I guess it’s a passion… it didn’t start out like this and I never intended it to be like this, the blog just grew quietly, and then it gathered pace, and then it snowballed and before I knew it I was helping people around the globe. I was learning stuff and then sharing everything I knew about TI-Raleigh’s Specialist Bicycle Development Unit and the frames they made. It’s taken over any spare time I have but it comes with it’s own problems.
Yes, little old me, actually talking to people all over the world. It’s a commitment. Running my blog is hard work, it consumes so much time. I didn’t have a clue that it would turn out like this way back in 2011, I was just a guy with a frame and a thirst for knowledge.
I don’t really write personal posts. I’m not an open book or social butterfly. My mam once told me I was “as deep as the ocean”. I don’t open up very often, or even at all, and I keep my thoughts to myself. But something just got to me earlier and I felt the need to write some words.
Every day can be a challenge. The internet is a weird and wonderful place. It can also be a very strange place. SPAM can consume a blog and spam comments are a curse, they come in by the 100’s. But sometimes hidden deep inside the spam are real comments, so I spend time reading spam just to make sure that I can sift out your comments and requests and respond to them.
Every day can be a challenge. The internet is full of experts. My data and the posts I write are questioned on a seemingly daily basis but so far, everything I’ve written has proved time and again to be correct. It can sometimes take as little as 30 minutes to hammer away at the keyboard and publish a post… more often though it takes much longer. It can take months to write a blog post because my posts can be quite technical and detailed, that requires a high level of accuracy and that requirement for accuracy takes a massive amount of time, research and fact checking.
Every day can be a challenge. I have contact through my blog, contact through comments, contact through my email, contact through my TI-Raleigh Facebook page and contact on personal messenger. I can spend hours replying to emails and messages… but I try and answer them all. I try my best to answer everything as well as I can. The vintage bicycle world can sometimes be a secretive place – maybe people think knowledge is power and they don’t like sharing, they want to keep their knowledge to themselves – that’s not me, I’ll happily talk for hours.
Every day can be a challenge. So why do I do it?
It all comes back to the passion. A passion that drives me on to do what I do.
The last couple of months have been hard. Regular challenges can take their toll on even the hardiest, and the feeling of it all being a constant one sided ‘take’, and the feeling of being taken for granted has been hard to suppress recently.
I actually took my TI-Raleigh Facebook page and this entire blog offline earlier. I came to a point today where those daily challenges got too much. I had a feeling that it was becoming all ‘take’ and no ‘give’, and even though it can sometimes feel a lot like that, the passion and the desire to share what I do made me flick the switch and bring it all back online again.
My collection and my blog mean everything to me, they are both part of my life now. That might sound silly, but it’s true. The frames and bikes I own have helped to provide the knowledge and that knowledge fills the pages of my blog – my collection has enabled me to do everything I do. Without my collection there is no blog!
So I’m going to work on those feelings and continue to quash the daily challenges and continue to share what I learn. If you want to know something then just ask, I’ll continue to answer. I never expect anything in return but it’s so nice when it happens and helps to make my efforts feel worthwhile.
Anyway, enough of all that, let’s back to blogging!