It has been a little while since we’ve taken stock of where we are now and where we’ve come from. It’s probably fair to say that the response to our articles on social media and in person has thrown us for a loop.
Our first post was published on the 16th August 2015 to an audience of almost nobody. Since then we’ve accumulated well over 300 posts; over 1,400 followers on Twitter and over 400 following our Facebook page.
To top that off, our Strava club now has over 300 members. It is far beyond our wildest dreams. However, as we speed towards another autumn our thoughts are turning towards where we go from here.
A little while ago our server decided to have its two-year itch a little early, acquiring some malicious code that our host kindly removed, only to leave us with a malfunctioning site and a jaded feeling. So, we moved onto their managed VPS service in the hope of better performance, better support and less digging around behind the scenes should things go wrong again.
So, we now have a more stable platform (touch wood), a growing base of people who seem to like what we do and plenty of desire to grow. So, what next?
First things first. After posting a handful of entertaining and insightful guest posts it seemed like the right time to offer these good folk some accounts of their own, so they can log in and draft posts for Cardiff By Bike under their own names. We would like to welcome Drew, Steffan and Dan to the fold and we look forward to seeing what else they have to say. Hopefully we’ll have a few more writers onboard soon too.
So, as it isn’t just me here anymore, forgive me for switching to first-person mode for a little while. You may have noticed that the flurry of posts from the earlier days seems to have slowed down somewhat lately. For a long time, writing about cycling has been an escape just as much as riding my bike has. In an effort to brush the trials and tribulations of the past few years under the carpet I flew headlong into writing about cycling. Unfortunately, I may have overdone it a little.
I sit here at the library at the start of a period of annual leave from my day job. It is time I could be spending racking up posts to schedule for weeks to come, or riding my bike but sadly my brain has other ideas. The business of real life is taking precedence and my mind is far too cluttered to even start that post I want to write, about Peter Walker’s excellent How Cycling Can Save the World, or think about how I can get him to come to Cardiff to talk about it; or even to finish the dozen or so drafts sat on the server waiting to be finished.
Instead my mind is focussed on selling things. I’m selling just about everything that doesn’t give me joy or serve a purpose. All of my CDs, DVDs and most of my books have gone; much of the physical clutter –the clothes I don’t wear; the D-SLR; not to mention the furniture that used to hold all of this stuff.
Unbeknownst to me, cycling was the start of something. It started me on a path of simplification and of shedding the things I no longer need to own, think about or commit to. If you think about it, there are few things simpler than a bicycle.
As part of this simplification I get great pleasure in knowing that the car should be gone in the next few days too, ridding me of car insurance payments (I do still have bike insurance, but that’s only a tenner a month…), annual MOTs and services. The odd days each year I need the car I’ll get a taxi, or rent one.
I’m also attempting to wean myself from social media. I suspect the overstimulation from seeing what is happening on the two twitter accounts I have and the Facebook pages, not to mention the constant barrage from other sources probably isn’t helping. I’ve turned off push notifications –quite frankly I’ve been far too ratty lately to deal with anything that comes through anyway.
The plan is to spend the next few weeks continuing to simplify my life in the hope that what is left is a clear head; my bicycles and renewed lease on life. Hopefully things will start to return to normal soon.