Confessions of a lapsed bike blogger

by Raymond Parker on January 14, 2015

in Autobiography, Blog, Photography

rocky-on-parkinglot

shoot by bike, 2015

It’s been nearly two years since I wrote a blog post for VeloWeb, or updated other content.

Here are some of the reasons for my absence:

  • Diminishing returns. From a high of 10,000 unique visits a month, a Google algorithm tweak in 2012 cut traffic to VeloWeb by a third. Just like that. I guess Google’s bots decided this site sucked. In turn, this meant ad revenue also took a hit. Returns on ads are modest, but they paid for hosting. Thank goodness this site wasn’t the source of my income, or employment of others, as was the case for many sites hit by the update. After 2 years of neglect, VeloWeb traffic now hovers around 3,000 visits per month.
  • Diminishing interest. There are a good many excellent bike blogs on the Interwebs that examine the minutia of the latest bicycles and accoutrements — review sites, really. As I’ve mentioned here before, I’m not a gear freak. I like quality machinery that gets the job done. Though I worked for years in the bicycle trade — and perhaps that explains my aversion — talking bike tech actually bores me to tears.
  • Diminished cycling. The disaster that cut short my long-distance cycling hobby required a response that would assuage the need to see scenery passing by. I bought a new car. The horror! The first month of my fall from grace included a trip to the Yukon, traversing part of a route travelled years before by bicycle. I carried my old trekking bike on a roof rack as campsite transportation.
  • Personal issues. Without turning this into a confessional (there are also plenty of sites in the blogosphere that trade in confessional writing), I lost my father in 2013, which precipitated a long period (ongoing, really) of internal examination — Who am I? What am I doing here? What are my priorities?

The answer to the last part of that existential query didn’t include churning out regular blog posts for VeloWeb. I’d burned out. In fact, my days didn’t include any kind of writing or creative output for a long time. The muse had disowned me.

Shoot by bike, 1984

Where I’m going

Recently, I’ve focussed, so to speak, most of my attention on my other passion and long-time career: photography. I’ve launched a new website, raymondparkerphoto.com, where I now agonize over the poor quality of my photographs and avoid writing about camera gear! 🙂

I have found, by way of some of my “vintage” photographs made under much more difficult financial constraints than I face today, inspiration to tell the stories behind my work, as well as to pursue some new images. I’ve already redirected some posts, formerly gathered here under the tag “pictures and stories.”

It is this last fact that has helped me return to the bike, if only occasionally, to make short trips carrying my camera gear to locations, a practice I used three-decades-ago to discover the subjects for my Eighties Vancouver portfolio. As we know, the bicycle is still the best way, next to walking, to appreciate one’s surroundings.

The photograph that heads this post was made on one such recent foray, with an old film camera, inherited from my grandfather.

I hope those who have enjoyed my photographs here will join me in my new home on the Web. It’s possible I’ll also update some of the content on VeloWeb, in 2015. Happy New Year, by the way!

John Le Marquand January 15, 2015 at 12:10 pm

Good to read that you are back. I occasionally think of you when I take my Bleriot out for a ride. Are you still riding?

Checked out your photo web site and there is no need to agonize over the poor quality of your photographs because your pictures are stunning. Did know you were that good. Makes my photos look truly amateurish.

Raymond Parker January 22, 2015 at 12:21 pm

Thanks, John.

As I mentioned, occasionally would be the best answer.

I hope to get more galleries up soon, as well as expand blog posts with a mix of “historical” musings and photo adventures.

Neel January 20, 2015 at 3:30 pm

Hi I love Montreal, best bike city in the WORLD!

Raymond Parker January 22, 2015 at 12:23 pm

Unfortunately, I’ve never had the pleasure of riding in Montreal. I did enjoy the Old City on my last visit. Very walkable too.

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