I’ll admit it. I did try and time it this way when I saw how perfectly the following two numbers were converging last week. This, my 500th post, will coincide with 200,000 views on the blog.
My first article on September 9, 2008 had exactly zero ‘likes’, zero comments, and just a couple of views, probably thanks to a few friends, Shoko and my mom. My articles now are being clicked on around 200 times a day and you generous readers leave me with lots of great commentary on most of my posts. It took nearly 3.5 years to reach my first 100,000 views and only 16 months to get to today’s magic number. I wish my retirement savings could take a trick or two from this sort of math.
Other than numbers, the blog has evolved in other ways, too. When I started it I was a devout ‘tourer’, who raved about leather saddles and debated the relative advantages of BOB trailers vs panniers. I’m now a nearly-skinny cyclist who casually throws around acronyms like FTP and VO2 as if he knew what they meant.
But change, as they say, is the only constant thing there is in life, and for better or worse, this blog will probably do so again if I keep having something to write about. Which brings me to the best part of my blog – the community it has produced.
In the beginning there weren’t many people at all leaving comments on the articles I wrote, but slowly, slowly, they started rolling in. The ones in the early days were often talking about the region I was riding in (Languedoc. Remember the old name of the blog anyone..?), some asking practical questions about eventually coming here to ride themselves. This, very directly, led to my website (which has evolved just as much as the blog) – Cycling Languedoc. If I’m not mistaken, Suze may have appeared around this time. This would make her one of my oldest ‘friends’, I think.
The 2nd great wave of blog buddies came in after I started trying to lose weight (when Steve and Ron arrived I think) and going faster on the bike (Gary, Rob, Stevo, Tootlepedal). In the last year or two, as I have ramped up my training considerably, others have started to stop by (Aaron, Dr. James, Roan, Stephen, Carsten, Luc, the other James) and as some folks lose interest in my blatherings, more come in to fill in the gap. It’s amazing how it happens.
The blog is the reason I have a business partner and local cycling buddy – John (in early 2010 he contacted me through the blog). Then, through him I’ve found the rest of our little racing team – Erik and Anne. The blog was the reason I found my long-lost step-brother, coach, and Haute Route teammate – Rob. The blog was the reason I got into the cycling tour business, however small-time it is at the moment. I don’t think it would be too much of an exaggeration to say that the blog is the foundation on which I’m building my future at the moment.
And all this because I can’t keep my mouth shut, ‘virtually’ at least.
Indirectly (or directly, depending on how I want to draw the line) this blog has led to a vast increase in my fitness, to levels I’ve never seen before. John was the first guy to take me out on the road and give me a good ol’ thrashing, way back in 2010, then Rob came around and showed me how much punishment the human body can take and still keep pedaling. Ventoux, apart from dishing out a whole mountain of pain on me every time I’ve climbed it, has laid bared my weaknesses on many occasions, and allowed me to show my strengths on a few others. The blog has helped me lose weight (you can’t disappoint your readership!) and achieve some of my cycling goals (sorry, I’ve disappointed a few on this one). The blog keeps me honest.
So thanks blog, and thanks to everyone who fuels the engine, virtual or otherwise. You are the real reason I keep on going (that and the fact that I can’t shut up).