Cover by Jack Chevell

Cover by Jack Chevell

Conquista -The Cycling Quarterly

Issue 3

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Are we at the dawn of the golden era for cycling?  Certainly feels that way.  Ok – we love the history and nostalgia of the sport as much as anyone.  Heroic tales of impossible feats of endurance from a bygone era might suggest the heyday of cycling is in the distant past, but these incredible stories serve only to fuel the growth in popularity of the modern sport.  Participation numbers are on the up all over the globe and television audiences continue to grow as the sport reaches in to new territories and finds additional followers. 

The factors that have combined to bring about this cycling renaissance have been coming together over the last decade or more – like planets aligning.  Simple participation events are growing across the board – whether they be running, swimming or cycling.  Our sedentary Western lifestyles are being addressed as more people appreciate the need to be active.  Traffic congestion has more people on their bikes too – especially in built-up urban areas, where there really is no quicker way to get around.  Environmental concerns also have encouraged more people to leave the car at home and get out and pedal.  And maybe just a sense of independence and desire to be self-reliant has enticed more people out of the packed underground tube, the overcrowded commuter bus, and the bumper-to-bumper car queues, and on to their bike.

A friend once pointed to a dog sticking its head out of a car window – enjoying the rush of the wind in his hair.  “That’s why I cycle”, they said.  And its true – there are few more simple and rewarding pleasures than the freedom of riding your bike, fresh air filling your lungs and that sense of speed as the air rushes past your ears.

The appeal of cycling is so wide and varied – so many different bikes and disciplines to choose from and so much scope for individual expression from the choice of machine to the kit you wear.  Technology advancement in kit and bikes also makes the sport increasingly accessible and engaging.  The only real question remains why was cycling not always so popular?  Frankly – who cares, our time is now.

At Conquista we celebrate and embrace all forms of cycling, and its fantastic to finally see some real steps forward in terms of Women’s racing especially.  As Emma Pooley’s recent assertion that she can earn more money winning an amateur triathlon than a pro bike race proves – there is a still a long way to go – but the momentum is gathering.  Cyclo-cross and BMX continue to experience rapid growth too and it’s a real shame the IOC don’t take seriously the suggestion of making certain bike events part of the Winter Olympics as this would surely aid their growth around the world.

This issue of the magazine continues to search out a variety of images and stories from all corners of the globe.  You can read about the World Tour in just about every other bike magazine on the market – and we will never ignore this element since it is such a rich source of content - however the reality is that there is so much more interesting stuff out there that we want to bring you.  That has resulted in a bumper issue of over 300 pages – some +50% bigger than any previous issue.  We continue to tinker with the content ratio of images, stories and advertising – and as ever your feedback is welcomed if you feel we can further refine things.

Within these pages you will find stories from the US, Middle East, Asia, Down-Under and as always, the cream of European pro cycling.  Whether it’s admiring the beautiful imagery from our uber-talented photographers, or the indulgence of an in-depth feature on a ride that you might like to undertake yourself some time – we hope there is something for everyone in this super-sized issue.

Despite the huge amount of content in this issue – there is yet more.  So much stuff that we could not fit it in due to time constraints.  So please also keep checking back to the blog and our social media streams that are regularly updated with stuff we think might interest you.