Cycling Weekly

Cycling Weekly
Editor Simon Richardson
Categories Sport magazine
Frequency Weekly
Circulation 28,809 (ABC Jan - Dec 2013)[1]
Print and digital editions.
First issue 24 January 1891 (1891-01-24)
Company Time Inc. UK
Country United Kingdom
Language English

Cycling Weekly is a British cycling magazine. It is published by Time Inc. UK and is devoted to the sport and pastime of cycling. It is affectionately referred to by British club cyclists as "The Comic".[2]


Cycling Weekly was first published as Cycling on 24 January 1891.[3] It briefly became Cycling and Moting in the 19th century when car-driving – "moting" – looked like it would replace cycling. Falling sales during the editorship of H.H. (Harry) England, who took what was considered to be a traditional view of cycling and opposed the reintroduction of massed racing on the roads as proposed by the British League of Racing Cyclists, led to the appearance in the 1950s of a rival weekly called The Bicycle and of a monthly entitled first Coureur and then Sporting Cyclist. Both eventually merged with Cycling.

The title has changed hands on several occasions. It was first published by the Dangerfield Printing Company (1891–1894), then Temple Press (1895–1964), Go Magazine (1964–1967) and Longacre Press (1967–1970) before being published by its current owners, IPC Magazines (now IPC Media) from 1970.

The magazine's longest-lasting contribution to the sport was the creation on 4 April 1930 of the British Best All-Rounder (BBAR) competition for individual time triallists, establishing the rider the magazine considered the best against the clock by averaging competitors' speeds over 50 and 100 miles and 12 hours. It offered a trophy to the winner each year and a shield for the winning team.[4]

In 1932 Cycling also introduced the Golden Book of Cycling. Each page honoured a cycling hero. The first was Frank Southall, who had won that year's BBAR competition and signed his page before 7,000 cyclists attending the BBAR prize-giving at the Royal Albert Hall, London.[4] The book has fallen out of fashion in recent years.

Early campaigns

The magazine was aware from the start of the danger it perceived cyclists to be in from the growing number of cars[5] and trams.[6] The magazine did not care for insistence that cyclists display a back light, which it felt moved responsibility for avoiding an accident from the overtaking driver to the cyclist being overtaken. But it had other puzzles to consider, following the prosecution of a cyclist who had hung a Chinese lantern from his machine.[7]

Cycling campaigned against women's racing and refused to publish results and then, in the 1940s, stood out against the British League of Racing Cyclists in its campaign to reintroduce massed racing to open roads. It called the organisation's first race "A hopeless revolt."[8]

The modern magazine

Looking for more sales and advertisers in June 1957, Cycling introduced pages dedicated to mopeds and the magazine changed its name to Cycling & Mopeds.[9] The move accelerated the decline in sales until, under the insistence of a new editor, Alan Gayfer, mopeds were abandoned and the magazine widened its outlook to all forms of racing on the road, on the track, to cyclo-cross and to cycle-touring. Among those taken on by Gayfer and who have remained in cycling journalism are the television commentator Phil Liggett and the author Les Woodland.

Alan Gayfer left Cycling in 1969 to work for the United Press news agency on the other side of Fleet Street, London, where Cycling then had its offices. There he could also report his other love: boxing. He died of a heart attack while cycling in Canada after retirement. Gayfer was succeeded by Ken Evans, whose interest in short-distance time-trialling led to a parallel competition to the British Best All-Rounder: the Campagnolo Trophy for races over 25 miles (40 km). It lasted only two seasons before it was considered not worth the effort and expense.[4] Evans resigned to work with the components wholesaler, Ron Kitching.[10] Evans was replaced by Martin Ayres. He in turn was followed by Andrew Sutcliffe, who had been editor of Cycle Trader. Under Sutcliffe the magazine took on a stronger pictorial content and reporting of domestic cycling, especially where it didn't concern racing, was lessened in favour of coverage of continental racing. Sutcliffe left to help form a company called Cabal Communications, run by other former IPC staff. Cabal introduced a monthly magazine called Procycling as a rival to IPC's own monthly publication, Cycle Sport. Its first editor was William Fotheringham, who had also been on IPC's staff. Sutcliffe's replacement was Robert Garbutt, who is the current editor. Significant members of staff have included Sid Saltmarsh – deputy editor under Alan Gayfer – who worked formerly for the News Chronicle and the BBC and who was reporting the Tour de France when the English rider Tom Simpson died during the race in 1967. Recent contributors have included Tony Bell, Michael Hutchinson and Dave Lloyd.

The longest-serving contributor was the cartoonist Johnny Helms. His cartoons were a regular fixture of the magazine since 6 February 1946 until his death in November 2009.


  1. "ABC Certificates and Reports: Cycling Weekly". Audit Bureau of Circulations. Retrieved 16 February 2014.
  2. Matt Seaton: The Meeting of Minds, Guardian, 23 November 2006.
  3. Bingham, Keith (31 March 2010). "How Cycling Weekly began: Dangerfield's penny paper founded a press empire". Cycling Weekly. London: IPC Media. Retrieved 19 April 2013.
  4. 1 2 3 Alpaca to Skinsuit, Bernard Thompson, Geerings of Ashford
  5. Cycling, 4 July 1912, p7
  6. Cycling, 4 July 1912, p20
  7. Cycling, 11 July 1912, p27
  8. Breckon, Mike (ed) (1993), A Wheel in Two Worlds, privately published, UK, p276
  9. Cycling, UK, 6 June 1957, p435
  10. cited Breckon, Michael (1993), A Wheel in two Worlds, the Ron Kitching Story, p227

External links

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