Blogging and Cycling: It’s like a Drug

goldfish germanyBy Guest author Jean of  Cycle Write Blog

I am certain those who hate writing full articles and hate bicycling,  don’t  get it.  How can there be a symbiotic relationship between blogging and cycling where one feeds the other like an IV tube?  Well, I never knew either, until I returned to cycling and then later to writing, in the form of blogging.

Fear of Learning, Time Investment

At first it was hard. On my first bike ride at 32 years after not riding for 12 years, it was painful. I was stupid enough to wear tight jeans for the ignaural 8-km. ride on a new bike one of Toronto’s bike paths down in a ravine park.  But I persevered –I had to keep up with Jack ahead on bike, so I wouldn’t be stranded.

Thankfully, blogging  was less arduous. Nevertheless, nearly 2 years ago I was trying to ramp up my mastery of WordPress.com.  I wanted to blog about the once-in-a-lifetime experience of living and cycling in an Olympic city (Vancouver BC).  My first blog, Third Wave Cycling Blog  was birthed  around Christmas, just 2 months before the 2010 Winter Olympic  athletes, visitors and media paparazzi rolled into town.

I had lots of time. I was unemployed but still wanted to add on the new skill of blogging. Not hard and to me, a very simple way of creating and managing content compared to designing and feeding complex corporate, enterprise-wide databases in my jobs.

Self Inducing Euphoria of Two Passions

A few months later, I discovered some of my other personal interests needed another outlet, beyond a blog for a small cycling consulting company.  So Cycle Write Blog was created.  I could spin on about cycling, travel with bits of history, culture and food.  The blog name does truly illustrate the self-inducing circle of euphoria in cycling and blogging.

For me, not learning to blog for a long time, was actually resistance to learning another tool, i.e. the blogware.  Fear of learning. Similar to not wanting to bike: not knowing proper bike fit, use of gears and not knowing good local bike routes.  Both not cycling and blogging, was not understanding the tools and also knowing full well, there had to be initial investment of time, energy, some mistakes and wrong turns along the way.

But once, I got rolling on the bike, I wanted to go farther.  Explore more, test myself in a fun way to see how far I could go on each bike ride.  I was car-free (and still am) so the bike gave me more independence and I could see a lot more. The natural euphoria from lots of exercise, from cycling gave me a drug that got me cycling 50 km. on some summer evenings after work, during the first 2 years of rediscovered cycling. I was nuts. I kept a cycling journal. I tracked my cumulative mileage.

Addiction of Cycling and Blogging

Once you start cycling regularly, the body craves for it each time.  The body demands the cycling-drug  at least, several times per week. Besides, I had to get to work, do shopping and later, do cheap vacation trips, by bike.  So necessity of daily living and spending time well, fed the cycling-drug into my body.

I can’t say that the love of blogging has  propelled me to write, photo-shoot and compose blog posts several times per week.  Now with a full-time job, blogging has taken a back seat.  Or has it?  I still write for 3 blogs that I created and now manage,  plus I write for a 4th blog as a team writer for a tourism blog. At minimum, I write at least 4-5 different blog posts each month across 4 blogs.  All blog posts also have personal photos which probably gives me another incentive to shoot and select good photos to captivate a reader.

My blogs are different in their primary audience targets –even though every blog does touch upon  cycling.  Each blog uses a different wordpress design template.  The latest one, Velo-city Global 2012 Conference Blog, is more of a marketing and news tool for an international cycling conference.  We needed it because the conference registration site was launched 6 months later. We had to find a way of cultivating global interest and readership earlier.

I have cycled far, seen places I never expected to see and come back, eager to share it through blogging.

Certainly blogging is a fantastic way for me to plumb into our bloated digital personal photo collections, both mine and his. A reader commented she thought it was romantic that one of my blogs, was clearly a joint effort in blogging between myself and my partner.  He and I write blog posts with each other’s photos embedded in all 3 blogs.  But Third Wave Cycling Blog illustrates best, this joint blogging partnership.

Cycling and Blogging for Health

I have come a long way in cycling and more recently, in blogging. From both activities, I have made friends  and learned much along the way. Above all, I am grateful to have stumbled across two passions that naturally feed me physically and intellectually.  I consider these twin drug-passions keep me healthy, hopefully for life.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What are your primary motivators for blogging?
  2. Do you have more than 1 blog or have you considered it?
  3. Do you have other passions, interests that naturally feed your blogging habit?

