Thursday, November 5, 2015

AnnieBikes Blog, Five Years Down the Road


It seems too good to be true, 835 posts later, this blog is five years old. I'm pleased that I've stuck with the blog's original intent. Below is an excerpt from my first post.

Welcome to my bike ramblings. I live and breathe bicycles—much to my family's dismay—so this is the reason for my blog.

I am 53 years old and I still love to ride my bike.

Writing has always been a sort of therapy. I journal while on cycling adventures and in recent years began editing a world trip cycling adventure. But through this blog I've also learned the importance of taking photos that tell a story. And through extension, to become comfortable photographing myself. While reading others' blogs I occasionally wanted to know what the author looked like and was thankful to be given a glimpse now and then. And so, I include a photo or two of myself in a post - a hurdle I once had to overcome - now a relatively easy task.

I am still amazed that I've written 835 little stories.

Some ideas come as a response to other bike blog authors posts, or musings while pedaling, or fixing up my own bicycles, or delving into fashion or upcycled bike bags. Often the thoughts come out of nowhere. Honestly, they just appear, but I must be doing something right because I'm still satisfied with scribbling in this blog.

I am not alone.

I never anticipated the value that bike bloggers would eventually contribute to my bike community. I've learned about tires, handlebars, even a kindly soul sent a pair of serviceable pedals, which I now use on my Mount Saint Helens. Readers have provided interesting solutions to my most vexing problems - I love that kind of camaraderie. We have so much to learn and teach each other.

During the last five years, I've realized the importance of bike overnights to my emotional well being. These adventures were not specifically inspired by blogging - I've always loved bike touring - but I really enjoy writing about my adventures afterwards. It amuses me that consistently these posts rank highly overall. It was never my motivation, of course, but if I've inspired someone else to try an overnight then I consider that a bonus.

Taking a break from writing is completely normal.

I've given up transcribing our world trip journal, and while it was interesting to reread a special part of my past, the effort was very time consuming. I still possess the paper editions, so if I never get back to that monumental task, I'm fine with that too. I've also learned to put blogging in perspective. Everyday life is more important.

Challenges are worthwhile.

Through the bike blogger universe, I've discovered little challenges like Chasing Mailbloxes' Errandoneering and Coffeenering outings. This year I adapted Endless Velo Love's idea and rode all 95 miles of Burlington's public streets (blogging it here). Sometimes you just gotta have goals to keep yourself motivated!

Where to next?

I am looking forward to more challenges in 2016, possibly riding all the streets in a neighboring city. Of course I will go on more bike overnights. It's what keeps the flames alive: writing and photographing and riding.

12 comments:

  1. I enjoy your "blog" very much, your graceful writing and lovely photos. Your quiet passion for all things bicycling is very inspirational. Thank you!

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  2. Thank you for your efforts. Please continue. When I can't do myself, it is delicious to be inspired.

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    1. Thanks. Ahh, but you are inspiring Mr. Pondero! You are the official Coffee Shop Without Walls participant - before there was ever a title. Write when you have something to say. We'll be listening.

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  3. Five years, yeah! Funny how time flies. Congratulations!

    I've been doing it for ten (!) years. Sometimes I don't know how I still keep on doing it. Apparently people are interested! Like you, I've had times where it's been hard to find stuff to write about. Thankfully, keeping the scope broad, and more importantly, personal helps.

    Here's to many more years!

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  4. Happy anniversary, or should it be happy birthday. Either way, thanks for sharing your love of cycling with the rest of us.

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  5. In a world of bike blogs, I think it is amazing to have experienced five anniversaries! Something, certainly, to be proud of completing (and of course, we all look forward to additional thoughts moving forward, as time allows in your schedule).

    I have been absolutely HORRIBLE about completing my goal to ride every street in my city this year. But, the year is not yet over, so I suppose, if our weather holds a bit, there is still time for that to be completed. There have been some setbacks along the way, but I also know that there is time, even if I don't quite find the end of that particular journey this year. I have enjoyed reading about your adventures though! :)

    I definitely agree that the bicycling community and bike blogs have brought something into my life that I had not anticipated... an extension of friends, really. Friends we don't visit with in person (at least for the most part), but it's wonderful to have people to share ideas with and get others' opinions, I think.

    Thanks, Annie, for being a part of this community that I appreciate so much. Wishing you many more years of blogging enjoyment!

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  6. Who knew five years ago that blogging would still be around and popular. I remember wondering if it would go the way of myspace. Well it didn't, and here we are, blogging about our bike rides and coffee.

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  7. Heh. I have barely reached 100 posts in my five years of bike blogging! Congrats. And here is to many more years of biking and blogging! :D

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  8. Congrats on five years. I haven't commented much lately, but I do stop in on regular basis to read what you are writing about. The blog I wrote, MnBicycleCommuter, lasted for 7 years. The relationships I formed through the writing of the blog seem more real than many of the relationships I have off-line. Still stay in touch with some of those people and on a dozen occasions met them when our paths crossed. We all form a small niche with our blogs. Yours comes with the unique perspective, that of a world bicycle tourer settled into family life in Vermont. Your love of bicycles and bicycling shines through. You set the example that you don't need to be a consumer of all things new to continue your interest in cycling. In fact, for me, you show a love of cycling has nothing to do with the constant need to buy new equipment. It's about the stories and the community. Well done.
    Doug in Duluth

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    1. Great comment, Doug. I completely agree, and aspire to be more like Annie myself. Thank you for saying this.

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    2. Hi Doug! I wondered what happened to you and your blog...Good to know you are still connecting with past readers! I loved following you throughout the winter especially, because riding in the cold and on snow was so foreign to me. I hope you are still at it and hiking to your hearts' content.

      Thank you for your kind words.

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