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Taking a break from the blog

Miscellaneous 22 260

A shot from the Bike Hugger mobile social at Interbike a few years ago. Good times! Check it out if you’re in Vegas this week.

If you are reading this, you probably know that Interbike is underway in Las Vegas this week. I started to write a post about it today, but I ran out of steam as soon I got started. That lack of motivation to post has been plaguing me for a while now (it is certainly not for lack of content), so I think that it’s time for me to take a little break from this blog. I am not sure if it will take weeks, or months, or a year, but I’ll resume blogging when I feel like I am ready for it again. Yeah, I know that Bicycle Design might lose readers if I am gone for too long, but honestly, I have never been all that concerned with traffic or metrics. For me, this blog has always been about connecting with those of you who share a passion for bikes, creativity, and design…and I think a longish break is necessary to recapture that (on my end at least).

I mentioned Interbike, because the show reminds me that it has been almost exactly eight years since I quickly set up a blog and hit publish on my very first post.  At that time, I never imagined that this blog would ever reach so many people, or provide an outlet for industrial designers to share their bike related work, or even play a role in generating the level of interest in bike design that we see on the internet today (OK…that last one might be a stretch, but I like to believe it, so don’t burst my bubble). I really never had a plan for this blog at the beginning. It was just something I wanted to try, so I started it on a whim.  Lately though, that excitement that I used to feel about sharing and discussing ideas and concepts has been replaced by a feeling that I NEED to post something every week or so. Instead of serving as a creative outlet and mental break from my work as a product designer, the blog has started to feel a bit like…well…a bit like a job I guess. That’s not what I want from it, which is why I feel the need to walk away (or ride away) for a while.

I have quite a few personal design projects that I have been putting off, so I want to shift some of my attention to those for now. Until I get back to this blog (and the associated social media accounts), you will be able to find me on Twitter at @JCTdesign, on Google +, on Instagram, and a few other places on the web.

I am truly grateful for the incredibly positive experience of writing this blog for the past eight years. I have learned so much from it (more than I can cover here), and I have met some really great people along the way (both online and in person). I really do want to sincerely thank all of you who have contributed, commented, or just read my posts here over the years, and apologize to those of you who have recently submitted design work that I never got a chance to share. OK…that’s enough of this sounding like a goodbye post. I can always share some of those submitted designs when I am back. Not sure when that will be just yet, but I hope you will stay subscribed to find out.


  1. romu September 19, 2013 at 8:14 am -  Reply

    Thanks for this blog James, it was really a pleasure to read, and I discovered so many exciting bikes thanks to you.

    All the best for the future.

  2. Andreas September 19, 2013 at 10:23 am -  Reply

    Hope you enjoy taking a break from BicycleDesign, know how it feels to grow a blog and look after it on a daily basis. It’s a huge pleasure and at times very draining. Hope you will one day return for more posting, as the content here is killer 🙂

  3. Rob September 19, 2013 at 11:46 am -  Reply

    Great work!
    What you need are some stringers to provide content from their geography or industry perspective.

  4. James Thomas September 19, 2013 at 1:29 pm -  Reply

    Thanks Romu, Andreas, and Rob! I appreciate the comments.

    Rob, good idea and worth consideration. I have a few different ideas for the future of this blog…all part of the reason that a break from the status quo of rushed posts is in order.

  5. Matteo September 19, 2013 at 3:17 pm -  Reply

    …I’m sorry to hear that… this blog is one of the first pages that I always open when I get in internet!
    Best of luck for your new ideas….. and thank you!!

  6. Ricky September 19, 2013 at 5:15 pm -  Reply

    Sorry to hear but, yes, thanks for the very interesting content and the work that you have put in to this over the years. Agree with Rob… after a break, if you can muster the energy, have a think about getting some people to help you out. You might find being an “editor” being an interesting change and less demanding. But take that break and go for some long miles away from these damned screens! Not sure that I ever actually subscribed so I will do so. Good work

  7. Human_Amplifier September 20, 2013 at 1:28 pm -  Reply

    Its always good to recharge 🙂 …… enjoy the break and dont feel any compulsion to re-start unless and when you want to. Your contribution to the development of bicycles and the encouragement of said development is already priceless. …. I, and many, many other bike designers have been SO grateful to hear of and see news of bicycle development.

    Now, take in the acknowledgement and ENJOY your break 🙂

  8. Androo September 20, 2013 at 6:23 pm -  Reply

    Hey James, sorry to hear it, but I totally understand where you’re coming from. This is one of my favourite cycling blogs, so I suspect if you come back to it, I’ll be back, too.

    All the best with the rest!

  9. Faust September 22, 2013 at 3:11 am -  Reply

    Thanks from Italy.

