60 Second Cycling: Thank You Chainlink!

Each Friday I generally post a feature called “60 Second Cycling: Upcoming Events” or something to that effect.  The major source for my current events content comes from the chainlink and its comprehensive events calendar.  Kudos to my friends over there for providing an online home to the city’s vibrant cycling community!

I received a call from a staffer at the chainlink yesterday informing me that I would be next week’s featured blogger.  I was flattered!  It’s truly an honor to be included with their informative content.

When I began writing this blog on Chicago Now just over a year ago, I had no idea who my intended audience would actually turn out to be.  I wanted to break some new ground by writing interesting stories that would encourage non-cyclists to join our club.  I didn’t want to preach to the choir – the already converted, the people that “got it” and lived it.  My desire was to paint a pretty picture with words and shine a spotlight on all the positive attributes of bicycling.  I wanted to spark “aha” moments.

The jury’s still out on the effectiveness of that approach…

Blogging is a funny pursuit.  It’s part diary, part social commentary, part news, and all opinion.  On the days when no one comments or clicks the Facebook like tab, you have no idea if a single person even took the time to read what you have written.  Sure, there’s Google Analytics, but that consistent number on the counter could just be spambots looking to place a comment about their friend’s aunt who makes $1800/month working from home…

One thing that really jacks the page views up is controversy.

If a cyclist gets into it with a motorist, both sides chime in about why we should or shouldn’t share the road.

Post about money being spent on bicycling infrastructure and the Tea Partiers show up to decry wasteful government spending on a mode of transportation that “went out of style in the late 1800’s” (ironically, their era of preference for social reform, labor laws, women’s suffrage, civil rights, and environmental policy).

Put Lance Armstrong’s name in the title and viewership goes up tenfold.  Cycling stereotype scandal, thy name is Lance…

I didn’t set out to be the guy whose job it is to defend bicycling.  But someone has to do it, so it may as well be me.

I have just returned from spending a full week with over 20,000 cyclists and I can honestly tell you that cycling is an activity that is accessible to and enjoyable for everyone.

Competitors.  Tourists.  Transportation cyclists.  Recreational bikers.  Occasional riders.  Men.  Women.  Children.  Fit.  Fat.  Disabled.  Each has discovered something about bicycling that appeals to him or her.

I defend each and every one of these individuals and encourage those who have not yet discovered bicycling to give it a try.

Take a spin through my archives and see if my experiences and opinions mesh with your own.  Happiness isn’t elusive – it’s as easy as riding a bike…

 

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Keep riding and be safe!

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