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Veterans Brady and Cushionbury launch new online publication, The Cycling Independent

Published October 2, 2020

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Santa Rosa, Calif.—Veteran cycling journalist Patrick Brady has teamed up with Mike Cushionbury and John Emlyn Lewis to form The Cycling Independent, a cycling lifestyle website. The Cycling Independent ( takes its inspiration from weekly community newspapers, with a predictable, weekly publishing schedule. The Cycling Independent will be entirely reader-funded, a business model unique within the cycling industry. The site will include monthly columnists along with weekly feature stories, photo essays, reviews, industry news and a selection of podcasts.

Taking its cue from NPR, subscriptions to The Cycling Independent are entirely voluntary and the content is open to all readers; there is no paywall.

The Cycling Independent has chosen to forego advertising for two reasons: First, the reality that ad spends are decreasing; the second is to increase credibility with the audience by eliminating commercial influence.

"Cush and I have seen the way the line between advertising and editorial is increasingly blurred as media outlets strive to keep brands engaged, even as those brands find new ways to reach consumers," said founder and publisher, Brady. "I don't fault anyone for being resourceful in a challenging market, but I can't think of a better way to establish reader credibility than by foregoing advertising, and the only way to do that is at launch."

Concerning their editorial mission, Brady said TCI exists to fuel stoke, as evidenced by their tag line, "If you ride bikes, you're one of us."

"We are bike neutral. I don't care if you are a commuter, a veteran racer or pedal an eMTB on weekends. We've sliced cycling into too many niches; we live in an era with too many divisions. It's time to say that everyone who rides bikes shares a similar love of movement," said Brady.

"Instrumental in this is our editor-in-chief, Mike Cushionbury. Cush's work at Dirt Rag showed that he had a vision like a fusion chef; he was matching eccentric personalities with brilliant writing, loners with patient photographers, rabble rousers with misfits. There was never a scenario in which he wasn't my first call."

Cushionbury said, "This is an amazing opportunity for me to do something very special in the bicycle storytelling realm with a very talented team of long-time professionals. This is a career reboot and I can't thank Patrick enough for bringing me along for the ride"

Lewis is The Cycling Independent's senior editor. He spent over a decade writing for Brady's previous online publication, Red Kite Prayer. He has also had stints at a custom bike builder and a legendary component company.

"I'm aware that three straight white guys launching a publication doesn't really scream diversity; I began with good people I trust," said Brady. "But in order to serve the whole of the community the way I believe it needs to be served, we will be searching for voices unlike our own."

The Cycling Independent officially launched two weeks ago and offers three subscription levels at $3, $5 and $10 per month. The site will soon offer memberships as well.

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