While doing a “Rescue Me” ride, I happened upon Jason Rogers and we started chatting about the great changes to the cyclefosom.com website and some of the challenges faced in making those updates. During this conversation we talked about adding a CF blog and how it could be used for a variety of reasons. Shortly after the ride, I contacted Stan about the idea and he revealed CF already had a blog, but it had not been updated in a couple of years. He also thought it would be great if we were to provide new content for the blog.
Originally, I thought about using the blog as a way for ride leaders to constructively identify opportunities for improving group riding skills and address safety concerns. In this way, readers would have a resource that could be used to openly discuss ideas and gain valuable insight into why safety is such a key factor for CF rides. However; after spending some time looking at the original CF blog posts, I started revising my initial ideas. These early posts were really well done and I thought the themes of “shared suffering”, camaraderie and fun on the bike should be continued. They embody all the positive things I experience when I go on a ride.
What I would like to propose is we use the CF blog for four primary topics (1) safety, (2) ride remembrances, (3) member experiences and (4) technology. I would like to try and line up blog posts in advance from volunteers; asking them to write about one of these topics. Depending upon how active members are, I would hope to get 2 to 4 blogs per month and a lot of activity in the comments area.
Safety – The primary authors would be the ride leaders. Either general or specific observations could be identified to improve group riding safety. For example, a current “pet peeve” of mine is not singling up when cars are trying to pass. Even when the rear-most riders call “ car back”, I constantly see riders remain doubled/tripled up and causing havoc for cars trying to responsibly share the road. I am fine with people doubling up to chat while using quiet roads if they go back into single file when cars are coming. While supporting a TftT ride this year as SAG, I ran into a group of 20+ cyclists (not CF) on the Garden Hwy that had taken over the entire lane and half of the oncoming lane. They refused to allow me to pass. I had to be a complete jerk and keep my horn down just to get them to clear the opposite lane. I can see why some drivers cannot stand cyclists when they take over the roads. Specifically, I believe this causes unsafe conditions when impatient cars are not able to easily pass and can endanger cyclists and motorists by taking unnecessary risks when passing – such as blind corners.
Ride Remembrances– Like the original posts in this blog, stories about a specific ride or event would capture the “essence” of the ride. In 2014, I was following the comments on the TftT series and I was impressed by the camaraderie developing as the rides progressed. This inspired me to want to want to do the series the following year, invigorate my focus to ride consistently and register for the Death Ride. In addition, I could foresee the inclusion of video snippets such as the one Stan did for the 2014 Death Ride.
Member Experiences– All of us would like to hear success stories from various riders about key accomplishments in their cycling endeavors. This could be finishing 5 passes of the Death Ride, doing the Davis Double Century, losing weight, overcoming a health issue or any number of similar things. One of the great things about CF is the encouragement people offer to help you attain your goals. If you put the effort in, your fellow CF riders will notice and offer help and advice so you can reach your goals. As I was doing the TftT series in 2015 for the Death Ride, I received constant support and encouragement. If not for CF, I would never even have attempted the ride let alone finish all 5 passes.
Technology – We have all heard the joke – “How do you make a small fortune in cycling? Start with a large one”. Beyond N+1, this section could be a lot of fun and offer some constructive advice on equipment and gadgets. How do you configure a Garmin Edge 520? Are aerodynamic spokes worth it? Should I get a 32 tooth cassette for climbing? My derailleur is not shifting smoothly, how do I fix it? Should I clean my drive train? What are the best tires to prevent flats? What lights should I get for night rides? The list of questions is endless. Fortunately, there is a lot of knowledge and experience in CF that could be helpful to those looking for help.
Cycle Folsom has a lot to offer fellow cyclists. This blog could be an additional means to get newer members engaged, help people exchange information and enable everyone to share their passion of cycling.
What things would you like to know or what would you like to share? Please add you comments.