Five years ago today I started an exciting new project. I had published about 150 posts in about four months on The Oregonian’s website, but I was itching to do more. I had all sorts of crazy notions about what a blog that focused on Portland’s bike scene could become and I wanted to do it on my own — without any editors or outdated blog software holding me back.
So, I grabbed a free WordPress theme, bought the BikePortland.org domain name, added the “To inform and inspire” motto, and off I went. I had no idea what I was getting into, but I knew I loved it.
So much has changed since those early days it’s hard to put it into words. My author page says I’ve posted 6,397 articles. Among them are stories and comments (about 114,000 of them!) that have taken me on an amazing roller-coaster of emotions and experiences. There have been countless controversies, celebrations, glorious bike parades, tragedies, triumphs, and everything in between. Day after day, week after week, month after month: We’ve covered just about every bike topic you can imagine (and maybe some you can’t!).
This is a big year for BikePortland. I’ve got a lot of skin into this game and I don’t feel like waiting around and just hoping for it to all turn out well in the end. J.R. and I have been working hard to build a stronger infrastructure so the site can grow into a sustainable business and so I can start to have some of that skin back. We’re making good progress, but we’re not quite there yet.
With everything that has changed, I remain 100% committed to the pursuit of high-quality bicycle journalism and the (sometimes complicated) role I play as an advocate for bicycling. I take both of those roles very seriously and I’m constantly learning how to balance them.
Whether you’ve been reading for five years or five days… Thank you! This site only works because of your contributions, comments (especially the critical ones) and emails. I’m also extremely indebted to everyone that has contributed articles, especially Ms. Elly Blue, our former managing editor who now does the weekly Monday Roundup. Her help in keeping me sane these last few years was invaluable.
I’d also like to thank all of our supporters and advertising partners. Without your financial support, I would have had to get a “real job” a long time ago. It’s only because of our advertisers that BikePortland.org is what it is today.
If you think we’ve done a lot these past five years, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. There’s so much more we can do; the opportunity and potential we’ve created for ourselves is staggering. Journalism is a powerful tool and one that I think will be key in pushing bicycling in America into it’s second Golden Age.
I hope you’ll stick around for another five years to see what happens next.