The plan for 2015

Was Santa good to you?

I’m a few days early for New Year’s resolutions, but as this is a rare moment where I surface above the sea of over-indulgence (or from mini-DarkerSide’s new ball pit), I’m going slightly early.

But first…

2014—the year of the baby

I became a dad in April this year. He’s amazing. A wriggling embodiment of drool, strange noises, and distressing smells; constantly reminding me of how little I know about the important things in life (and what actually is important).

Mini-DarkerSide himself

Oddly enough, the blog has been somewhat quiet as a result, although parenthood has given me a host of extra things to write about. The most read things over the past year have been:

  • A 2013 review of B&M’s Luxos IQ2 U dynamo headlight.
  • A rant at the Advertising Standard’s Agency’s decision to ban a cycling safety advert.
  • An even older review of RideWithGPS (an online route planning tool).
  • My initial thoughts on the Optima High Baron recumbent.
  • A more detailed piece on the MetaBike recumbent.

The baby stuff came in a bit lower down, with a review of two woven babywearing wraps and information on NCT antenatal classes at the top.

Most of you came here from search engines, followed by Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and the CityCyclingEdinburgh forum. I also see that WordPress has a rather cool “where your readers live” graph. Can I take this moment to wave at the two folk in Ghana?

Map showing where visitors to the site came from
The top ten countries aren’t that unexpected for a primarily cycling blog (although Finland is perhaps oddly high…)


Just before Christmas I bought myself a Garmin Virb video camera. It broke after a week, but you can see the first two (exceptionally dull) videos on YouTube. The warranty replacement is in the post… The standard of photography on the blog remains appalling, however, so don‘t expect anything much from moving pictures.

Moving away from my own ramblings, the CityCyclingGlasgow forum continues to grow despite my complete lack of attention as the site admin. We’ve got 136 members now and almost 2000 posts; which isn’t bad given how much of a pig the site is to use (and how few people cycle in Glasgow…).

2015—the year of Getting Stuff Done

I move to a new job in the centre of Glasgow in January. This will reduce my commute from the 50km-each-way horror it is at the moment to a 5km rush-hour pootle (a cause of great rejoicing). It’s not worth getting lycra-d up on the recumbent for that short a trip, so I’ll be back on the upright every day. As I have no intention of changing my diet, I’ll also have to start riding for pleasure again to keep the fitness up. Expect some ride reports!

With the 18 hours of commuting time I’ll save each week, I’m hoping to kick the blog into some kind of schedule. From the 5th of January, I’ll be aiming for a baby post every Monday, something bikey on Wednesdays, and a final post on Friday that might be more of the same, or something completely different.

Place your bets on how long that will last.

CityCyclingGlasgow will get the makeover it desperately needs over the next week, and the Twitter account (@CyclingGlasgow, if you’re not yet a follower) will start being more vocal.

The current CCG forum
Savour that default phpBB forum design while you can; it won’t be there for long now!

In terms of the Stuff that will be Done, there’s the implementation of Glasgow’s transport strategy to cajole along. I’ll also keep the cycling quick wins series going (number one, looking at parked cars in Balvicar Street, is here). If none of that floats your boat, then mini-DarkerSide is now definitely big enough to join me on some rides, so I’ll be looking at the various ways you can shift kids around by bike.

Upcoming baby posts include a look at capacity and consent in kids, vaccinations, a review of the Sola2 pram, and probably a whole host of stuff on weaning.

Nationally, the Scottish Government is half-way through their Cycle Action Plan, and are making no progress whatsoever. Reminding our leaders that active transport won’t just go away, the fourth Pedal on Parliament is on the 25 April 2015 in Edinburgh; it’s a grand day out for all the family! We’re also way behind in our global warming targets, and are enjoying some of the most polluted streets in Europe because of it. Smarting from the failure at independence, maybe it’s time our leaders started demonstrating they can deliver against their objectives.

We’ll see what happens.

Have a good Hogmanay!

…and I’ll see you in 2015.

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