About Spent – our 2021-22 MTB book-thing

If you’ve read any of our Yearbooking Chronicles, you’ll know we’ve been working on three new books recently: Hurly Burly 5, The World Stage 4 and, the biggie, Spent. A new addition to our regular yearbooks, Spent is perhaps the culmination of everything we’ve been working on and towards over the last five-and-a-bit years.

When Dirt Magazine – which we all worked for or contributed to – was forced down the pan by some unimaginative suits in 2015, the paper-and-ink business clearly wasn’t in its prime, but some things can’t be counted in profit sheets. Dirt had a solid following and stood at the centre of a scene. Sure, it had earned more money in the past, but it was still valuable and even profitable. Whatever, Dirt went to the clickbait scrapheap in the sky and that was the end of that.

Since then, print has proven itself as a future-proof medium. Yes, some approaches sunk or are sinking – who wants to go to a newsagents to pick up a lightweight magazine full of advertising and not much else, anyway? – but others are alive and healthy and run by people who care. Shredder springs to mind. I’m sure Stu Leel isn’t rich from making that amazing zine, but mountain biking is a lot wealthier thanks to it.

Since Dirt’s demise, we’ve wanted to make our own print-thing that encapsulates the MTB scene as we see it. All the best bits, the things and people we respect and look up to. But printing ain’t easy, and we had to form a solid base for a company before we could get really stuck in. Through our DH World Cup and EWS yearbooks, and thanks to the toils and belief of the dozens or maybe hundreds of people who have worked on them, we found ourselves at a point in 2021 where we could envisage finally adding a non-racing title to the line of books. In came Spent.

Misspent Summers has never been about making money, and so it was that we went about creating Spent with the pennies left over from the last few years of grafting and the advertising revenue from Hurly Burly and The World Stage. Yep, we could have made some money this year, but instead, we Spent it (wheyyyy).

We might have got a bit over-excited. The flat plan got longer and longer, packed with more and more stories and people and things we thought would be inspiring and noteworthy for our new book. Suddenly we were at 512 pages and going full-throttle towards a print deadline. Still we swapped and added features, ramming the thing full of downhill, dirt jumps, cross-country, adventure, interviews, comment, even fiction.

It was a whirlwind couple of months that resulted in perhaps our proudest creation to date. I mean, it’s different to HB and TWS. Those books are exceptional pieces of design, full of incredible photography and writing (thank you everyone who works on them). Spent is kind of behind the scenes of those and a bit of an eye on the current riding scene – the core of the core of mountain biking. To be able to document what we believe to be some of the greatest people and happenings in beautiful paper and ink, well, that’s just such a privilege. We are forever grateful to the people working on our books and things, the brands supporting us, and the heroes buying, reading and distributing our stuff.


Misspent Summers MTB books


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