American Cycling first appeard in March of 1964. It was edited and published by Peter Hoffman in Oakland, California. Sold in 1968 to Harley Leete in San Francisco and renamed Bicycling! Hoffman continued as the first editor of Bicycling for one year. Subsequently it was purchased by Rodale Press in Pennsylvania, who continues to publish Bicycling today.
Originally reporting racing events , the publication began in 1961 as a four page mimeographed newsletter by Peter Rich of Berkeley, California, for the Northern California Cycling Association. Harold Kirkbride took over as editor, and with the extremely generous support of Bob LaMar of Tri City Blueprint and Supply in Burlingame, the newsletter was produced by offset press with black and white half-tone photographs.
As publishing the newsletter became more time consuming, Kirkbride turned it over to a group of volunteers within the N.C.C.A. Peter and Sandy Hoffman and Bill and Chris Ziegler paired up to assume the task.
American Cycling Magazine
the predecessor of
The endeavor developed rapidly and soon required a full time commitment. Ownership was acquired from the N.C.C.A allowing the magazine to be pursued as a business enterprise. In 1964 the Zieglers left the magazine and the Hoffmans continued as its editor and publishers.
The magazine was renamed American Cycling to reflect it growing national popularity. Peter and Sandy worked full time to increase the scope of coverage, gain greater circulation and attract additional advertising in a sport that was still virtually unknown to the general public. With an extremely limited advertising pool the magazine struggled financially throughout its existence. Without the funds to pay for articles and photographs it relied solely contributions from readers scattered across the country. Editorial contributions were irregular and magazine content was inconsistent and difficult
Major domestic advertising support came from the Schwinn and Huffman bicycle companies. Both encouraged the magazine to devote more coverage to touring and family bicycling. The number of racing cyclists in the United States was,
at that time, very minimal. Ultimately, racing coverage was reduced and support from that readership declined. Living for many years on a minimal income, the Hoffmans decided to sell the magazine to a publishing company with the resources to, hopefully, sustain it until the sport achieved a larger public following. The magazine was sold to Harley M. Leete of
San Francisco, who had dreams of establishing a publishing empire.
After the sale of the magazine, American Cycling continued to grace the masthead for three months. With the December issue of 1968, Bicycling magazine was born. Hoffman continued as editor for one year. Although his name
was listed as Editorial Advisor for many more years, he had no connection with the magazine after 1969.
Vol VII, No. 9
the first issue to carry the name Bicycling!
The explanation point was
dropped years later.
Even with Leete's
the magazine remained financially strapped.
Hoffman had to take the
cover photo and used his wife
and friends as models.