The end of an era

Last week I found out that my position as managing editor of CyclingTips.com had been made redundant. After almost 10 years spent working for the site, it was all over in a meeting that came out of the blue and lasted less than 10 minutes. I was one of four at CyclingTips to lose my job that day.

I shared some feelings briefly on Twitter in the days that followed, but I wanted to use my platform here to go into a little more detail. To be honest, I’m writing this as much for my own benefit as anything else – trying to process what’s happened and what it all means. If you get something from reading this too, great. If you’d rather close this page right now, I certainly won’t hold it against you.

Joining CyclingTips back in February 2013 was a risk. I’d been in a stable job that I enjoyed and coming over meant taking a pay cut and joining a fledgling startup with no guarantee of success. But I’d always enjoyed what Wade Wallace had done with CT and I was already blogging about cycling at this very site, so getting the chance to make cycling journalism my career seemed like a great opportunity. Plus Wade promised I’d get to go and cover the Tour de France that year, which I did.

In fact, I got to cover the Tour a total of five times between 2013 and 2022: in 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017 for the men’s Tour, and in 2022 for the inaugural Tour de France Femmes. Looking back, I got a whole bunch of travel opportunities thanks to my position at CyclingTips. I travelled to various parts of Australia, but also to France, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, Germany, Andorra, Spain, Hong Kong, China, Azerbaijan, the UAE, Japan, Israel, and Indonesia.

As I wrote when Wade left CyclingTips earlier this year, I have a lot to thank him for. Not just for bringing me on board initially and for the travel experiences that followed, but for giving me a place to hone my craft as an editor and journalist.

“Wade’s always encouraged me to get more out of myself, given me space to push in directions I wanted to, and always supported and believed in me along the way,” I wrote on CyclingTips in August. “And ultimately, it’s thanks to Wade that I’ve spent almost a decade in the best job imaginable – writing about bikes for a living.”

Beyond the work itself, the thing I’ll remember most fondly from CyclingTips is the great people I’ve had the pleasure of working with.

So much of the community feedback about last week’s layoffs highlighted that it’s not just great content that makes CT what it is, but the people as well. I have to agree. It’s rare to find a job where your colleagues aren’t just great at what they do, but they’re also lovely people you enjoy spending time with.

I’m truly going to miss working with everyone on the CyclingTips team. Not having that opportunity going forward leaves me feeling really sad.

And that’s the main feeling I’m left with after this whole thing: sadness. I’m sad to be leaving behind a bunch of mates I worked so closely with for so long. Sad that I don’t get to make content for one of the world’s coolest cycling websites anymore. Sad that I don’t get to help others get the best out of their content (and themselves) any more. Sad that after pouring so much of myself into the site for so long, it all came to such an abrupt and unexpected end.

Ever since I got laid off, I’ve kept having these little realisations about things that are now gone. I don’t get to cover the Aussie summer races for CyclingTips any more. I don’t get to go back and cover the women’s Tour de France for CT again. I’m no longer able to help my mates bring their awesome content to life. I imagine realisations like this will keep coming for a little while yet.

I know I’m not the only one that’s hurting. Two of my now-former colleagues, Iain Treloar and James Huang, have written lovely pieces about the mood in the CT camp after last week’s redundancies (follow the links on their names to read their stories). And judging by the comments on those articles and on various forums, the CyclingTips community is equally upset by what went down.

While much of my time at CyclingTips was spent editing and producing other people’s work, I also created my fair share of content. By my best estimate, I leave CT having contributed more than 1,500 stories under my own byline. Going back over them this week leaves me feeling incredibly proud of the work that I did, and confident that, given the opportunity, I can create plenty more great stuff in the future.

For anyone that’s interested, here are some of my favourites pieces from my time at CyclingTips:

My top favourites

The stuff I’m most proud of.

Personal essays

A collection of stories about my own riding or time spent covering the sport.

Bike racing essays

Some of my favourite stories from covering bike races. These ones go beyond the “who won” and focus on human stories and emotions.

Travel stories

A selection of first-hand accounts from various cycling-related travel adventures.

Cycling adventure stories

A handful of stories about making the most of riding in one’s local area.

Deep-dive features

I love writing in-depth features about various subjects. Here are some of my favourites.

Research-based features

I’ve always loved the intersection between the worlds of academia and cycling and it’s been a pleasure getting to write some research-based articles over the years. Here’s a selection:

Interviews

A handful of interview-based stories I’m particularly proud of.

