Back in November I wrote about how I’d been made redundant from my job at CyclingTips after almost 10 years with the company. I wrote about the sadness of being let go, shared some of my favourites articles from my time there, and explained how I wasn’t sure what was next for me.
I was blown away by the reception. So many comments, so many kind words, so many people reaching out to wish me well for the future. It meant a lot. Today, three and a half months later, I can now talk about what I’ll be up to next.
This morning my colleagues and I officially unveiled Escape, a brand-new, independent, member-driven cycling media platform, and we couldn’t be more excited.
We feel there’s a real gap in the cycling media landscape at the moment; a gap for great storytelling, great photography, informed opinion, irreverent humour, and, as the name suggests, escapism. We’ll cover bike racing, adventure cycling, bike tech, and bikepacking. There’ll be podcasts, daily news coverage, and long-form investigations – a whole heap of great stuff, and not all of it cycling-related …
This project was created by my former colleagues Wade Wallace (CyclingTips founder) and Caley Fretz (former CyclingTips editor in chief, who was made redundant the same day as me). Under their leadership, I know we’ve got a great future ahead of us. Doubly so when you consider the list of other amazing writers, podcasters, and photographers involved: the likes of Iain Treloar, Dave Rome, Kate Wagner, Rupert Guinness, Abby Mickey, Dane Cash … to name just a few of my talented colleagues. It’s quite the team.
As for me, I’m starting out doing two days a week with Escape, helping other people bring their stories to life and creating some of my own. Ideally, I’d love to be working a lot more than two days, but that really depends on how much support the site gets.
As I mentioned above, Escape will be member-driven. Our members will be our primary revenue source, not advertisers. That means we’re working directly for our audience and we aren’t forced to chase advertising dollars, compromising our integrity or editorial independence along the way.
Put simply, the more members we get, the more cool stuff we’ll be able to do. On the flipside, if we don’t get enough members, well, Escape won’t exist for long. The next two weeks are crucial to the success of the site. It’s during that time we’ll be asking people to put faith in us, to support the vision we’ve outlined, and to help us create something wonderful.
All going well, the site will go live in mid-March with a whole bunch of great stories – just in time for Milan-San Remo and the rest of the Spring Classics.
So, if you like high-quality cycling journalism, great photos, wonderful storytelling, and you don’t mind a fun and irreverent take on our great sport, I’d encourage you to check out Escape. If you’ve enjoyed the work I or my colleagues have done in the past, you certainly won’t be disappointed.
You can find a whole bunch of info about the project at the Escape homepage, and there’s also a dedicated FAQ which should answer any questions you might have. Want to sign up? You’ll find a link at the bottom of the homepage.
Thanks so much for reading. The team and I can’t wait to get stuck into this new project and we really hope you’ll join us!
The feature image above comes from Unsplash.com and was taken by Kevin Benkenstein.