Full Disclosure. Hi. I am a brand spanking shiny new blogger. I have no experience at this end of blogging – on the keyboard that is – and have really only dabbled as a reader too. I suspect that the focus of most blogs is on current goings ons, but my ambitions centre as much on sharing my bike related stories of the past as the new stuff, so I intend to include both. After all, it was upon reflecting on just how many of my favorite stories from the past thirty-six years include bikes, that I decided to do this in the first place.
Shaking Hands. This will most certainly be an evolving entity, but I thought I would start with an introduction and at least a loose framework. I am not going to take this thing public until I have at least some basic content on here so you can read a few posts and pages and decide very early on if this might be of interest to you. If it won’t be, I am absolutely okay with that. I am writing it as much for me as for anyone, so if my readership quickly becomes limited to me, I’ll still think that’s okay. That said, I do sincerely hope that someone will read it, and that at some point I will be able to bring at least a hint of a smile to at least one corner of their mouth. In the worst case, maybe I’ll help someone kill some time during the odd Friday afternoon, with an activity that is at least slightly more palatable than the job they are being paid to supposedly do. I plan to have three posts (not including this one) and a functional site by Christmas time, at which time I will pull the plug, and let these words slowly drain out into the public space. I will wait until the New Year to actually inform those around me, however, as I’d like to have a fighting chance they will read it at least once, and Christmas is not a good time for that. So, if you are reading this, then I am off to a good start. Feel free to poke around and I hope you like what you find.
Frequency. I am more excited about doing this than I get about most things. I am, as they say, all abuzz. As a matter of fact, I am entering my third hour of fiddling with this, despite having a ton of other stuff I should be doing. But I have the bug, and for now, I just can’t stop. I imagine at this point it would be very easy for me to spew forward in ten different directions, get overcooked, distracted, and then fizzle out in quiet shame. I intend for this to be fun for me, though, and I want to give it a good shot, so instead I will try to take it slow. I am thinking a couple blogs a month or so. Maybe a weekly vignette. Short, simple, and hopefully easy and fun to read. Accompanied by a photo or ten when possible.
Past Stories. I am quickly falling in love with this WordPress blogging platform. It is free, intuitive, and fun. One of the many features that caught my interest is the ability to back date posts, because a lot of mine will be old stories only published for the first time now. But I don’t want my new-old stories to get lost in the archives, so I have opted to just give some clear indication in each blog about when it really happened, and label it with the “new-old” category. This will keep my newest content up front and accessible.
Format. More static information that is not really a story, such as my biking bucket list, will be found in “pages”. Stories, musings, vignettes, and updates will be found in “posts”. The items along the right side are “widgets”. Among them I have decided to post my biking stats and my weight, which I will update manually when I see fit, and which brings me to the next point.
Motivation. As I hope I have made clear, I am doing this for fun, and I will only continue to do so as long as it remains fun. I hope it will also entertain you in some fashion. But I also mean to use it as an extra motivational tool to seek good story-begetting biking adventure, and to get, and stay, in good biking shape. Weight is an important consideration in cycling, for even a recreational weekend warrior like me. I have come to love climbing hills and I have noticed that each pound I drop adds incredibly to the ease and enjoyment with which I can cycle. So hopefully publishing my weight and stats will help keep me on the straight and narrow and progressing towards my goals. Not to worry though, I am fairly comfortable in my own skin (or spandex, as it were) and if I didn’t lose any weight I would still bike and I would still be happy. I promise.
Style. I use a lot of punctuation. I throw hyphens, commas, parentheses, brackets and the like around with great and reckless abandon. Like most aspects of my life I prefer comfy to formal, and I feel the use of these handy little tools allows me to write in a more relaxed and conversational style. I am trying to share a story, not author a scientific paper. I also tend towards some run-on sentences, which I will try to keep in check. I will endeavour to keep my posts to less than 1200 words so as to not lose focus and wander too far off into the forest. Clear, concise, and correct; just like my technical writing instructor at college fantasized about. And finally, you will see that I often start my sentences with words that I suspect I shouldn’t, or at least at times that I shouldn’t. Maybe it is right, maybe it is not, but it is most certainly going to happen.
My Polite Appeal. I believe that blogging is not only entertainment, but a very legitimate form of communication and writing. And I hope to get better at it. I am absolutely open to constructive criticism and any sort of well-intentioned feedback on my writing skills or content. I will welcome it with grace, consider it, and thank you for taking the time to help me improve. But I am doing this for fun so no unnecessary bashing please. I bruise easily.