If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

- George Washington

Friday, 4 December 2009

New Bike Forum

Please accept my apologies for the blatant self-promotion.

I have started a new bike forum called Wheels Within Wheels here.

There is a story behind it, which you can read on the forum, but it is briefly this:

I joined a forum on a website called UKBike.com a few years ago. The company I worked for had bought the site from what sounded like a back-bedroom operation, and wanted to develop it. They had retained a guy who had worked a long time in the business and was a biker to the tips of his toes. He asked other employees for contributions - bike reviews, stories, opinion pieces and so on - and being a helpful sort of chap I wrote a few bits for the site.

(Interlude: at this time I hadn't ridden a bike for about ten years, after a period of illness that shot my sense of balance to blazes and forced me to sell my bike and retire from the game. Writing these pieces for the website rekindled my interest and soon I was casually going past the local dealership, whistling and trying not to seem as if I was looking. My balance had improved considerably over the years, and as they say, once a biker, always a biker. I ended up with a delightful Yamaha XT660R and the rest doesn't need telling.

But I digress.)

I joined the website discusion forum and made some great acquaintances there. However, over time the company showed a complete lack of interest in the bike side of things, only interested in the bottom line, and the guy who was looking after it was moved on. A succession of bright young things, keen and curious, followed him, but none were bikers and their interest soon waned. The forum was neglected by the owners, and started to dwindle. Few new members were attracted, and the old ones gradually fell away until there a hard core of about five. Posting to the forum became a bit like shouting in an empty house. All you could hear was your own echo.

The hard core were a good bunch, and I felt that with a better forum (less glitchy software and more management interest) we could keep going. So I baled out of the forum there - I had baled out of the company two years previously - and set up one of my own. I invited the existing posters to come and have a look, and a few did and stayed.

The forum is still in its formative stages, and has yet to reach the kind of critical mass that will allow it an independent existence. I need posters, contributions, and a lot of traffic to make it worthwhile. If anyone reading this fancies a look, please feel free to visit. There isn't much to read there yet, but if everyone who visits posts a few words, it will be worth coming back to and even bookmarking. It's not specific to any make or style of bike; just a few committed lunatics who like to meet and chat about bikes and the world in general.

Pop along if you have a minute and say Hi.

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