7 thoughts on “Blogging and Cycling: It’s like a Drug

  1. Thanks for dropping by Sophie. Since you’re in Belgium, I know well that some cities have many cyclists. Obviously your passion, food feeds your blog!

  2. It’s a good feeling, like Val, to find one’s blogging voice. It does take time. And I’ve realized that my blogging voice prefers not to rant too much on my personal blog whereas for other people it works for them and for their readers.

    There are a number of personal, complex issues from my perspective, that could become controversial / drawing card blog post topics and attract a broader range of readers and potential commenters on my personal blog, Cycle Write Blog. But then the blog needs to be rebranded/renamed!!

    After all, the skill of writing can be used to be a sword, to fight /defend and explain to shed light on ignorance and lack of awareness on certain issues.

    However I just prefer to get real moral support and kinship from real face to face people who know me better/longer time period. I also wish to protect the privacy of loved ones. They deserve to live their lives and decisions in freedom of privacy, not because I want blog traffic.

    So my personal blog is really about favourite interest areas that do define part of the essence of “me” and what I know, experienced and learn along the way.

    I only hope occasionally some readers like to join in occasionally for an intersection of sharing thoughts and impressions.

    TiTi- I agree about the validation for you on the purpose of your blog onecoolbloggingtips. Your blog’s purpose is crystal clear and readers want that ongoing clarity and purpose.

    I feel more that for the blog posts I write for organizations. Haven’t figured out the personal blog. Yea, my photo captions are um abit longer than normal. A photo is worth a thousand words but obviously I want to make sure a reader appreciates what they are actually seeing in the photo –especially if it had elements that point to a different cultural context.

  3. Hi Jean,
    I want to thank you so much for sending me this guest post to publish. I really enjoyed reading it and have likewise enjoyed watching you develop as a blogger. Your posts are so well written and engaging. I always find the subject matter in posts in cycle write blog to be interesting and I like your photos very much too. You provide informative captions and integrate the photos so well into the text that the result is that every post looks great! :)

    What are your primary motivators for blogging?
    I have been into writing and drawing and painting since I was a very small child. Those passions remain with me now and probably always will. My offline life always comes first and I blog as a hobby. In this blog I blog to share information and I experience personal validation when what I share proves to be useful to others.

    Do you have more than 1 blog or have you considered it?
    I have several private blogs. Some are used for testing and to keep notes, etc. Others are my personal artistic and musical playgrounds. But the more time I spend online the more I recognize that I prefer face to face communication to communicating online. I’m currently finding it difficult to keep up with posting twice weekly to my two public blogs as I’m very busy in my offline life. However, I do expect to be back on track by month’s end.

    Do you have other passions, interests that naturally feed your blogging habit?
    Yes I do have other passions. Some like art I share a little of in my personal blog. Beyond that my other passions don’t feed my blogging and that’s okay with me. :)

  4. Great post, Jean.

    I can’t cycle, as I’ve a terrible spatial sense and lack of coordination. The closest I’ve got to it is riding a tricycle round my family’s garden as a child and even then I’d go into things I shouldn’t!

    What are your primary motivators for blogging? For me, I blog because I must and the need is to both make connections with other people and to express myself. I’ve been blogging in some form or another for seven years but it’s only really in the past 18 months that I’ve begun to find my ‘blogging voice’ and I love it!

    Do you have more than 1 blog or have you considered it? I have several blogs, though I’m not sure what the future of them is going to be… I’ve a humorous blog that is ‘written by birds’ that is now just an archive of its posts, I’ve one that is for my digital artwork – my other media is here and there in my main blog, absurd old bird – and I’ve one for my nature photography which I have badly neglected lately.

    Do you have other passions, interests that naturally feed your blogging habit? Yes, art, experiments with word forms, photography, and for me the comments area beneath each of my posts is as much an important part of my life, as any other interests.

  5. Now do you have a reverse way of looking at life like that often? Just kiddin’. :) I’m just glad I found my natural obsessions that are quite different, but complementary.

    Happy blogging, dreamsburnred and stay with us, bloggers.

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