12 Days of ’Toonsmas: Day 3

Moles don’t get that big, even if they drink beer.
From the March 2019 issue of BRAIN.

Felix Magowan, one of the original Trio that acquired what had been called Velo-news from founders Barbara and Robert George, had long wanted to add Bicycle Retailer and Industry News to the Inside Communications portfolio.

He never got it done. Eventually Inside Communications sold VeloNews to a passing crew of brigands, and Felix wandered off to do other things.

Episode 19 of Radio Free Dogpatch, “Can’t Find My Way Home,” from February 11, 2019.

Imagine giving Dave Stohler’s Masi Gran Criterium to your meth-addict nephew as a present for graduating from reform school. A bleak period ensued, thick with the sort of belligerent dumbassery once found only in high-school locker rooms, family trees shaped like flagpoles, and the lower houses of state legislatures in the Deep South.

I finally sat up and slipped off the back because VeloNews seemed to be careening into the sort of future in which plague-carrying aliens burst out of people’s chests while they’re battling killer robots. The Old Guy Who Gets Fat in Winter went with me, to do the occasional walk-on in Bicycle Retailer’s “Shop Talk” comic strip.

And then, shazam! Felix reappeared as part of Pocket Outdoor Media, and not only reacquired VeloNews, but snapped up BRAIN and a couple other properties as well.

The Fat Guy and I didn’t go back to the old home place. I didn’t care about bicycle racing anymore, and anyway, we weren’t invited. But it seemed like a good time to make a meta joke about how Fatso was a spy for his old bosses.

Unlike the vulture capitalists who nearly burned VeloNews down to its foundation, the “Shop Talk” dudes seem to know they’re cartoon characters.

Also, unlike vulture capitalists, they’re funny.

• Editor’s note: Today’s blast from the past includes a bonus audio component — episode 19 of Radio Free Dogpatch from February 2019.

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9 Responses to “12 Days of ’Toonsmas: Day 3”

  1. Pat O'Brien Says:

    S2D2. But, El Grande rules still and will shine a bright light on all venture capital hijo de puta.

  2. khal spencer Says:

    Happy first full day of winter, folks.

  3. Larry T. atCycleItalia Says:

    Will VN (and BR&IN) improve now? The former’s been “The Journal of Competitive Shopping” for some time now while the latter’s focus is (and should be) on that subject. Will we get more sport and less commerce in VN when they’re both under the same owner? I won’t hold my breath.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      No idea, Lorenzo. BRAIN is said to be healthy, but they only have two full-time scribes. As for VN, quien sabe? I no longer parle the bikey racey. But Pocket Outdoor Media is on a hiring spree, and I understand that former VN honcho Ben Delaney has returned in some capacity.

      It’s a tough time to be in the bike biz, and a tougher time to be in the mag biz. These folks have pitched their 10-by-10 at the junction of Tough and Tougher.

      • Larry T. atCycleItalia Says:

        Unless you’re a lawyer or lobbyist I think it’s a tough time to be in biz, period. But unlike you, I’m still interested in bike racing, as long as it’s watching other people (pros) do it – either on the TV or at the roadside – one big benefit of being in Italy.

        • khal spencer Says:

          We saw a lot of what looked like “citizen races” in Italy when we honeymooned there in 1992. Is that still popular?

          • Larry T. atCycleItalia Says:

            As in every small town has a yearly bike race? Perhaps not as many as back-in-the-day but during the season the Thursday evening TV cycling show “Radiocorsa” shows highlights from races big and small, classes younger than juniors all the way up to Under 23’s, almost all of them with real finish lines, podiums, official cars at the front and back, the whole works from places all over Italy – though Lombardia and Toscana remain the hotbeds. We’ve come across ’em on the road ourselves in every area of Italy we’ve spent any time in from Piedmont to Sicily. I think it’s still like baseball in the USA, perhaps not as popular as it once was, but you can still sit down at a bar and easily get a conversation going about the sport just as you can with baseball in the USA. Here in Siracusa there’s even a Giro d’Italia themed “sports” bar https://cycleitalia.blogspot.com/2018/11/more-living-dream.html

          • khal spencer Says:

            We spent a lot of time in Tuscany. Maybe that’s why it seemed to be everywhere!

  4. Pat O'Brien Says:

    Like the ‘toon, and I my one bike is close to your description of one bike to rule them all. Mine is a ten speed and has disc brakes, but other than that meets your criteria. I have the Niner mountain bike on consignment at my LBS, but no bites on it yet. If your still have your SOMA Double Cross, it is probably close to your “one bike” ideal. I would pay cash money to see the Mad Dog garage with only one bike in it. Herself would walk in and faint straight away figuring you had lost what was left of your mind. Or, you had gone on walkabout, as in walking across the country.

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