  10. Josh Garrett September 22, 2013 at 12:33 pm -  Reply

    Thanks for your input from the industry, although I only found a year or so ago, its been wonderful to read this last year. I live in Greenville now. We’ll have to meet for a coffee. I’m the guy on the Red Bullit Cargo bike. 🙂


    • James Thomas September 24, 2013 at 9:04 am -  Reply

      Hey Josh, Good to hear that you are in Greenville. Shoot me an email. It would be cool to meet up sometime.

  11. Erik Eagleman September 23, 2013 at 3:47 am -  Reply

    Well James, you have done a great job thus far with this blog. It is something I check daily. The bicycle designers out there I am sure appreciate your work to this site as much as I do too. Thanks a bunch, and look forward to your return. Now go get inspired!

  12. Vincent September 23, 2013 at 4:18 pm -  Reply

    OOOOOOOHHHHhhhh James!
    Well, after the surprise, we wish you a lot of success with your projects.
    I’m sure that the bicycle design community will enjoy to see you back in “weeks, months or a year” to continue to explore concepts and designs!
    And OK, I subscribe!

  13. pierre September 23, 2013 at 8:18 pm -  Reply

    Hi James, so sorry to hear that, but I totally understand; you’ve been doing a fantastic job keeping thousands of bike design fans acquainted with the very best that is to be seen from around the globe.
    It is too bad because I had just written for you a short report about what I found interesting at the Paris e-bike and cycle show, like the new Peugeot compact e-bike, Moustache wooden electric bike, Douze cargo bike, etc.
    Would there be any possibility that some you your blog readers supply articles ready for you to put online?
    Make Bicycle Design a cooperative blog for the time you want to take a rest away from it?
    You have so many followers that I’m sure you could select a great panel of international contributors willing to prepare articles that you could choose from.
    Best regards,

    • James Thomas September 24, 2013 at 9:02 am -  Reply

      Good suggestion, Pierre! You personally have provided some great content from French shows and designers in the past, and I greatly appreciate that. I have published a few guest posts from regular readers (including Mark Sanders who commented above) and I am definitely open to doing much more of that in the future. If you have a particular post idea in mind, feel free to contact me directly. That goes for anyone else with a design focused story idea.

      Unfortunately, I do receive “guest post submissions” each week, and the vast majority of them are thinly veiled product ads from PR companies. With limited time, weeding through the spammy messages about products (many not even related to bikes) is one of the frustrations of running a blog with a larger audience. Most of the email I receive is not relevant to the topic of bicycle design, but occasionally really good ideas from readers get lost in that sea of spam ( I had over 2,000 unread emails when I wrote this post). A better way for readers to submit posts ideas or full posts is something I am definitely thinking about during my blogging break., but again, I am open to suggestions.

  14. Etienne September 23, 2013 at 10:12 pm -  Reply

    I’ve been reading your blog for the last… from the beginning! I enjoyed every bit of it. I felt kind of connected being an ID grad and working in the bike business, I liked the different tone I found here compared to all the other industry related blog or media. Good job, enjoy your time off!

  15. Angelo September 24, 2013 at 5:01 am -  Reply

    Excellent job James & hope you enjoy the break!

  16. James Thomas September 24, 2013 at 8:40 am -  Reply

    Thanks everyone! I really appreciate the nice comments… and the suggestions for ways to improve the blog upon its return. I am definitely open to new ideas as I think about the future of this blog, so please keep them coming.

  17. Silicone Tidds September 27, 2013 at 6:38 am -  Reply

    This blog has been a great companion and inspiration… Have a good break James. You’ll be back!

  18. WK September 27, 2013 at 9:10 am -  Reply

    Hi James,

    This is WK from Far South East. Where some Shimano parts were made, in ‘Malaysia’.
    Thanks for your awesome blog. Hope to you would rekindle your fire. With new ideas and passion.


  19. Simon October 8, 2013 at 3:25 am -  Reply

    Hi James,

    I think I read every post since 2009, posting comments here and there. I am both a cyclist and a product designer (weighing scales, and e-bikes sometimes), so I am really going to miss this blog.
    I understand the amount of time required to post every single week, but you don’t have to do it all yourself. I’ll second what Pierre wrote above. Since you use wordpress it’s pretty easy to set up users who can post, edit comments and sort mails. Somehow you could easily gather an editorial team to do that. I’m sure there is plenty of volunteers among those who post comments. I am anyway!

  20. Francis Chu October 19, 2013 at 6:22 pm -  Reply

    Hi James,
    Hi from Singapore. As a product designer and a bicycle promoter, I enjoy reading your blog very much. Every time I visited your blog there is a little inspiration that keep my mind tinkering. Due to time limit I have not been able to follow every post. Now is the time to catch up while you are taking a break 😉 Joke aside perhaps you can gather a panel of volunteers to help filter the emails, so that you, or a team of editors, can focus on the real stuffs?

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