Could it be? The culmination of all I've been looking for this past year? A pie-plate on a fixed-gear?!? I screeched to a halt, skidding so dramatically that the many fixsters who had assembled to catch a glimpse of The Chef from "South Park" gasped in appreciation. I whipped out my cardboard disposable from the pocket of my Primal jersey (I happened to be wearing the Mr. Mojo Risin') and fired off a shot, only to realize that, alas, it was a freewheel:
It was difficult to mask my disappointment. A few fixters came over to console me, but I angrily waved them away, wiped the snot bubble off my nose with my Mr. Mojo Risin' jersey, hopped on my bike, and rode away.
The more I think about it, though, the more appropriate it is that I was denied. (Also, Stevil Kinevil made me feel better by posting my Boonen art today.) My quest for the elusive FGPP may be quixotic, but in many ways it's what keeps me going. Had I found one months ago it's very possible I wouldn't be sitting here still typing on my one-year birthday.
In real life, I don't celebrate my birthday. Firstly, I don't like drawing attention to myself, and secondly I see no point in celebrating something I took no part in. (Trust me, if I had any say in the circumstances surrounding my conception and birth I'd have done a lot of things differently.) This is the same reason I don't post pictures of my bikes. I mean, all I did was take a bunch of parts and bolt them together. Sure, if I'd fabricated the frame, or been given some special custom-painted one because I'd won a jersey in a Grand Tour or something, I might be tempted to beam about it. Otherwise, though, big deal. Ride it, maintain it, get over it.
But the birthday of this blog is different. That I have no problem celebrating. For better or worse, I made this whole thing myself. So, like it or not, I'm going to indulge myself on my special day and take some time to reflect. Hey, it's my birthday! If you don't like it, go read something else and come back next week. And if you're reading this blog for the first time today, this is probably not the post you want to start with. Anyway, here are a few milestones in the life of this blog:
Ah yes, I remember it like it was one year ago: my first post. It didn't really occur to me at the time that I was actually starting a blog or that anyone might actually read it. But I kept doing it for reasons that were unclear to me and people actually did start reading it somehow. Not too long after that first post I discovered I'd been mentioned by Drunkcyclist. (Thank you, Big Jonny.) Comments started appearing. A friend emailed me and asked, "Did you start a blog?" I felt like some idiot who'd just started his first road race and suddenly found himself off the front. So I did what any idiot would do, and that is I kept my head down and pedaled my ass off.
First Post To Receive Over 100 Comments
In August last year I posted a spoof road bike review. I never really know how people will react to a post, and this one was no exception. But I realized after I did that it was getting a stronger reaction than pretty much anything I'd written until then. Lots of people seemed to be linking to it, and even now it's still the most-viewed post on this blog. In fact, it brought me to the attention of Bicycling magazine, which resulted in the infamous interview and the picture that may or may not be of me. I learned a valuable lesson from that post, which is that the best way to get positive attention from people is to ridicule them mercilessly. This pattern has since repeated itself, but it only seems to work with the blog. People don't like being ridiculed in person. (By the way, some of those 100+ comments seem to be from spambots, but whatever.)
Top Three Posts In Terms of Number of Comments
I don't read very many blogs, but on the ones I do read I notice that there are a lot of crap comments. Pardon me for being graphic, but if those other blogs were bushes then the comments would be pubic lice. This blog's a different story, though. This blog gets good comments. It's more like a bar with a great clientele. Sure, the odd douchebag slips in, but overall it's a great scene and I've never had to bounce anybody. So, since the commenters are a big part of what makes this blog, I'd like to look at the top three posts in terms of comment volume:
#3: The Post About the Stupid Times Blog (196)
This one's a recent one, but it caused quite a stir. By the way, with like 24 days to go Robert Mackey has discovered the wonderful world of penile numbness. That's why maybe you, uh, gain some experience as a cyclist before deciding to ride the Tour de France. Putz.
#2: The Bike Move Orgy of Smugness (213)
Who could forget that plucky, gleeful bunch of self-satisfied eco-nerds? Watch out--gentrification is coming to your town, and it's coming by bicycle! (And it's also wearing a Cone of Smugness on its head.)
#1: The Death Adders Cycling Team (214)
It's somehow fitting that Prolly and his crew should take the win by a tire. It's also strange to look at that post because I had a severe fever at the time and had to lie down like every third sentence. I'm actually surprised it's coherent. Fixed gear fever--catch it! (And I caught it all right.)
All right, this whole thing is starting to reek of a flashback episode. There are many, many things I'd like to continue to revel in, but I better cool down before I overheat and jump the shark. I just want to say that I'm really grateful to all the regular readers and commenters. There are some especially funny commenters out there (verbally and visually). I don't want to single anybody out, but those of you who read regularly know who they are. I'm also grateful to anybody and everybody who takes the time to email me anything (even if I don't write back) and for some of the people I've met both in person and via email through writing this blog. I know this all sound pretty sentimental and gushy. Trust me, I'm still as bitter a person as you'll find drunk in a Dumpster on any given night. But I'd be lying if I said I didn't find writing this blog very rewarding.
Oh, and finally, while I'm still in self-congratulatory birthday mode (hey, it's my gift to myself), if you're one of those people who's wondered who I am and how I do this every day, the answer is that I'm a good fucking writer. If your endeavor requires one you know where to find me.
Thanks as always for reading everybody. If you feel like celebrating this weekend, please have a drink or two for me tonight, and at some time this weekend make sure you take a good ride. I'll be there in spirit.