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!
I’m a little late on this one, but last weekend was Fred Kamp Day in honor of the fearless leader of the OBS Donut Ride for the last 30 years. For those who didn’t get their first ride in on the donut ride, this short ride takes place every Saturday and is a great introduction to cycling for new riders and a great excuse for donuts for more experienced riders. In preparation for Fred Kamp Day, KFOR put together this great tribute to this fearless ride leader:
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.
I tweeted about this during the last OBS meeting, but the OBS is putting together a great bicycle oriented fundraiser for the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. On November 13th, cyclists will be given seven locations and seven items to pick up. At each pick up, riders will be given a playing card. Best poker hand at the end of the ride gets the grand prize. All riders are welcome, just bring a bike and a bag. You can get full details here.