There's been a revolution, blood has been spilt, and now a new era is being ushered in, says What Mountain Bike's Matt Skinner...
Well, not so much blood as coffee, and it's really not been quite so dramatic or as controversial as the invasion of Iraq if the truth be told, but the bottom line is that there's a new captain at the helm of Good Ship What Mountain Bike. That's me by the way. Hello. I've come home.
Some of you out there may remember me, some of you may not, but I originally started working for WMB some five years ago now as Staff Writer just when WMB went monthly (so back in the Spring of 2003). Then after just after three years scribbling frantically I stretched my legs for 18 months working for our sister magazine MBUK. But now coming back to What Mountain Bike is like catching up with an old friend. Things just fit, conversation clicks, and there's the inevitable brew bubbling warmly on the stove.
Looking back, if I were to put on my rose-tinted spectacles (not those pictured btw, those are my pragmatist specs donchyaknow) then I'd say that those were simpler times, things were better then, and that mountain biking was uncomplicated. But I'd be in danger of becoming an old fogey before my time as things are actually better now: the bikes are lighter, stronger, more efficient (and more affordable), the sport is healthier, there are more and better trails, cycling in general has never been so important, and things are only going to keep on improving. Quite simply, it's never been such a good time to be riding bikes of any persuasion, but particularly mountain bikes. As Tony the Tiger says, "They're Gr-rr-rr-eat!" And he isn't half wrong.
So where does this new sense of optimism lead us? Well, coming back to WMB itself, we've got some big plans to make the magazine the best it can be ever, ever, ever. Period. Yup, we're aiming for punching through the sky (so had better warn air traffic control), and there'll be some old favourites, some brand new features and sections, and some sharpening up, all with a view to taking what has made WMB such an essential read already, and building on it. It's going to take time and won't be an overnight shift but we're already on our way to laying the first metaphorical brick, so as we prepare to mix the mortar (and over extend metaphors) and take the first breath before the battle, here's to the future. We think you'll like it.
Editor and Che Guevara stunt double
What Mountain Bike