TCI Friday

Here we are half-a-year into this crazy TCI experiment, a web site, a publication, a community weekly of sorts, and so we’ve been talking over what’s gone right so far, and what could be better.

I’ll get to that bit at the end.

So far, we’ve done a fraction of what we set out to do, but a good fraction. We have succeeded at bringing in contributing writers who represent different viewpoints. We have succeeded at continuing to publish our own work too, carving out the time and energy to put out some of the more unconventional content you’ll find in cycling journalism.

Literate. Relatable. Irreverent. Iconoclastic. Gonzo. Principled. Vulnerable.

We’re happy with the brew so far.

We have more podcasts and even video to come your way in future. TCI is a bootstrap outfit. We make it all ourselves. We learn how to do things we didn’t know how to do. There is as little mediating technology between you and us as we can manage, which is to say this is all unfiltered.

And since that’s what we set out to do, cool.

TCIF, as a weekly feature, does a few things. First, it gives you, the reader, a chance to be part of the story. Weigh in. Say what you think. Second, it gives us a sanity check on what we’re thinking. How many times have I asked a question here, thinking I knew the answer, only to discover other ideas, other perspectives? Lots. That’s how many.

The one thing we haven’t done as well as we’d hoped is promotion. Many of you came over from Red Kite Prayer and/or Dirt Rag, since those are the places Padraig, Cush and I lived previously. But we haven’t added enough readers from the larger cycling world, and we need to do a better job of growing our community. That we’re not the best at self-promotion doesn’t seem like a sin, but if any of us wants to eat, we have to do better.

This week’s TCIF asks, what do you think we can improve? What sorts of content would you like to see here that you haven’t seen yet? If you’ve tried to subscribed and failed for technical reasons (one of the areas we’ve had to learn so much about), let us know that too. Give it to us straight. We are dedicated to developing this community of independently minded cyclists however we can.

Join the conversation
  1. joshbeach304 says

    Writing as a 52 year old fat guy, the most valuable content emphasizes community and practical craftsmanship. With hindsight, the best thing about my collegiate racing career was the adventurous community. Telling more Tales of the community, like that time our host family let us drive the tractor and forgave us regarding their drive, would get me reading more. The woanders of multimodal commuting would also be worth visiting. I only ever won one C race, but I’m one of two riders who has brought a bottom bracket hinge bolt stress corrosion failure to Austria’s premier Brompton mechanic. TCI does a good job recognizing craftsmanship and non-race wins. I’d like to read more about connections beyond the various facets of racing, and more about how fine riding slow can be.

  2. rich says

    #1 The “join the conversation” bar should open a log in. 2 Get yourselves interviewed on other podcasts. 3. Interview each other on the Paceline. Give us some insight. 4.Some equipment reviews. Bags, Bikes, Wheels, whatever. More regular columns like this. Something to comeback for on a schedule. Add someone that writes about the gravel scene. A regular feature that keeps us up to date on gravel events, equipment, bike packing. Thanks for being here every Friday

  3. southcarolinamtb says

    Rich has a great list above. btw, I always have to search for the “login” link. It’s there, but it is not highlighted or underlined or anything like that. I like Nr. 4 and the regular columns idea.

    Nr. 5 – put on a grass roots gravel event or hook up with an existing one, like the Journey in the VA mountains. There’s probably a few dozen potential events. That may even be a revenue source.

  4. alanm9 says

    The below will sound like all criticism but keep in mind that after 4 decades of riding and reading I only follow 5 sites. So, number one for me is how confusing it must seem for a newcomer. Why is page one below latest posts? And why are they the same posts anyway? What does classified mean? Do I swipe left right or up down for the next post? And what is the “next” post since none of them have dates? And what happens to the old ones? What makes a post featured and why do those stay up so long? Why is it so rare for a poster to acknowledge comments? (Not demanding, just asking; check out The Radavist) I’m a commuter and roadie so of course I’d like to read more about commuting and roadie-ing. I’m also trying to drag my wife down this long winding road with me so more women-centric posts I can share with her would be great. Besides that? It’s perfect, don’t change a thing!

