Welcome to our year-end Favourite Stories series. To pick the best of our over 1,000 stories published this year, we assigned each of our staff and core contributors to write about someone else. Today, Dave Rome has a look at what Joe Lindsey has added to Escape Collective’s tool board.
In many ways, Escape Collective was a fresh start for an old gang. The majority of us had worked together for many years, we knew each other personally, how that person was to work with, how insanely violently they’d smash the keys off a keyboard (eyes on you, Iain), and what cycling meant to them. It was a mix of unique beats and styles, a mix that we knew worked.
Of course, there were exceptions to this. A few new faces would bring new perspectives, new angles, and, importantly, prevent us from falling into Old Habits of the Old Place. And that’s exactly why Joe Lindsey was an early hire. As a career freelance journalist with his byline published by many of the biggest and most well-respected publications, Joe had a resume that spoke for itself. Joe also brought goals of bolstering the team with deeper journalistic experience, strategic content planning, and editing prowess in a USA timezone.
I’ll admit to being a little naive about what I thought Joe could add; after all, I felt our team was already ahead of the pack in journalistic principles and consistent editing. What more could we need? And yet, article by article, edit suggestion by edit suggestion, I began to understand.
Escape Collective is now nine months old, and in that time, Joe has worked tirelessly in the background with content planning, editing, and thoughtful listening via Google Meets. On the front end, Joe has managed to pen some 102 articles, including a list of significantly important, aspiring, educational, and/or thought-provoking pieces. Here are just a select few that have stood out and absolutely deserve your attention.
How going deaf changed his relationship with riding, even after he regained his hearing
This one brought tears to my eyes, as I’m sure it did for thousands of others who read it. I knew Joe had hearing issues, but I never understood to what level, that it was a relatively new thing, and what he lost as a result of it.
Joe’s poetic use of words provides the closest understanding I’ve had to what it may feel like to lose such an crucial sense. Thank you, Joe.
Read “Ride Sounds” here.
We’ll be dealing with Shimano’s crankarm recall for a long time
It’s a tech article on a topic that was arguably already covered to death, and yet, Joe added more to picture and painted a scene of us merely being at the beginning of this saga. Perhaps what I liked most about this article is that Joe proved his versatility as a writer with an incredibly well-reported deep dive on a contentious issue that spans both the wider bike industry and an incredible number of cyclists.
Read “Shimano’s crankarm recall is going to last for years” here.
Angry Joe takes on a media practice that’s hurting journalism
This is a recent creation based on a timely topic that has many fearful for the future of independent product-based journalism on the internet. Most importantly it’s written by angry Joe, angry Joe is great.
Read about how “Commerce content is breaking product reviews” here.
How you used to be able to watch pro bike racing in the US
This was one of the first pieces of service content to be published on Escape Collective and was a strong reminder to the team that such content can have a lasting impact on our members. With GCN+ no longer the silver bullet so many thought it was, I’m eager to see more on this content theme in 2024.
Read about how you used to be able to watch bike racing in the USA here.
How to have a national park all to yourself
Part service content, part adventure piece, part discovery. Joe’s piece about riding Colorado’s often-busy Rocky Mountain National Park is a prime example of the content we want to do more of in future. As someone halfway around the globe, it’s an article that gave me FOMO, gave me something else to add to the bucket list, and also made me consider my equivalents closer to home.
Learn “How to have a National Park to yourself” here.
I struggled to narrow down this list to just five articles. Three others are equally worthy of adding to the read list. Firstly, there was Joe’s first deep-dive feature article, an investigation covering the collapse of the Zaaf Cycling Team and how common of a story it is in our beloved sport. The article cutting through the convoluted Olympic qualification requirements related to Peter Sagan’s chances of racing mountain bikes in Paris gave me answers I simply couldn’t find elsewhere. And finally, we have the Dutch Headwind Cycling Championships cancelled due to too much headwind, easily the best headline of the year.
What did you think of this story?