Before I get into today’s blog post, I wanted to tell you about my ride this morning. I knew it was going to be cold (in the twenties) but I knew I wanted to ride. I needed to ride. My body needed to be forced to work. The alarm went off at 5 AM and a quick look at my phone confirmed that the temp was 28F with windchill down to 19F. I hopped out of bed and went about the task of getting kitted up. Tights. Long sleeve thermal baselayer. Bibs. Long sleeve jersey. Socks. Shoes with shoe covers. Balaclava. Full-fingered gloves. Helmet. Jacket. I was ready to roll.

I can’t describe to you how crisp the air is on these cold, clear winter mornings. Venus looked like somebody from the heavens was shining a flashlight at me. The stars looked like they were held in suspended animation between the earth and the sky. Just awesome.

Rolling out of our condo complex the temp didn’t feel too bad. As I made my way over towards the University of North Florida I began to catch a headwind and I started to feel the effects of the cold. My fingers began to ache some, my legs and feet (even with shoe covers) began to get cold. I dealt with it and when I was able to get the wind on my back everything went back to normal. If you can call riding in 28F weather normal. I opted to forgo my second loop of the campus and head back home. I was pretty slow on this ride and am pretty sure the temps had something to do with it. If I continue to ride in weather like this I’m going to need some warmer riding clothes. Regardless, I got 8 miles in this morning on what had to be my coldest ride ever.

Ruts, Importance and Relevance

Besides cycling blogs, I read several blogs on other subjects. Stuff like finance and how to blog better. I read two posts today that struck a cord with me and they were about ‘getting into a blogging rut and ‘saying something important’. I’ve struggled with both of those things here on this blog and alluded to this a few posts ago when I talked about no Twitter, no Facebook, and no blogging. I’d like to take a few moments to expand on the idea of ruts, importance, and relevance.

I enjoy blogging. The tech and design stuff fascinates me and I’m blown away that people actually come to my small corner of the Internet to read what I have to say. I get emails from people telling me that they are inspired by my posts and that just blows me away. If you do this long enough though you eventually begin to wonder if it’s worth the time and effort. Writing posts seems to take more and more time. Keeping up with the Twitter timeline becomes a burden. There’s no time to check Facebook and so on. You become obsessed with stats – keywords, bounce rate, landing pages, exit pages, pageviews, pagerank, etc. Your mind wanders and before you know it you begin to wonder if you can make money at this whole blogging thing. All of this stuff feeds on itself and can be overwhelming to the point where it can cause you to fall into a serious rut. So much so that you just stop posting as you reassess the insanity of blogging.

cycling fish

PhotoC: Dave Stokes

All of the factors that can force us into a blogging rut are generally things that weren’t part of the plan when the blog was created. When Biking To Live was created it was with the aim of saving a life through cycling. It still is but it’s gone through several cycles of trying to become more – I created an ebook, started a newsletter, and began doing product reviews. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with trying to grow a blog but we have to be careful that we don’t forget the reader. My readers. What I say here on Biking To Live needs to be imporant. If not important, then at least relevant. As readers, I think you come here to either read about road cycling or trying to lose some weight. Therefore, my posts need to say something important, or relevant, in those areas. Posts that stray from those areas aren’t a bad thing but they should be few and far between.

I want your feedback

As my readers, I’d like you to provide me some feedback about Biking To Live. I want to know what you want. What you like or don’t like about BTL. What do you want to read about? Do I have too many ads? Do ads bother you? Are you worried that I might spam you if you sign up for the newsletter? Is the black text on gray hard to read? Knowing what you want will go a long way in helping me say something important. If not important, then relevant. If you don’t want to lambaste me in the comments feel free to email me. I’m a big boy and I can take it.

Thumbnail Photoc: Joe Schlabotnik