Monday, October 25, 2021

A Milestone

This blog just reached a milestone - and I missed it!

A couple of weeks ago, apparently, I hit 3 million visits to The Retrogrouch

Understand that I'm the kind of person who gets a little kick out of seeing my car's odometer tick over a big significant number - like hitting 50,000 or 100,000 miles. I had one old car that turned over from 99999 back to 00000 (I doubt anyone born after 1975 will remember when odometers only went five figures before rolling over). I was stoked about that one for months. Yeah - I know - I'm kind of a dork.

Anyhow - I knew I was getting close to 3 million, but forgot to check for a while, then this morning I looked and saw that I'd missed it. Oh well. I should also point out that, on the scale of the internet, there are probably bloggers and other sites that reach those million-visit-milestones every few months, not years. 

Still - The Retrogrouch Blog may only be small taters. But they're my taters.

I first posted for this blog in August, 2013. I didn't know how long it would last, and I'm sure I never thought I'd still be writing it 8 years later - though admittedly I don't write or post nearly as often as I did back then.

Over the years, it's interesting to note, that the three most consistently popular articles in the blog's history were posted within the first 6 months since going online. Number one was a post about Tange and Ishiwata frame tubing, number two was on Bike Fit Then and Now, and number three was about the Bridgestone XO-1, a bike that still has something of a "cult-like" following. Month after month, those articles will still attract new readers, and occasionally generate new comments.

If I had to pick some favorite articles, I might pick the series I did about the American bicycle industry - and its shift from manufacturing bikes in the US to "designing" them here, and importing them from Asia ("Designed in America"). That one was in four parts and took a lot of research. I thought (still think) it was a pretty good history. I also enjoy the articles that explored vintage bike safety films or other educational materials - most of which would more likely convince people they'd be much safer not riding a bike at all. I long ago covered most of the bike education films I could find or had copies of, so there hasn't been a new post on that subject for a long while. But I had fun with those ones, being that they combined my interests in education (as a teacher), film (I teach a film class), and bikes.

I also enjoy looking back at articles about some of my vintage bike projects, documenting the process of taking a frame - possibly getting it repainted - and building it up like new. Those projects are very enjoyable to me, and covering them here in the blog, with pictures and descriptions of the process, is a great way to remember them. Some of those include my Expedition, 753 Mercian, and most recently, my Sequoia. I also covered the process of building bikes for my daughters (here, and here).

Well, now that I've hit 3 million, the question is, can I make it to 4 million? Hmmm. . . 


  1. Congratulations on 3 million hits. I think I’ve contributed a few. I enjoy reading this blog. I think I found it looking for an article on Fusos.

  2. "...they're my taters"

    I, SIR, am not your tater!

    I do however enjoy reading most everything you post.


    1. That referred to the blog, not the readers. Maybe that wasn’t as clear as I thought.

    2. And I must thank you both as I have just learned that taters and tatters are two distinct words. Grazie!

  3. Congratulations. I think I first stumbled upon your site when I was looking for info on Tange and Ishiwata tubings. They were the tubings used by mid priced bikes in the 80s. They were all I could afford when I was a broke university student.

    Thank you for the in depth insight and eloquent writing which in many cases provided counter arguments for me to counter those who think the newest is the the best.

  4. Congratulations, Mr Grouch, on this formidable milestone.
    Please do keep writing; the World need blogs like yours. Cheers 👍

  5. Congrats and please carry on! I enjoy going back and reading your old posts the same as I enjoy riding my old bikes. Long live lugged steel frames, downtube friction shifters, toeclips & straps, leather shoes with holes, and loopy brake cables!

  6. Been a long time since our BOB days in the newsgroup space, but glad to see you are still as enamored with cycling as always! Me too.

    Cheers, Jon

  7. ¡Albricias!

    I thought it might be fitting to say "congratulations" to The Retrogrouch using a word that is used mostly by retrogrouches in Spain :-)

    I landed here via Dave Moulton's Blog some years ago, and both are in my regular reading schedule.

    P.S. I also find joy in getting the odometer into a funny number like 11111 , 22222, etc.

  8. I started driving in the days when a car with 100,000 miles was totally worn and rusted out. With the cars I could afford, I hit that milestone enough times to develop a ritual that involved pulling over to the side of the road (I had become adept at easing those junk heaps onto the shoulder), walking around the car, kicking each tire once in turn.

    Not sure how one would kick the tires of a blog, but here's hoping for many more posts as interesting and well written as those already here. Thanks.

  9. Hey Brooks! Haven't seen any posts for awhile. Hope you are OK?

  10. Just visited this blog and immediately love it!

  11. Here is a video taken August 9, 2016 of my Honda Element arriving at 222,222 miles with 222.2 miles on the trip meter. This occurred on US Route 222 at the US Route 322 ("three twenty-two, thus 22 22 22, or 222222) intersection. This harmonic convergence happened at 2:22 in the afternoon of the 222nd day of the year in 2016 which was a Tuesday. The video starts from a bit more than two miles out from the intersection. At 6 seconds I drive by the sign stating the exit for US 322 is in two miles. You can fast forward to 1:57 of the video to when things start to get interesting.

  12. Hope everything is OK, Mr. Retrogrouch; miss hearing from you!

  13. Hi! I'm also hoping everything is OK. Miss ya!

  14. I just bought my first road bike since 1980 (!) and I’ve been reading your blog to catch up with all the industry changes since then. Thank you for the fine writing and interesting historical articles.

    Back then I owned two road bikes - a Bob Jackson 531 / Cinelli / Dura Ace and a LBS built 531 Frame / Cinelli / Campy NR. Loved them both but the Bob Jackson was my favorite - I still regret letting it go. With my new bike the single biggest improvement I notice is Shimano Di2 - wow is it great!

    I see you haven’t posted for a while - hope all is well - just wanted to say thanks for a great blog.