    1. Emlyn Lewis says

      Criticism is good and valuable. We want and need it and appreciate yours. We three founders are straight, white guys, but we are dedicated to the proposition that the site should look more like the real world, and that really, that’s the only way to grow the sport or hobby or pastime, or whatever it is for the people who might visit us.

    2. Padraig says

      I’ll jump in to respond to some of your specific questions as the site’s architecture was my responsibility. This will be a little out of sequence, but as you’re asking good questions, my answers should lend some insight. We decided early on that our editorial bent would be like a weekly paper. As a result our sections—Page One, Op-Ed, Classified, Talk—reflect what you would find in many papers. “Page One” is where we put features; “Op-Ed” is reserved for the essays for which Robot and I are best known, but our other columnists as well; “Classified” is where we put reviews; “Talk” is for podcasts. “Latest Posts” are literally the posts published most recently. It may draw from any section. We didn’t put dates on our posts because the design we were working with made that info stupidly prominent, distractingly so, so I pulled it. Within each section posts are in reverse chronological order. If y0u click on a section heading it will take you all the previous posts in that section. Everything we have published since our launch is available. “Featured Posts” are those pieces we want to be “sticky” as they say. There’s just not that much that we think needs to stay front and center for more than a week; that might be undue modesty. For my part, I’ve taken a different approach with TCI than some bloggers take with their audience. I respond when there is a comment that asks a question or is intended to initiate a conversation. Seeing an “attaboy” from me in response to each comment leaves for what I think is a pretty cluttered read, so I only dive in when I think my participation is requested. Think of the post as mine, and the comments as yours. Thanks for all the questions; this may well help inform other readers.

      Most of all, thanks for reading.

  5. khal spencer says

    One suggestion purely for logistics. I recently had to buy a new computer and transport all my online life over to this new one. Finding my password for CI was a bit of a pain in the ass, in part due to my own incompetence. But a small “login” on the upper right by the masthead is typical of other publications and could help a lot.

    More voices, more points of view. I appreciate The Outspoken Cyclist being featured here. Maybe a page for Newbies during the Covid, the Fred and Doris Show, and some stuff for people who just ride bicycles but don’t identify as “cyclist” which is taken to be rather elitist in some circles. Mind you, I identify as a cyclist.

  6. johnrom719 says

    Hi guys, I’m a $10/month supporter and followed you over from RKP, so I got your back! I second all of Rich’s points. BTW, on Chrome anyway, the sentence “You must be logged in to comment” has two issues: 1) the ‘logged in’ is what needs to be clicked, but is the same color as the rest of the sentence until you hover over it, making it very hard to figure out how to log in; 2) why? If you want to expand the community, let people comment, then respond to them, then they will come back, then they will support you. Creating an account and going through the hassle of logging in doesn’t appear to confer any benefits to you or us.

    If you have a social media presence I am impervious to it. Bikes are some of the most interesting things to look at. Throw up a daily pic on Instagram linking back to this site. Oops, I guess you do have IG; but there are only 33 posts for your 557 followers. You know what to do.

    I LOVE the idea of hearing from the founders. I don’t know anything about Robot or Cush or any of your other contributors. Heck, interview your supporters. How did they get into cycling? Why do they have so many bikes? What does their family think about it? Do they ride every day or build family vacations around riding? Have they brought their spouses or partners or kids into the mix?

    Where is the tandem feature? I don’t think there has been a single post about riding tandems and that is very often a male-female duo. Let’s hear from the stokers!

    I love you guys and want you to thrive! Thanks for asking for input.

    1. rich says

      Good input Johnrom719

  7. alanm9 says

    Thanks for your time Gents. By the way here’s a link to that Steve Rex. In the shop waiting for assembly as we speak.

Leave A Reply

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More