Behind the scenes features

It’s always fun to go behind closed doors and report what you find.

Miscellaneous stories

A handful of additional stories that don’t fit into the categories above, but which I still love.

The very last article I published for CyclingTips was this one, a story based on an interview I recently did with one of the rising stars of Australia racing, Sarah Gigante. I was really happy with how the interview and article turned out, so I can think of far worse articles to be my last for CyclingTips.

So what’s next for me? I’m not sure. I’m going to take some time to process it all, to spend time with my family, and maybe get to some other projects I’ve been meaning to tackle but haven’t had time for. And beyond that, who knows!

As I wrap this up I’d like to say thanks to those of you who read or commented on any of my work at CyclingTips over the years. It really was appreciated and I’ll miss the amazing community that we created over there.

And finally, thanks to everyone that’s reached out in the past few days to offer their kind words of support. It has meant more than you might realise.

Until next time, ride safe, and thanks for reading.

61 Replies to “The end of an era”

  1. Matt, you are a legend. I’m really sad to hear this happened to you: you are both a sterling bloke and a writer and editor of great integrity. I still remember when you decided to make the leap to CT, and what a brave decision it was. Awful that it ended so perfunctorily, but your work has been awesome.

  2. Matt, I too am sad that your CT journey has ended, and ended in this way. I’m feeling sad for Caley and Dave too. And for Iian, Andy, James, Abby, Jose and the others still at CT without you – it won’t be the same. I’m sad that the cycling media company that Wade created, and that you helped build over almost ten years, is no longer powered by the same values and spirit – by the beauty of cycling.

    I’m also grateful for all that you have contributed to the local and global cycling community – via CT and The Climbing Cyclist. I first rode the 1 in 20 after studying your climb guide, perhaps not long after you created the site (I moved to Melbourne in late 2008). Then came Kinglake, the Dirty Dozen, Giro della Donna and finally Three Peaks Challenge last year. I love to climb, and you’ve been with me all the way.

    Thanks for the ride, Matt. Best wishes for the adventures ahead. I look forward to following your wheel.

  3. Redundancy is a real kick in the guts (I’ve been there twice). Thanks for your many contributions at CT. All the best for the future.

      1. Does that mean they laid you off now so they didn’t need to pay out your long service leave pro rata? Hope not cos that’s rather mean. You’ve always been a strong supporter of women in cycling way back to the Domestique rides. For that i thank you

  4. That list of articles you’ve linked to is something to be incredibly proud of Matt – so many great stories in there! Best of luck in the next endeavour.

  5. It’s been quite the incredible journey Matt. You’re the one who always challenged and moderated my erratic ambitions and kept us on track. We’d still be in that small office in Balaclava otherwise.

    Hiring you as CT’s first paid employee was one of the biggest professional decisions I ever needed to make. I’m thankful you were the right decision, and went above and beyond for nearly a decade. Everything became much easier after that.

    Thanks for everything.

  6. I have just woken up from under a rock and seen this news. Have loved your work Matt, and enjoyed having the opportunity to chat at the occasional bike race etc. I have always loved that CT is not just a collection of race reports and bike reviews, but all sorts of informative and entertaining looks at the sport more broadly, and most importantly a group of people who care about what they do. You can take huge pride in what you have achieved with CT, and all of us can only hope it opens up a new opportunity for something great that we all get to share.

  7. A wonderful highlight list of great writing work. I am sure there will be opportunity for your skill and experience as quality is rare.

  8. Matt – I actually found your writing at The Climbing Cyclist before Cycling Tips – I really enjoyed your analysis of the various climbs around Melbourne, and your ‘alternate’ Tour of Australia routes. I’m stunned that things have gone the way they have so quickly since the outsiders took over but I’m sure your talent will carry you through. Keep your head up and look for the silver lining that’s I’m sure is just around the corner. And remember I have some spare Subscription monies that need spending elsewhere if you, Caley, Dave and the rest of the crew can get the band back together.

  9. You have a talent that you need to pursue further by writing a book or even starting another site, but this time with added stuff from the cycling community as well.

    There is a lot you can do, and you know you can when you are ready…

  10. Thanks for all the amazing stories and for making CT an inclusive place for all. You are a big part of why I got back into cycling, even though we’ve never met. I’ve cancelled my veloclub membership as i was there to support the writers and not outside. Hopefully there are good things to come with a new project with Wade. Chin up.

