The death of two cyclists in Thailand made me stop and think about relationships and social media. I’m sure it’s been written already and probably better, but for me the ability to share life and bicycling experiences via the internet, whether through blogging, Twitter, etc., is appreciated. I’ve learned so much just tapping into the invisible waves of communication. But what about the people we don’t actually meet but begin a conversation with via social media? Do we really know them?
At the most basic, via a text, I’m able to check in with my daughter at college, or inquire as to dinner with my partner. I can quickly see what’s going on in the bicycle world on Twitter, or I can vicariously ride the Tour Divide with brave souls who have completed that monumental task and taken the time to share their adventures through their blog.
You can see who’s blogs I read. Some I’ve followed going on three years and some are quite new. I do add and drop certain sites based on my own interests and how compelling their writing is to me. I’ve recently added some randonneuring blogs; I hope to do my first populaire this year. I’ve developed a sense of relationship with some just by reading their words, and viewing their photos. Sometimes I reach out and comment on their blog. I might share my congratulations on their feats of accomplishment, or just a few words to say I hear their sorrow. Sometimes I just ask a question; “what kind of light is that on your handlebar?” Often they respond, and some in return follow my blog.
Coastrider is one of the blogs I’ve followed the longest. From Scotland, a blog with wonderful photos, stories and videos. It was Coastrider who inspired me to not only purchase a Pugsley, but build my Pugs with an IGH. When Coastrider posted he was ill and couldn’t ride for at least a month, I worried about him. I checked his blog every day to see his latest post and to make sure, if possible, he was OK.
MNBicycleCommuter hasn’t posted since July last year after his failed attempt at riding cross-country; a dream he’d held for many years. When Doug posted he’d abandoned his tour, I was shocked. I had been reading Doug’s posts daily, sharing in his preparations. I was happy for him when he announced his departure, and sad for him when he shared he had stopped. Doug is the real deal; a full-time bike commuter, snow, sleet or rain. It was Doug’s blog and his words with beautiful pictures from his part of the country that inspired me to begin commuting by bike. I urge you to take a look at his blog. I’m sorry Doug discontinued his blog.
So, do I know these people? I affirm that I know a part of them, just like you, the reader, know a little about me. With the sharing of words and photos and the topics we choose to write about, a little of who we are just sneaks out. I’m a very private person; even introverted. I enjoy writing and taking pictures and my blog is part creative outlet. If I’m honest though, my words here are also a little about reaching out to the world; here I am. These are some of the things I do, I love and I’m willing to share with you.
Did I know Mary and Pete? Well, I’d never met them in person but I know they grabbed the world by the horns and didn’t let the fears of living interfere with the act of LIVING.