It’s not yet five months until Hillsboro-Roubaix and already I’m hearing chatter about 2011 preparations. People are changing teams or planning improvements to what they have. Some riders are taking a much-deserved rest, while others are starting their first base mesocycles and setting up new trainer spaces.
And so it is in that spirit of change and renewal that I have an announcement of my own for 2011: Chicago Bike Racing will be going into semi-retirement.
I will still maintain a calendar of regional races, both USAC and ABR. And I will still publish a weekly notebook of fun or newsworthy links. But I’ll no longer be aggregating reports into wrap-ups, I’ll no longer be previewing upcoming races, and it will take news of substantial urgency and importance to rise above a line in the notebook.
Since output will approach a trickle, I’m also going to cease running advertisements effective Jan. 1.
Because I’m tired.
CBR never quite became the site I originally envisioned, but even with lower ambitions it chewed up more mornings than I can count, mornings I came to wish were spent sleeping, riding my bicycle or — heaven portend — having fun with non-bike activities.
Well-meaning readers have suggested I outsource work to volunteers. It’s a good idea. But I’m a terrible manager. I would spend just as much time hewing others’ work to my standards and my voice as I would spend just doing it myself.
It’s funny: I’ve had this post in mind since mid-June, but I’m still at a loss for words. I’ve put off writing this for weeks. This change doesn’t come lightly. CBR has been fun for the past four years, and I’m grateful for all the connections and friendships it’s created in our community.
I’m especially grateful for those who supported me through advertising, including ABD and CycleAnalyze, who have hogged that upper corner almost since the beginning. And I’m grateful for the dozens of you who bought my calendars over the years or who contributed when I passed the hat two years ago.
That said, this project has always been about love more than money, so most of all I’m grateful for anyone who came up to me at a race to just say “Thanks.” Several times I’ve thought about hanging it up only to have a Cat 5 tell me they were doing their first race and it was all because of CBR. That’s all it took to commit to another season.
When I’m feeling nostalgic I like to look up any ancient results sheet and study the names in the lower categories. It’s a fun exercise. See who has made it to the elites, see who has disappeared, see who is still sandbagging in the 5’s.
Indeed, a lot has changed in the past four years, and we’ve been through a lot together. Like any family, we’ve had our share of triumphs and tragedies, fights and love fests, beginnings and endings. Races have come and gone, equipment has evolved, and race promotion has gotten much more professional.
And some of the changes make it easier to say good-bye to CBR. Relative to 2007, race information is easier to come by, and thanks to Facebook and Twitter, it’s easier to get results and swap stories.
In other words, my work here is done. See you at the races.