Today is a special day and I want you to help me celebrate!
One year ago I published my first article here at BicycleTouringPro.com. Since that first post on October 27, 2007, my bicycle touring website has grown by leaps and bounds. I want to take this time now to reflect on the past year, thank you for being a part of my journey, and fill you in on my plans for the future.
Over The Past 12 Months:
– 35,000+ people have visited BicycleTouringPro.com
– 792 readers have subscribed via the RSS feed
– 763 people have signed up for the email newsletter
– 140 people have added me as a friend on Facebook
– 127 readers follow me and my ramblings on Twitter
– I’ve received emails from bicycle travelers in 116 different countries
– And 106 articles, interviews, and videos about bicycle travel have been posted to the site
For me, the best part about running this website is that it has given me something to do that I thoroughly enjoy doing. I love opening my inbox each morning and seeing the questions and comments I get from my readers around the world. I like learning about where my readers are from and what adventures they have planned for themselves. And more than anything else, I enjoy knowing that I’ve helped in some small way to make hundreds of bicycle tours become a reality.
I Couldn’t Have Done It Without You!
As much as this website has done for me, it wouldn’t be anything with you! I don’t think I could have sustained this website for as long as I have without the feedback I’ve received over the past 12 months. Of course, not all of the feedback was positive, but most of it was! And those of you who took the time to send me a kind note or leave a comment on one of the articles I’ve written… THANK YOU SO VERY, VERY MUCH! I truly do appreciate it! Your kind words are all that have kept me going at times.
My Favorite Moments:
Of the 100+ articles, videos and interviews posted to the website over the past 12 months, here are 10 of my personal favorites. If you haven’t checked these out already, I highly encourage you to do so now!
– The Secrets Of Stealth Camping
– Selecting A Mirror For Your Bicycle Tour
– An Interview With Ted Schredd: Author Of “The Cycling Adventures Of Coconuthead”
– How To Pack Your Panniers: An Inside Look
– Two Weeks Before You Leave On Your Bicycle Tour
– Poor And Happy: Why Money Doesn’t Equal Happiness
– How To Pack Your Handlebar Bag
– An Interview With World Traveler & Documentary Filmmaker: Brook Silva-Braga
– The Benefits Of Announcing Your Trip To The World
– 10 Things I Learned From My First Bicycle Tour
How Can You Help?
When I posted an article on my personal website about my 25th Birthday last week, one of my readers sent me email and asked, “Darren, I feel like you’ve helped me in so many ways. How can I help you?”
Well, if you really want to know, here are 6 easy things you can do right now to help me make BicycleTouringPro.com even bigger and better in 2009:
1) Tell someone about BicycleTouringPro.com. Send them an email, notify your friends on Facebook, sent out a Twitter, or contact your local newspaper about my touring endeavors. If you know someone interested in bicycling, world travel, or anything in between – let him or her know about the site.
2) If you haven’t done so already, sign up for the BicycleTouringPro.com newsletter. It’s free and full of great content not found anywhere on the website. Tell your friends to sign up too!
3) Subscribe via RSS. If you use RSS to read your favorite blogs and/or websites, add the BicycleTouringPro.com feed to your favorite reader now. (If you don’t know what RSS is, click here to watch a video and find out. If you aren’t using RSS feeds, you’re really missing out!)
4) Make a donation. Some people have asked if they can make a small donation towards the site. The answer, of course, is “Yes!” If you’d like to make a donation (no matter what the size), just click here. But don’t feel like you have to make a donation just because you’re a reader. If you’ve enjoyed my content and the work I’ve put into the site and you feel like helping me to make the site better in the future, then I would greatly appreciate any gift you could give – large or small.
5) If you have a website or blog of your own, link back to my site. Tell others about what you’ve seen and experienced here and I will be forever grateful.
6) Finally, if there is something you would like to see added to the site; a question you would like to have answered; or a product/service you would like to be made available to you, please leave a message for me in the comments section below. I want this website to be the best that it can be, so any of your comments and/or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Plans For The Future:
Now that I’ve been working on this website for one whole year, you would think that my interest in bicycle travel would be waning. But you’d be wrong!
In fact, as time goes by, I’m coming up with more and more ideas for the site. I get more and more questions from my readers and the community here at BicycleTouringPro.com continues to grow.
Over the next year:
– I will be hosting a huge “bicycle lifestyle” web event featuring articles, interviews, and videos from some of the biggest names in bicycle touring, world travel, and lifestyle design. (This event is less than a month away and I’ll tell you more about in the weeks to come.)
– I will be spending the next six months (December – June) traveling around Europe with my bicycle and updating the website at the same time. I’ll be bringing you on my trip with me and showing you everything I’ve done in order to plan, prepare for, and execute this 6 month journey by bicycle.
– I will add a forum where BicycleTouringPro.com readers can interact, ask questions, find riding partners, and plan out their cycling adventures.
– And I will continue to improve the newly established BicycleTouringPro.com affiliate program so that you can make a little extra money to help you finance your own bicycle travels.
I’m so grateful for everything that has happened with this website over the past 12 months and I’m excited about the months to come. I thank you for being a part of my adventure and I hope you’ll stick with me over the next 12 months as I continue to make BicycleTouringPro.com the premier website for “How To” related information on bicycle touring, world travel, and lifestyle design.
Thank you once again for being a part of my adventure! Now go and have some ice cream… just for me!