Yearbooking Chronicles #1 2021

As we plough through the field of dreams that is making three – yes three – yearbooks in, er, one year (pre-order a Megafans Bundle here, we thought you might like to get a little insight into the goings-on behind the scenes at a major print publication. Or, even better, you might like to read about our own work: that of a very minor one. This is Yearbook Chronicles Part 1.

Part 1: Cross Border Bookmaking

After the year that was 2020 (remember that one?), like many people we had to learn a new way of working. In a typical year, we’d get together in Monmouth, Wales, for a few weeks of tea, tangents and, occasionally, travail. But 2020’s Covid-19 saga meant that James, Ben and Victor couldn’t travel from their homes in Les Gets, Finale and Malaga (respectively), so Misspent Summers took to the virtual office.

Regardless of the long-distance working setup, we managed to get a decent amount done. We launched Tea & Biscuits film early in the year, then launched lines of clothing, our zine competition, Jon Gregory’s Ink Shack specials (including Analog zine), Midweek Geek Quiz, and much more. We appeared on podcasts and realised we were sort of becoming a real company (in fact, we’d registered as a company for the first time in October 2019 – now things were getting official).

All that back-story is to say: 2020, although ruthless in many ways, helped shape this company. We made zero money but that’s only ever been a secondary goal anyway (our mission: Record the history of mountain biking. Inspire more people to ride bikes).

This tangent must be going somewhere. Ah yes, making a book. Last year brought us Meltdown, our compendium of everything that was 2020 and Misspent Summers. After four years of making Hurly Burly, The World Stage and other special print projects, it was actually a breath of fresh air to mash things up and include trail riding, community, culture, doodles, thought farts and other fun stuff in one book. We needed some more of that in our lives.

Mid-2021 we asked our devout newsletter followers what they’d like to see from the year: another bumper book like Meltdown; separate Hurly Burly and The World Stage (downhill and enduro) yearbooks; or a volume of books all linked and perhaps purchased as one whole product? Most people wanted us to carry on producing Hurly Burly and The World Stage – hell, they had collections on their bookshelves that needed topping up annually – but also appreciated the mayhem that was Meltdown and asked for something to come from that.

So, short story long, that’s how we’ve ended up making three new yearbooks for 2021. They are as follows:

  • Hurly Burly, the 2021 downhill World Cup and Championships yearbook
  • The World Stage, the 2021 Enduro World Series and cough*EWS-E*cough yearbook
  • Spent, the 2021 Misspent Summers amazing medley of mountain biking yearbook

You can find out a bit more about these three projects and some other fluff in this info pack we made for brands. Fingers crossed enough companies get behind these yearbooks for it to be a profitable year – that way we’ll be able to spend more time creating books, zines, prints, films, clothing, and online stuff for you to enjoy in 2022.

Read Part 2 here

Read a little bit more by clicking on the image.

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BEAN COUNTER: Theo Fellgett 

Morgane Charre: Production
Harriet Jones: Design
Sven Martin: Photography
Boris Beyer: Photography
Sebastian Schieck: Photography
Tom Caldwell: Tea&Biscuits Boy

Anna Buick, Chris Hall, Pete Scullion, Ric McLaughlin, Paul Aston, Chris Kilmurray, John Parkin, Chris Jackson, Pedro Ballin, Alan


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