The Radavist has always run on a deep well of passion. When I started back in 2006, I felt like the cycling culture I was immersed in needed to be documented. Back then, it was all about bike messenger-led alleycat races, portraits of “locked up” city bikes, bicycle camping trips, frame builders, and videos from all over the world. My main motivation for The Radavist has always been documenting the outliers: we were the first website to give framebuilders the coverage they deserved, we talked about bicycle touring, makers, and ‘cross bikes on singletrack. This defines my mission to forward radical atavism and over the years, we’ve built an amazing resource thanks to tons of talented and diverse contributors.
Pieces we’ve hosted here over the years have denounced the paradigm, uplifted voices, and created dialogues around difficult topics, all while analyzing, cataloging, and navigating the ever-so-finicky cycling industry and its trends…
From Shop Visits, Recent Roll, Merckx Mondays, and Beautiful Bicycles, The Radavist is a place of inspiration for your next build, road trip, or bicycle camping adventure. Our most popular articles are often vintage mountain bikes converted to basket bikes and other wild creations. We like the weirdos and kooks and yes, we’ll still stop to hit a rope swing or a swimming hole on any given ride.
Most of you reading this are familiar with the roots of this website. For those newer to the party, now’s a good time to say, welcome, I’m glad you’re here.
Today, I’m writing about the biggest change in my adult life. I turned 40 this year and that milestone made me think about the future of The Radavist. For the past 15 years, I’ve been running this website by myself. In 2017, my partner Cari came on board to help keep the lights on, run our books, and lead the designs for our merchandise. It hasn’t been an easy road. Rather, it’s been one filled with wheel-eating ruts and washboard corrugated hairpin turns. And, at times, white-knuckle descents of pure joy.
That said, the growth and development of this website have been limited in many ways and if something were to happen to me, this website would cease to exist under our current structure. That, frankly, is a bummer! Over the past few years, we’ve had other companies, brands, and media sources attempt to offer a helping hand — none of which seemed to fit our modus operandi quite right. Then, a few months ago, The Pro’s Closet threw me a line and we began to talk.
What we’re announcing today is a partnership with The Pro’s Closet. Who they are and what they do is a story we’ll be telling in the near future. Check out the video above for a quick look into their operations. What this means for The Radavist, its content, contributors, and readership are what I’m going to explain today.
I’m not going anywhere (sorry to disappoint some of you :P) and viewing the website will stay the same: free, open to all, and a daily source of inspiration. We’ll have more funding to do stories and to pay the hardworking, talented individuals who brought such diverse opinions and thoughtful pieces to the pages of this website.
Projects I’ve had in my notes will finally see the light of day. The website itself will become better organized, with our massive catalog of Beautiful Bicycles presented in an easier-to-navigate format. Our plethora of rides and experiential galleries will gain a similar organizational presentation. The makers that make this site so unique will see their work displayed in a more robust catalog. We’re hiring a full-time editor (yeeeeeeee!), our merchandise will always be in stock, and our ads will continue to be from brands we feel align with our content.
Knowing that this project will keep rolling, over the ruts, and onward to the horizon has brought me great relief and a renewed sense of purpose (burnout as a party of one is real, y’all!)
The Pro’s Closet loves The Radavist and they want to keep that flame alive. Just think of their role as throwing gas on this fire…
As the founder of what I believe is the best cycling website on the web (I might be biased), I am embracing this change with a positive perspective. Yes, it is change, but one I confidently feel is for the better.
This site wouldn’t be where it is today without you, the readership. I really want to thank you all and everyone that’s grown this site over the years. To all the brands that have lent a helping hand, to the commentators who pushed the discussion for better (or worse), to the contributors who shared a little slice of their cycling community with the world, and to all the makers who have welcomed us into their shop spaces, thank you! We have a good thing going over here and believe me when I say, it’s only going to get better.
From all of us here at The Radavist and to our new family at The Pro’s Closet, let’s see where we can take this website full of radical atavism.
John Watson, founder of The Radavist
p.s. feel free to express your feelings in the comments. :-)