  11. I’ve never felt worse about a total stranger being made redundant. It feels so unjust. I’ve really enjoyed your work over the years and I hope you find joy in whatever comes next.

  12. Thanks Matt. You, Wade, Ian and the rest of the CT crew welcomed hubbards like me into the cycling fraternity. I cancelled my subscription today. Hope to bump into you on the 1:20 one day.

    1. Mark, you’re one of the most interesting, fascinating people I’ve ever met!

      Sport can be humbling. We’re all ‘hubbards’ on any given day 😉

  13. I feel like I was on a journey with both you and Wade. I enjoyed reading both your sites more than a decade ago, and enjoyed your transition to and journey on CT. My personal fave was the burbing article. I grew up in Ivanhoe and was inspired to do the same where I live now in nearby Fairfield! I wish you all the best for the future! thanks Matt!

    1. Thanks David, I appreciate that! That piece on the 2005 Sun Tour was one of the coolest things I got to do at CT. Loved poring over the old race reports, chatting to the riders and piecing it all together. So much fun!

  14. Try not to let it get you down, Matt.
    When one door closes another opens.
    Whether it is in another cycling related position or perhaps another career change to something else unrelated to cycling.
    Always enjoyed your stories, even before you joined CT.

  15. The community you mention was there because of the team, not the logo. though it is disappointing to watch the publication head down the drain. looking forward to whatever comes next.

  16. Sad to hear the news Matt. What the OG crew did was truly remarkable in so many ways. Be proud and know that many of the readers from the early times were humbled and proud to be part of such an awesome global community. Ella Cyclingtips, Roadtripping, Veloclub and plenty of other initiatives took vision and guts to make happen. Inspired so many and really helped expand the meaning of ‘the beauty of cycling’. Looking forward to seeing what comes next!

  17. Hi Matt,
    Really sorry they have made such a bone headed decision. This spells the end of my subscription to CT. Your writting was a feature of the site that elevated their writing with passion-driven deep journalism. I’m from the Melbourne area but have been living overseas for over 20 years. Your writing has been one of the anchors to home and has inspired many rides on my annual trip home. I’m hopeful you’ll keep writing and contributing to cycling through your own site, and find another great home for your work
    . Best of luck.

  18. With the poise and grace that you appear to be handling this. And what you have to offer. You’ll certainly be an incredible asset to any business. And wish you the best moving forward

  19. I have always enjoyed your writing as The Climbing Cyclist and also during your time with Cyclingtips. Over the years you have inspired me (and no doubt others) to ride my bike in the mountains of Australian and climbs of France. Shame you have been let go 3 months shy of 10 years and long service leave, but such is life I suppose. Remember the friends made and the good times experienced with them. Look forward and life will present new challenges to you from places you hadn’t previously considered.

  20. I’d been blissfully unaware until I saw James story yesterday and was gobsmacked… I’ve been enjoying CT for a long time now, and whilst I’m currently not riding as much as I was, I was sure CT would still keep me up to date for when I got back on the bike. Now I’m not so sure….

    Hope you’re able to land on your feet having had the rug pulled out from under you. I’m sure there’ll be opportunities but take the time you need to process.

  21. That’s a very impressive collection of work you’ve done through the years. Always enjoy your writing and perspective and look forward to seeing where you (and your former CT colleagues) land next.

  22. Matt – It’s sad, but you’ll find a way to continue doing what you’re fantastic at. As one who was made redundant (and many are), you’ll find another path to continue your journey on! All the best & thanks for your wonderful contrubutions on CT.

  23. Thanks for so many years of so many great stories…from you and your colleagues. I remember “One crash stole my confidence…” was the first thing of yours I read and immediately went to find more. Speaking as one reader, but likely echoing all, thank you for sharing your talent with us. We all look forward to more, somewhere, in the future.

  24. You did good, Matt.

    Whatever the future holds, you can be very proud of that almost-decade of work.

    As I’ve already said elsewhere, best of luck, wherever the road takes you next.

  25. Well this sucks! For you, especially, but also for your readers. You and Caley are writers I’ve enjoyed reading for many years. Who knows how/why people make these decisions. It surely isn’t because you weren’t any good at your jobs. Best wishes to you both for whatever roads you travel along now.

  26. I’ve lived a bit through yours and your mates’ content for years now Matt. Sad to see you go – for you and for me. But I’m certain the experience will open up great opportunities for you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *