Happy first birthday, blog!

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Next week it’ll be the one-year anniversary of this blog. I started it after Caroline took me out for coffee and what may have been a pre-planned intervention-style conversation about the need to put all my projects under one roof.

So I bought a theme, tinkered with it, named it after my zine, started to post an irregularly-timed omnibus assortment of news, opinions, musings, links, and promotion on a variety of topics related only by my fascination with them (which is to say that nearly every post is about bicycling), and started experimenting with some of the bloggy stuff those professional bloggers do (most of it is very boring). I also spent a lot of time thinking about what exactly I’m doing here — and came to no conclusions except that print is still where it’s at. I still don’t have a real plan for this piece of online real estate, but it’s nice that it exists and that it doesn’t demand too much definition or focus. Perhaps I’ll make more of it this or. Or maybe I’ll just keep posting whatever seems most urgent on any given week.

In the interest of evolving in a more interesting direction, I’m going to forego that thing where you plug your top ten posts by number of clicks (unnecessary hint: my most-clicked posts are about sex and gender, except the one that was posted on an aggregator site) and instead list the posts that people spent, on average, the most time looking at. It’s one thing to write a catchy headline that people will retweet; it’s entirely another to write something worth reading the whole longwinded thing (or for all I know the average times are so high because people left these stories open on their browser for hours intending to go back and read the whole thing…maybe most never did, but I’ll treasure that intention!).

Here you go, the top five in reverse order (things got a little confused after five, mostly because this metric is kind of arbitrary to begin with):

5. Everything You Wanted to Know About Bike Counting (8:03). An expert summation by researcher Krista Nordback of the state of bike counting in the U.S. and her findings about how to improve it. I didn’t realize this until after it was published, but this article broke the story. We’ll surely be seeing Nordback’s counting methods become the norm within the year.

4. Bikes and the Candidates (9:06). A look at the bike-related history and potential of the presidential field this past January. It’s high time for a follow-up!

3. The Rubber Terror (12:31). I originally wrote this for Grist last year, after getting obsessed with the horrors of the colonial rubber trade that produced the first golden age of bicycling. My editor rejected it, which was probably a good decision on his part, since it ranks poorly in the more advertiser-friendly metrics that they subsist on.

2. Researching Bike Tourism’s Economic Impact (13:42). This is a guest post: Heather Andrews’ profile of Heidi Beierle’s groundbreaking and super fascinating academic examination of the economic behavior of bike tourists.

1. And finally, the longest-lingered-on post: Moneyball for Bikes (15:44). A recent post, and I’m not satisfied with the way I defined the questions yet, but it’s the beginning of a good brain project.

There are other metrics I thought about including, like posts with the most comments (they’re not what you’d think!), the ones that seemed to generate the most discussion, either privately or elsewhere, and of course the ones I like best. But it’s time to get back to creating the future. Your thoughts welcome! Thanks for reading, and believing.