When I started OKC Bicyclist in 2008, on-line communities for Oklahoma City cyclists were pretty much non-existent. There were a few mailing lists, but there was no consistent source for area cycling news including both events and advocacy. Since then, much has changed both in the local cycling community and with the ways and means to collect and distribute news. We’ve seen both large advocacy groups such as the Oklahoma Bicycling Coalition and personal advocacy efforts such as Susan Lash’s All For the Love of Bikes dramatically expand their on-line outreach. In my own small way as the VP of the Oklahoma Bicycle Society, I have tried to expand their blogging and on-line outreach as well. And then there is the technology explosion of Twitter and Facebook which has completely changed how to distribute interesting news and links. At this point, the idea of a link blog such as OKC Bicyclist is a bit of an anachronism and has become a burden for me to maintain.
I have not lost my passion for cycling or cycling news, but, for the reasons listed above, the need for a news site is much less and personal advocacy is now much more my passion than simple reporting. Now I could change OKC Bicyclist to an individual advocacy blog separate from my personal site, but that would still leave me with two sites with two different voices. The fact is that between my day job, my upcoming wedding, trying to get a consulting business off the ground and my work with the OBS and OBC, there just isn’t time to maintain two sites. Therefore, in a couple of weeks I will be merging OKC Bicyclist with my personal site Lost in OK and redirecting all links to there. This will both dramatically simplify my life and allow me to be much more personal in my bicycle writings.
With all that said, OKC Bicyclist is not completely disappearing and in some ways, it may now become much more active and dynamic. While you are free to follow me at Lost in OK or at @lostinokay, those feeds will have a lot of non-cycling stuff in them which may not really be interesting to you. Therefore, I will continue to maintain and update both the OKC Bicyclist Twitter and Facebook feeds. Without the need to write commentary on every local news link I come across, I think you can expect to see a much more responsive and active distribution of cycling news both via Twitter and Facebook in the weeks to come.
Closing a site that I have labored with for the last five years was not an easy decision, but is the only one I think that is practical and personally fulfilling. Please feel free to leave any comments or suggestions. And as always, I hope to see you out on the road!
The Oklahoman has written a nice article about the increased levels of cycling in eastern Oklahoma County which includes some great quotes from Roger Welch, president of OBS and Mike Flenniken, president of the Oklahoma Bicycle Coalition:
Between the forests and country homes of eastern Oklahoma County, the spandex and carbon fiber associated with cycling are an increasingly common sight.
“Any evening after five 5 o’clock, you’re going to find some bikers coming through here,” Jones Mayor Ray Poland said.
A resident of Jones for more than 30 years and mayor since 2009, Poland said the number of bicyclists peaked two years ago and hasn’t shrunk.
Speed limits are high, but traffic is light and road conditions are good east of Interstate 35, said Roger Welch, president of the Oklahoma Bicycle Society, the biggest cycling club in the Oklahoma City area. The eastern hills appeal to experienced road bikers looking for a more challenging terrain than the wind-swept blacktops around Yukon or the busy trails in Oklahoma City.
“You can only ride them (the trails) so many times, and you’re looking for some variety,” Welch said.
As a reminder, the conference will take place on November 4th and 5th. You can register at http://okbikesummit2011.eventbrite.com/. I will be attending most of the session on November 5th and will be tweeting from the event.
The Oklahoma Bicycle Coalition is putting together the first annual Oklahoma Bike Summit on November 4th and 5th at the Chesapeake Boathouse. This event is the first of its kind in Oklahoma and will feature a variety of speakers and sessions. From the event registration page:
Friday, November 4th
John LaPlante will lead a day-long bicycle facility design workshop. Mr. LaPlante is currently Director of Traffic Engineering for T.Y. Lin International. He has over 45 years of professional traffic engineering and transportation planning experience. He is involved in several national committees and was principal author of the 1999 AASHTO Bike Guide. His hands-on workshop, which includes updates from the soon to be published 2011 AASHTO Bike Guide, will benefit professional engineers, city traffic planners, architects, and anyone who is involved with redesigning the urban landscape on a human scale. Planning professionals can receive 8 hours of CM credit from the American Planning Assocation for attending.
The Oklahoma Bicycling Coalition will host a reception at the Colcord Hotel. You’ll be able to mingle and visit with our speakers in a relaxed environment. Proceeds will go to the Oklahoma Bicycling Education Fund.
Saturday, November 5th
The Oklahoma Department of Tourism and Recreation partners with Adventure Cycling Association to discuss the Oklahoma Historic Route 66 Bike Trail, the US Bike Route system, and bicycle tourism’s benefit for the economy of Oklahoma. Ultra-cyclist Lon Haldeman, RAAM champion and owner of PAC Tours Adventure Touring will be our featured speaker on Saturday morning.
Mr. LaPlante will lead a break-out session to help bicycle advocates learn how to speak with city planners, and understand the development process when they ask for bicycling infrasture and improving access for bicycles in their communities.
At 12 noon the Oklahoma Bicycling Coalition will hold its Annual Meeting. Andy Clarke, President of the League of American Bicyclists will be the featured speaker. We’ll conduct a little business, enjoy lunch, and hear from the leading bicycle advocacy organization in the US. All Oklahoma bicyclists and clubs will want to attend!
The events on Friday require registration and have some fees associated with them. The Saturday events are free but donations are welcome.
I plan on attending several of the sections and will be tweeting from the event. It would be great to see some of you there. I want to extended my admiration to the Oklahoma Bicycle Coalition for putting together this event.