Yet another year

As the man with his hands on the reins of all things VeloReviews, I should be here telling you how great things are. About now I should be talking about how incredible this past year as been, and how amazing the next one will be. But I won’t do that. Instead, I’ll honestly say that this has been a really hard year for me, and therefore a really hard year for VeloReviews. Frankly, it has been a hard couple of years.

Anyone that has been over in the VeloReviews Forums will recognize this. The forums are a ghost town right now. VeloReviews has been on a downward trend for a while – and it is entirely because of me. Yup – I’ve been blowing it – over and over and over. Bonking. Falling off the back. Getting dropped

I’m not going to try to make excuses – but I will give you some reasons. In the time since I took over VeloReviews from the original fearless leader Jeff Helfand I’ve:

  • Changed jobs
  • Worked through ending a marriage
  • Started a new relationship with a wonderful woman
  • Continued to support 3 children
  • Maintained a residence in 2 cities
  • Worked for a San Francisco startup (which is two full time jobs in itself)
  • Poured hours into building a software platform for VeloReviews that – in the end – wasn’t what the community wanted
  • Transitioned us off of that software to what we have today.
  • Injured myself in a fall, ignored the injury for months, and now have spent months trying to recover from that injury
  • Started taking photos for VeloReviews, then discovered that I also had a passion for photography in general – especially of bicycles
  • Became a dog person
  • Started up a business to try and support VeloReviews, with a whole lot of dreams and ambitions attached to that effort
  • Blah blah blah…

In general, I’ve over-extended, over-committed, and over-promised.

And unfortunately those of you that have stuck with me have felt the ramifications of this too.

But the really sad part is, because of all of the demands of that random list above, I stopped riding. And ultimately that is what has kept me from devoting the time to VeloReviews that it deserves. You see, as my riding decreased, I started to feel guilty. Then I started to feel like a fraud. I started to think things like “How in the hell do I deserve to be running VeloReviews if I’m not even riding that much myself.” In my mind, I didn’t feel qualified to run VeloReviews. And as a result of that, the things listed above, and 1000 other excuses, I failed to put the time into it that it deserved – that you, the VeloReviews community deserved.

Then a funny thing happened. I read the news about Phil Southerland – a Type 1 diabetic competitive cyclist that went on to form Team Type 1 – had worked out a deal with pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk to form the first ever all diabetic pro cycling team, Team Novo Nordisk. As a Type 1 diabetic myself this really rang a chord. But the chord it rang sounded vaguely like Jens Voigt yelling in my ear “Shut up, Ross!” You don’t hear Phil Southerland (or Jens Voigt) rambling on with a bullet list of excuses. The either deliver, or go home and try to deliver the next day.

All the crap I was whining about above – all the excuses – they don’t mean anything. We’ve had a bad season here at VeloReviews. In fact, we’ve probably had a bad couple of seasons. We have two choices – throw in the towel, or try to do better next season. I’m not quite ready to throw in the towel just yet.

And next season starts right now.