It’s a reflective day here at BikePortland. Six years ago today I launched this site, breaking away from OregonLive.com and the “Bike Fun” blog I started there in April 2005.
11,604 posts and over 150,000 comments later, and I’m still here writing about all things bike every weekday. When I started, I think many people in the community figured I would burn out. I can’t blame people for thinking that. I poured my heart and soul into this site for years, sacrificing a lot of other important things in my life, just to build the foundation I have today.
And I’m glad I did.
I’ll admit I’ve faced times over the years when I wanted to just walk away and do something else. Something that would be easier and more stable. Something with fewer battles and controversies and debates. But I’ve always come back. There’s always another story, another issue, or another person I meet that reminds me why I’m here and why I love this work so much.
For regular readers who have been around a few years, you’ve watched me learn as I go. You’ve watched me, in a very public way, learn how to do journalism and advocacy — and attempt the often messy trick of mixing the two.
Even as the site has grown — and the stakes and expectations have grown with it — I still strive to be candid, honest, and most importantly, independent. Whether I’m writing a comment, an editorial, a news story, or speaking to the local media, I value my independent voice — free from the strings of donors, political maneuvering, or bureaucratic constraints — above everything else.
I feel very proud about what we’ve accomplished as an online community. Like I’ve shared many times, I do not see a division between what I write and what is written in comments. To me, both are equally important and deserving of my respect as publisher.
It’s impossible to recap all the highs and lows (and there have been plenty of both) and it’s impossible to thank the many generous, smart, and inspirational people that have made BikePortland possible. But I’ll try. To my supporters, former staffers, readers, critics, and everyone in between. Thanks.
Just as important as the people who have helped me build this site (Elly Blue and Jonathan Reed I’m looking at you), it wouldn’t exist without support from advertisers and from readers. If you haven’t left a tip in a while, please consider doing it now. I’m really bad at asking for support; but I need to do it more.
This site cannot survive on ads alone, nor do I want to be so reliant on them. I need contributions from readers who value the daily content I publish. Here’s that support page again so you can join this esteemed list of fellow readers.
Whether you do it with cash, with comments, or with other contributions, thanks for reading and supporting BikePortland through the years. Who knows what the next six might bring…