap I see at the grocery store.

    Every issue of those mags seems the same. How to get fit in two weeks, how to make your bike faster, and reviews of bikes I’ve never been able to afford.

    It’s about time for better representation of the mainstream American bike world. I’m into it.

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  • adventure! March 11, 2009 at 6:18 pm

    A few years back, after my bike tour down the Pacific Coast, I was staying in Tucson. I would frequent the University of Arizona library and found some collected Bicycling magazines from the late 70’s/early 80’s. Back then there was a lot more coverage about bike advocacy, city riding, touring, and other things, along with some racing stuff. In other words, it was more representative of bike riding as a whole, rather than for one particular subset of riders. It’s sad that the magazine is the way it is now, when you can look back and see how much better it used to be.

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  • Todd Boulanger March 11, 2009 at 7:10 pm

    I love Dirt Rag…from the moment I started reading it…it had a refreshing verve when other national bike magazines did not (before Momentum)…I joined as a ‘lifer’ even though I am very much a utility city rider.

    Since reading about this shift a month ago…I am both excited and worried (like an expectant dad with a second child on the way)…will it be great or will it just take away from the older sibling?…do I have to choose between two loves?

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  • Zaphod March 12, 2009 at 8:55 am

    I know this is about the future new magazine but Dirt Rag is the most soulful magazine, staying true to what it means to be riding. BIKE has this to some extent but DR maintains a special spot as the heart of the sport. I still have my stapled copies lurking in a box somewhere.

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  • borgbike March 12, 2009 at 9:10 am

    I’ve been looking for a good bike magazine that isn’t just brand fetish and gear focused. Momentum is also a great read when I can find it.

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  • borgbike March 12, 2009 at 9:10 am

    I’ve been looking for a good bike magazine that isn’t just brand fetish and gear focused. Momentum is also a great read when I can find it.

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  • Joe March 12, 2009 at 6:13 pm

    #13 if ur on facebook join them. they will send you mail when new issues come out.. cool i think.

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  • Jason March 12, 2009 at 8:10 pm

    Urban Velo mag has been doing it for longer. Theres enough ring for two hats to be thrown in, but having read both UV has the edge if you bike in the city daily and not just when you cant get to the trails.

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  • […] Momentum magazine booth, followed by the booth for the new transportation magazine, Bicycle Times. http://bikeportland.org/2009/03/11/dirt-rag-publisher-begins-era-of-bicycle-times/ I got to meet and talk with the rockstar editors of Momentum magazine. Momentum is about to do an […]

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