So a few of us were debating what makes a good sensationalist headline in the bicycling blogosphere, and the title of this post seemed just about perfect. Sure, it's missing a couple of things. I considered adding "...while cycling vehicularly on a low-trail bike dressed in Rapha and listening to an audio book of Grant Petersen's the Shoes Ruse." But in the end I decided less was more and went with the shorter version.
And as posts rarely live up to the promise of the titles that lure us to them, I will remain true to this tradition of disappointment by informing you that I will, unfortunately, not be traveling to California at the end of this month. It has nothing to do with my preparedness for the ride and I hope to take part in a different AdventureCORPS event in the future; the organisers have been very understanding. Stuff happens and - well, that's all really. I will practice my top 10 ways to bike uphill closer to home for the time being.
One reason sensationalist titles are on my mind lately, is that I've been getting more emails than usual with requests to host "guest posts" from various marketing entities, or to write such posts for other websites, or to embed commission-generating links into my content. I think these people find me because my titles are somehow "SEO'ed" without my realising it or doing it intentionally - a thought that for some reason depresses me. It also makes me extremely self-conscious about providing links to products, businesses, online stores, etc. in my posts, be they sponsors or not. Does it create the (false) impression that I am getting commission from those links? Or do I indeed derive some indirect benefit from it, such as showing the businesses I link to that I can drive traffic to their sites and thus encouraging them to sponsor me? Once I start thinking this way, the whole bike blogging racket starts to feel like one giant minefield and then I need to snap out of it before I can write anything unselfconsciously again.
A little while back a reporter contacted me for an interview and I declined. She responded by demanding that I prove that I am "real" and not a marketing hoax. I was offended and kind of shaken, though in the reporter's defense this was around the time of the "Amina, Gay Girl in Damascus" scandal and the idea of hoax identities was popular. I sent her a polite email with the contact information of a local reporter who had met me in person, and that was the end of it. But it left a bad taste in my mouth, as did meeting some industry people at Interbike later who confessed they'd thought it was my husband and not me who actually wrote the blog while I merely posed for pictures. Ouch?
I am starting to ramble and free-associate, but I guess the common thread for me here is the theme of absurdity. The absurdity of using catchy titles to get people to read bland content, the absurdity of making plans and announcing them, and the absurdity of this blog. I hope my readers not take any of it too seriously. Instead, let's go ride our bikes... regardless of gender, stance on helmet use and approach to elevation.