Recently, I have been enjoying writing this cycling blog. Fortunately or unfortunately I’ve found it quite easy to write on every topic from speed humps to Eddy Merckx. It seems cycling provides an inexhaustible supply of topics to discuss and write about.
But, it’s not always like this. At other times, you think – what is there to say which hasn’t already been said a hundred times already? Well probably not very much. But, I wouldn’t worry about that. It’s never stopped anyone else contributing to the great deluge of information found on t’internet.
If you’re thinking of starting a cycling blog, here are 10 reasons to write a blog (although you may also think these are 10 perfectly good reasons NOT to write a blog!)
Top Ten Reasons to Write a Cycle Blog
- Share your Pain / Share your Achievements
- An outlet for witty original writing.
- Interaction with other cyclists
- Easier than going out training
1. Complain. The problem with cycling is that although it is beautiful, simple, elegant and the best means of transport, it’s also hard to be a cyclist without slipping into becoming a Victor Meldrew on two wheels.
H.G.Wells or Mark Twain said something about never regretting buying a bicycle. I’ve seen this quote on 50% of bike blogs (including my own) so I really should know which one. They are definitely right or course, (especially if you don’t buy a recumbent), but if they had been living in twenty first century Britain I wonder if they would be so cheerfully optimistic about the state of cycling? When Mark Twain waxed lyrical about cycling, he didn’t have to contend with cycle superhighways, bendy buses, silly cycle lanes and 40ft lorries.
We all know how beautiful cycling can be, but we also know it only takes a few hundred yards of cycling along British roads to find a hundred things to complain about. Squeezed off roads, not allowed on pavements, we are torn between a hundred different half-baked ideas and piecemeal cycling infrastructure. Infrastructure which generally involves a few signs and, if you’re lucky some paint on the side of the road.
In the 1940s, petrol-rationing-rural-idyll age, you could probably cycle all day and have nothing to complain about apart from the insufficiency of the jam rations for cycling a 100 miles. But, nowadays, it’s very different.
Some cycle bloggers are really dedicated to the art of complaining and about the hand transport planners have given us. But, if you really want to complain about the state of the roads, / motorists / fellow cyclists and get it off your chest – try a cycle blog.
The only problem is the more you look to complain the more things you can find….
For an antidote try: Cycling, negativity and how to enjoy the bike
A close neighbour of complaining is actually advocating a better situation. If you’re fed up with being pushed off the road by lorries, advocate the creation of a bike lane network. The Dutch cycle network didn’t happen by magic. It came about through advocacy and voters encouraging politicians to prioritise cycling. Cycle blogs definitely have a role in raising profile of cycling and perhaps helping in the long term to create a cycling culture. (how to encourage cycling)
There is even a type of cycle blog, which offers good solid advice. What gear to ride, how to mend a puncture. There is a surprising amount of different skills a cyclist needs. From staying alive on the roads, to simple tips on a better commute. If you move into the dark world of cycle racing, then there are innumerable topics to bewilder the mind from threshold training to active recovery. Everyone has a different take on optimal training, so why not add to the general confusion and offer your own advice? It doesn’t matter if you’re a 4th cat and amateur time triallist, you can still write the ultimate guide to interval training.
‘I went to a psychologist and all I got was this lousy blog’
Perhaps therapy, is not quite the right word. But, writing can have a certain restorative quality. It helps us to articulate those thoughts that spin around the head during a long day in the saddle. Whether it is complaining about some motorist or writing how we rode through the rain. Writing can help see things from another perspective. When we write, we can sometimes even remind ourselves how inspirational cycling can be.
5. Share with the World (or at least your 5 doughty readers)
Sometimes, you just want to share what you have done. You climb Wrynose pass, and you feel everyone else must be as enthusiastic as you for reading about this epic cycle. They will not be as interested, but it still feels good for you to document your cycle rides. This desire to share achievements on the bike is a tricky one. I’ll write more on this later.
Quite often on cycling blogs, you get very good well-informed comments. You can be embarrassed that the comment is better than the article, and you don’t even have time to reply. It is nice to have feedback – cycling can be a lone pursuit. Writing on the t’internet has also a feeling of striking a lone furrow. Feedback from real cyclists helps see a wider perspective. Comments remind you that it’s not a personal diary and a reminder to avoid the descent into narcissism, which an obsessive cyclist could take. You can get very good advice too. I often get good ideas for products from comments.
7. An outlet for witty, original, incisive Writing
Obviously, this speaks for itself – just browse any of my numerous articles - the benefits of beetroot juice for example.
If you really like an argument, and you can’t find an argument clinic (monty python link), just start a cycling blog and suggest cycle helmets should be made compulsory . With a blog you can have arguments to your heart’s content.
9. Money. Yes, a widely read cycle blog can even earn you money. Though the best bit is often getting free samples of products to review. If I said a cycle blog is an easy way to riches I would be lying. The problem is to earn money, it’s not just about writing, but also promotion on social networks. Writing incisive, witty articles on the benefits of beetroot juice is no guarantee of riches. Money is also a funny thing. You feel that like a good 1950s strictly amateur racer that cycle sport / blogging should be purer than money. But, if you can earn a bit of money without compromising integrity, why not? BTW: affiliate link to wiggle here
10. Easier than going out training
Cycling internet forums are full of people who know exactly how to train, only they don’t have the time because they spend all their hours telling other people how they should be training. Wet and cold – but dedicated to training? Just go to a cafe and research base level training and optimal nutrition. It is just as beneficial as 50 miles at level 2 honest. It’s made me the cyclist I am.
Any other good reasons to write a cycle blog?