Two Years Of Blogging: What I Have Learned

Two years, 308 posts, 3,050 comments, and 64,901 page views ago, I started this blog and it has been a very rewarding experience to say the least.  To commemorate the event, I have adopted the exciting new blog template you are now adjusting your eyes to.  We’ll give it a shot for a few weeks and decide if we like this format better or the old one.

Also, I’ve been thinking about what I’ve learned over the past two years, which is a great deal.  For your amusement and for posterity, I have captured the first several things that entered my mind.  I’ve made no attempt to categorize them and have simply written them down as quickly (or slowly) as they arrived.

Thanks again for your continued interest and input!  If you’re interested in reviewing where this experiment began, you can read the first post here.

What I Have Learned:

  • Cycling is fun.
  • Bikes cost a lot of money.
  • Bikes are just the start of the money issue.
  • Always inflate your tires before every ride.
  • Keep spare cash in your bag.
  • Keep a spare tube in your bag.
  • CO2 cartridges are the greatest invention ever.
  • There are a lot of historical markers out there.
  • I’m not cool and that’s just fine.
  • Learning to eat (and what to eat) while riding is important.
  • Roads or mixed-use paths?  There is no right answer; just pick your poison.
  • There are as many bike types as there are reasons to ride a bike (they are much like cars in this regard).  The trick – or fun, depending on your perspective – is to find the type of bike that suits your reasons for riding.
  • Cycling has many rules of etiquette and dress.  Some rules are based on practical reasons and others are just silly traditions.  Good luck sorting them out.
  • MapMyRide.Com can be trusted only so far.
  • Assume every pedestrian/jogger has an iPod blaring and will shortly move into your path and you won’t be disappointed.
  • Bicycle computers are fun.
  • Before you have a flat, practice changing your tires.
  • Don’t be afraid to fiddle with your bike; it’s not a rocket ship and probably won’t break.  If you screw it up, your LBS can sort it for you.
  • Take care of your bike and your bike will take care of you.
  • Follow the rules of the road, no matter what others around you are doing.
  • Helmets are good.
  • Country roads are best, suburban roads are the worst.
  • There is no better way to explore a new place than by bicycle.
  • Cycling blogs are very helpful and entertaining, with the possible exception of this one.
  • Don’t judge others you meet in the middle of your ride; you don’t know how far they’ve come or how far they’re going.
  • Everyone has something to teach you.
  • Pacelines are fun, unless you actually want to see what you’re cycling past.
  • Take the time to study a new route in advance and plan your breaks/hydration/pace/nutrition accordingly.
  • Dogs are out there – have a plan.
  • You will fall at least one time in your clipless pedals.  Sorry.
  • Bend your elbows.
  • If you haven’t crashed, you will.
  • When making adjustments to seats and handlebars, millimeters matter.
  • You can lose weight by cycling, but it works better when you eat properly as well.
  • The biggest change to biking technology since I rode in the 80s?  Brifters.
  • Invest in good tires and you won’t be sorry.
  • Clipless pedals, aren’t.
  • Sunglasses are more important than you might think.
  • You can ride in the cold if you have the right gear.
  • In the end, it’s not that complicated; just hop on your bike and pedal.  Everything else is only a detail.
  • Eating the occasional bug is part of the deal.
  • If you don’t want to run over it, don’t stare at it.

20 thoughts on “Two Years Of Blogging: What I Have Learned

  1. True say about clipless (just ask my bike) – but can’t live without them. Millimeter also counts when adjusting derailleurs – sigh, my impatience. Who said your blog isn’t entertaining? Keep it up

  2. Very carbon fiber-esque background – nice! I particularly like the its not that complicated one. We (or maybe its just me) tend to add on a lot of extra layers. I’m looking forward to exploring my first new place by bike next week — Charleston, SC. Very excited.

  3. Congrats on 2 years! That’s a good summation of wisdom gleamed. I now realize that I don’t have a plan for dogs.

    The new theme looks snappy so you definitely can’t add that to your “Why I Am Not Cool ” category.

  4. Congratulations on 2 years, Steve! Amazing that we still have things to talk about after so long, isn’t it? I’m a little more partial to the other blog template, if you’d like feedback on it. but then again, maybe my eyes need to get a little more focused and I’ll learn to like the new one.

  5. Hi Steve congrates on the 2 years, I always enjoy your particular view on all things cycling and local history thrown in. I can’t claim to go back the whole two years, but came across your blog via Clive Chapman (nolonger in the land of blog!) early last year. Keep up the good entertaining work. I was in your neck of the woods the other week. I had a couple of days in DC, the weekend of your cycle ride there,but I left on the Saturday, so missed the traffic jams. PS I to find the new formate a little dificult to focus on, but its my failing sight, and I’m sure I’ll get used to it.

  6. Steve well done on 2 yrs blogging and cycling, I agree with all your points how true they are, but I have to ask what on earth are “Brifters” ????

  7. Congrats on two years!
    “Learning to eat (and what to eat) while riding is important.” I need to learn this, as well as learning what to eat before and after rides. But, I’m happy to learn, because I love to eat.

  8. I am liking the new look Steve. Two years is it ? well you have learned a lot and entertained many in that time. Keep up the good work.

  9. Thanks, everyone, for the kind comments. We’ll hold a vote on the new bog format in a week or two after everyone has had a chance to ponder it, show it to their friends, and form an opinion. These things really shouldn’t be rushed!

    @ Mark: Brifters are the amazing combination of brakes and shifters that one finds on virtually every road bike. Back in Olden Times (or the 1980s, when I used to ride a bit), shifters would be found on the down tube, nowhere near the brake hoods. This made shifting difficult in normal circumstances and virtually impossible when standing in the pedals on climbs. Having the shifter near the brakes makes handling the bike far easier, thus my comment.

    • Ah now I know what you mean they are just called STI levers here in the UK, I had never heard the term Brifters before I like the new look blog by the way

  10. Congratulations on two years. I find your blog both informative and entertaining. I’ve really cut back on the number of blogs I read lately, but yours has a prominent spot in the rotation.

  11. Congratulations – a great blog indeed. I drop by now and again to enjoy the tales of long days out but was particularly entertained by the above list. Hope you don’t mind me sharing it on my own fledgling blog. Cheers and all the best. Richard.

    • I don’t mind at all and thanks for stopping by, Richard. Two years ago I was only vaguely aware there was such a thing as a folding bike. I now notice them all over the place, even the occasional one on a century ride. Good luck with yours!

      • Funny you mention that. I guy I know over here rides the odd 100 mile “sportive” (they can’t call them a race or time trial or they’d have to close roads etc.) and he’s seen guys on Bromptons doing them. I’m tempted, I have to say.

  12. Pingback: It Was A Good Year | There And Back Again

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