Looking through the pictures I took of a recent ride along the cherry-blossoming Charles River, I realised that it has been just about a year since I began Lovely Bicycle. I say "about a year", because I am not entirely sure when exactly I started writing vs. publishing the entries. But apparently it was right around this time, as in my first documented bike-ride the blossoms were in bloom as well.
It is customary to conduct some sort of self-assessment when a project like this reaches its 1-year anniversary. But when I think about why I started this website, I feel suddenly inarticulate and a little confused - because honestly I do not have a good reason. I am not an activist and do not seek to promote "a cycling lifestyle". Life has worked out for me in such a way, that personally I have not driven a car since 2007, and I love to ride my bicycle(s) for both transportation and recreation. However, if you happen to own a dozen SUVs and enjoy driving them, that is fine with me. If you collect bicycles solely for the purpose of photographing them in your garden and never actually ride them, that is fine as well. And if you are a die-hard Foresterite vehicular cyclist who hates bike infrastructure and loves 6-lane roads with 40mph+ speed limits, that's wonderful too. You are all welcome, if you feel that you can relate to some aspect of this website.
Neither is the motive of this weblog a diary-style documentation of my life. Those who know me in person are aware that my posts here create an amusingly incomplete and warped presentation of my actual life and personality. And finally, neither was it ever my intent (not that I am in any danger of this) to gain commercial success or recognition for this website.
When I first started Lovely Bicycle, the intent was to review the options that were out there for bicycles that were both practical and aesthetically pleasing for people with lifestyles and tastes similar to mine. This was driven by my own frantic search for a "lovely bicycle" in Spring of 2009. However, the weblog developed far beyond this premise and I am still no closer to explaining what motivates me to continue it - when frankly my life is quite hectic as it is and does not need extra projects.
I will be honest: This discrepancy of the blog getting larger and more time consuming (I now get over a dozen emails per week and it is becoming impossible to answer most of them) with my not having a good explanation for why I am doing this, has caused me some concern and I have considered discontinuing Lovely Bicycle on several occasions. An alternative option could be to start accepting selected sponsorships, and using any earnings from these to at least cut down on some of the consulting projects I do in order to stay financially afloat - thereby freeing up time to continue working on the blog. But I do not have a clear idea of how this could be done while still maintaining the home-made feel of this wesite.
In short, it remains to be determined in what direction Lovely Bicycle will meander next, if at all. But in the meantime, I can't seem to help continuing to take pictures of beautiful bicycles and writing all of this nonsense about them!
While taking the pictures shown in this post, I was approached by a couple who asked me whether their daughter could pose next to my bicycle for their home-made video of the girl reciting "Make Way for Ducklings" by Robert McCloskey. We moved the bicycle closer to the river, and the mother directed the daughter while the father videotaped. They did several takes of the recital and the child was adorable.
Of course I didn't have the heart to tell them that the "ducklings" in the river were in fact geese. Where better for me to share a story of such an encounter, than on Lovely Bicycle?...