While the Queen celebrates her Diamond Jubilee, we’ve got our own two big reasons to celebrate on London Cyclist Blog.
The first is that we have just surpassed 10,000 followers on Twitter. That’s almost double what we had this time last year and it makes London Cyclist one of the most popular cycling Twitter accounts on the internet.
As if to confirm our popularity, I also heard today that we won the Crank Awards Favourite Lifestyle Cycling Blog. Not only that but apparently:
“London Cyclist Blog received more votes than any other blog in any of the six categories.”
That tells me one thing: If you heard about it via our newsletter or Twitter you took the time out of your day to vote for London Cyclist. For that I’m really grateful.
Before we pop open the champagne, here’s the big announcement.
London Cyclist Blog initially opened its doors a couple of weeks before Christmas in 2007. The purpose was to help a group of cyclists that I felt were ignored by the big cycling publications. That’s the casual, everyday cyclist like myself. Those who want to get started with cycling, learn a little about bike maintenance without getting too technical and find out how they can make their daily commute even more of a pleasure.
It seemed I was not alone in looking for this information and the site has grown pretty rapidly since then, as we’ve been joined by thousands of fellow cyclists.
Today, I’m announcing that I’ll soon be launching the London Cyclist Handbook. It’s exactly what I wished I had available to me back when I first started cycling in London.
The Handbook will cover the basics such as finding the perfect bike, keeping it out of the hands of thieves and staying safe. We then move on to lots of London specific advice including the best bike shops, events, cafes and enjoyable routes through the capital that will have you avoiding the busy roads in favour of quiet backstreets. Then there’s a section that helps you choose the best cycling gear and teaches you how to look after your bike. Finally, for the more advanced cyclists, we talk about how you can take things to the next level through cycling clubs and long distance rides.
We’ve got a ton more in there such as interviews with some really interesting people but I really don’t want to give everything away yet.
The Handbook won’t just be a copy and paste of the blog posts. It has been completely written from the ground up based on experiences and the thousands of comments the blog has received.
This is one of those ideas I’ve had for a long time but kept putting off, so I’m actually feeling quite relieved that I can finally announce it to everyone and at the same time nervous to hear what everyone will think. Plus, now I’ve made a public commitment so there’s no going back!
Initially we’ll be launching as an eBook and on the Kindle and iPad. However, it will be possible to read this on pretty much any device. I’ve not yet finalised any details on price and so forth so there’s still much to think about and I’ve still got to keep up my excuses to good friends who put up with my “I’m really sorry, I can’t come to that” during projects like this one.
Over the coming days and weeks I’ll be revealing more but I really hope that this will be an incredibly useful resource for any cyclists in London and indeed beyond that.
P.S. The London Cyclist Handbook will be illustrated by the very talented Jack Noel who’s style I really feel fits well with what I’m trying to do with London Cyclist and the Handbook.
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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.