Thursday, August 27, 2015

Two Years

This morning I remembered that I first posted The Retrogrouch two years ago today - Aug. 27, 2013. I don't think too many people noticed when it first went up. Only 267 people visited the site by the end of that first month (though, to be fair, it was only 5 days). Since then, readership has grown steadily, but even now, bike blogs like BikeSnobNYC and LovelyBicycle probably get more hits in a day than The Retrogrouch sees in a month. That's OK. We'll just call it "exclusive."

There are currently 350 posts on the blog, including this one. Of those, there are at least 8 dealing specifically with disc brakes. About a half-a-dozen are about press-fit bottom brackets and the creaking that plagues them. There are about 10 dealing with carbon fiber frames and forks. Electronic "integration" and "connectivity" on bicycles gets covered at least half-a-dozen times, as does the subject of overpriced bicycles and components. Perhaps refreshingly, I could only find about 3 posts that deal primarily with helmets (but they tend to get the most comments - maybe not surprisingly).

Perhaps the most unintentionally creepy film ever made for
kids: the bike safety film One Got Fat, from the Bike
Safety 101
series.
Although they tend to get the fewest "hits," the 9 posts about vintage safety films (Bike Safety 101) may be among my personal favorites, as they combine my love of anything bicycle-related, as well as my love of movie history. But by far, the topic that gets written about more than any other is subject of "dumb innovations." There are probably 30 posts or more that fit that subject -- or more if you count articles that touch on it tangentally.

Looking at the Blogspot statistics, I found that the article that has, by far, the most hits is the one about Tange and Ishiwata frame tubing. Why that one? I can only guess that it's been linked to from some of the bicycle forums -- either that, or there are a lot of people googling for info about Tange or Ishiwata. Second to that is the one about Bike Fit Then and Now. Strange thing about that one is that it went unnoticed for a long time, then suddenly the hits on it shot through the roof. Apparently a couple of people posted links to it on the bike forums, and also Facebook it would appear.

Something that I've found I get a lot of comments about (typically off the blog, sent to my personal email) is the look of the blog -- particularly the background image. The image is a collage of vintage bicycle head badges, which I think represent in a very grand way one of the differences between bikes "then and now." Yes, there are a lot of bikes today that still use head badges. But to my mind, they are something that recalls the glory of bicycles from an earlier era. Since much of the collage is obscured by the actual writing on the blog, here it is out in the open:


Some people have wondered if these are my own collection of head badges, but they are not. In fact, only a handful of the badges are actually on bikes I own (or once owned). Some of them are images I've found through searches of head badges for sale on eBay, or through general image searches. In case you're wondering how I made it, I'll try and explain it in some detail in a future post -- who knows? It could prove useful.

Lastly, if you've noticed that posts haven't been quite as frequent lately as they had been - it's because I'm back at work (regular readers probably already know I'm a full-time teacher) and I'm trying to get used to a new, different schedule that's making blog updates a bit difficult for the time being. Hopefully I'll figure out a good rhythm and there'll be fewer delays.

It hardly seems like two years have gone by. Thanks for reading!

12 comments:

  1. Always enjoyable, thanks for your efforts!

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  2. Thanks for posting! I really enjoy reading your posts.

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  3. Congratulations on two years! I look forward to seeing your new posts. The ones on bike films are among my favorites, even if I haven't commented on all of them.

    One thing I've noticed is that there's no apparent rhyme or reason as to why one day, it seems that no one is reading, but the next day the number of views shoots through the roof. Like you, I also cannot account for why certain posts are the most commonly-viewed, while the ones we think are (or simply like) best aren't quite as popular. All we can do is to keep on writing about whatever captures our imaginations.

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  4. Sorry about those hits on the tubing post. My IBM mouse has a glitch. I'll have it replaced as soon as Gateway signs a new CEO. I read your post often. I may not post a comment, but I do read them. Keep going. I prefer the vintage ad, brochure, painting post versus new bike information. Could you review vintage components as if they were new? (without comparison to modern components).

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    1. thanks for the suggestions -- I do enjoy looking at vintage components. Nothing to be "sorry" about for hits on the tubing post -- hits are great. As Justine points out above, it's just interesting to see which posts get all the traffic, and which ones don't. And it isn't always clear why.

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  5. The Tange post is how I ended up here too. I read back to the first post and follw the blog since.
    People looking for such info end up here, since there isn't that much else out there.
    Those are in fact my favorit posts: hirtorical reviews with info gained from your obviously long experience with bikes and components.

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  6. Thank you for creating this site and for working hard at/on it.
    I visit everyday.

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  7. Thanks for the kind words, everyone!

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  8. Congratulations! I always look forward to your interesting, and informative postings. I do enjoy the bike safety films. By the way, hasn't this Ohio weather been grand lately.

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    1. Thanks, Chris. And yes, the weather has been great. I've ridden to work 8 out of the last 10 days!

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  9. Enjoying your blog, write on!

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  10. Keep it up, Brooks! I love your blog. Quality, not quantity.

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