Cyclelicious reports on lunch with Paul Andrews…wait a minute, that’s me! Actually it is I who should be reporting on lunch with Richard Masoner, founder of Cyclelicio.us and one of the pioneers of bike-news blogging. As the estimable Jonathan Maus of BikePortland.org put it in an interview with Bicycle Times:
“One of the first blogs that really made me have that light-bulb moment about a community bike site was a blog about cycling in Longmont, Colorado. It was run by Richard Masoner, now the proprietor of the Cyclelicio.us blog. It had all sorts of info about this little city in Colorado. It really struck me how valuable that must have been for people who lived there.”
Richard has since moved to the San Francisco Bay Area, where I’m visiting for a few weeks. We got together for lunch in Silicon Valley, where Richard works for Sun Microsystems, recently acquired by Oracle. Richard brought along his son Ian, who graciously put up with an hour of bike-geek talk.
I’ve been blogging about cycling since I began blogging, as Richard notes, but there’s a different quality to the pursuit today. Bikes are being increasingly legitimized in a society desperate for green alternatives to oil, asphalt and the combustion engine. High gas prices, traffic congestion and health-care costs also are spurring a pedaling revolution, as Jeff Mapes terms it in the title of his book. You’re seeing dedicated cyclists being elected at the local, state and even national levels (Seattle has a cyclist running for mayor, and two avid cyclists on the city council). And of course, the bicycle has been proven to be the most efficient machine ever invented.
Richard and I, who do bike blogging as a labor of love, marvel at Jonathan’s success in Portland, but I see sites like Cyclelicio.us and BikePortland.org as a financially sustainable model for urban-based coverage of cycling everywhere. There’s certainly enough of an audience, and enough cultural momentum, to support a full news operation dedicated to cycling. Much of the news is road cycling-oriented, but that’s a factor of the blogger’s interest more than the news cycle itself. I try to be “ambidextrous” as I told Richard, perhaps getting the wrong limb in there (ambipedrous?), but the point is, bicycle consciousness is exploding in all manifestations. Thanks to people like Richard for showing us the way.