Dear blogosphere/cyclists of the internet/stumblers/Googlers,
There are a lot of blogs floating out there on the internet. Some are live, some long dorment, some are primarily animal videos, some are emotional vomit, some are well researched and some utter tripe. So why am I starting up a new blog and throwing something else into the cyber-ether?
In the past I have found blogging to be a fantastic way to develop my knowledge in certain areas, work out ideas, and make connections with people that can help and support. Between 2010 and 2014 I wrote a running blog, Red Head on the Run. I started the blog not long after I took up running, intentionally documenting my training and racing, while unintentionally documenting my love affair with sport.
Being able to write and reflect on my training helped me to develop training plans and improve as a runner. Giving myself the space to write and reflect on my hobby nurtured my interests in sports participation, the role of the body and physical activity in challenging social barriers, and to develop as a teacher.
In 2013 I trained as a National Standard cycling instructor and as a Leader in Running Fitness. I began training adults to cycle safely on the roads, teaching children to ride bikes, leading women’s bike clubs and coaching beginner runners. I quickly realised that I far preferred the challenges and rewards of sports participation and development, challenging real barriers and facilitating real people’s aspirations, to standing at the front of a lecture theatre and talking abstractly about it.
No, there’s no tenureship on offer, and I face a lifetime with a lycra work-wardrobe, but I love where life has taken me – and blogging played a major part in the realisations that brought me here.
During 2014 I started blogging less. The thing about writing a blog is that you have to set yourself constraints in order to generate content – ironic, I know. My blog was about running and about my training, but as time went on I wanted to write about my cycling, a new cycling group I secured funding for, my first swimming lessons, my first duathlon, sustainable transport conferences…
Blogs are, first and foremost, diaries. But within someone else’s experience lies someone else’s wisdom. I don’t for a moment mean to imply that my running blog was a font of wisdom, but I’d like to think that my experiences could benefit a few other beginner runners, and I wouldn’t want to detract from that by turning my running diary into anything else.
So if I want to start blogging about this new phase in my life, it’s time for a new blog.
Red Head on the Run will remain online, collecting dust along with the medals I collected while writing it. But this new blog, The Velorutionary, is where I will now post. You can expect to read about my cycling, as well as my running, and about when I do them in the same event – my first triathlon is coming up this summer! You can read about the work that I do, designing, managing and delivering cycling projects. You can read about my development in the industry as I navigate funding bodies and acronyms. And you can also read about my adventures. Y’know, the days when I just disappear on my bike and remember why I love doing what I do.