It’s been a great ride

Miscellaneous 34 289

Its-been-a-great-rideIt is hard to pinpoint the exact reason that I started this blog in 2005. I could say that it was to showcase the work of industrial designers in the bicycle industry, or to give students a place to share their bike related ideas and concepts, or maybe the idea was just to generate discussion and get people thinking about the potential of bicycles, and other types of human powered machines, to change the world for the better. Over time, I believe the blog has served all of those purposes, but when I quickly put together that first post over eight years ago, I wasn’t thinking any of those things. The fact is, this blog was something I started one day on a whim, and I never imagined that it would ever last so long… or reach so many people.

In 2005, it wasn’t easy to find content about the design of bicycles on the web. The Bicycle Design blog filled a niche, and I like to think that it played some small role in generating the level of interest in bicycle design that we see today (that may or may not be true, but I still like to think it, so don’t burst my bubble). These days, blogs like Core77, Dezeen, Fast Co. Design, designboom, Yanko Design, and many others post bike related content on a regular basis. Every year it seems, there are more and more outlets for industrial designers to share their bike related work, and that is definitely a good thing. I feel like the end of Bicycle Design will leave a small void on the web, but I think it is one that can be filled by many of the other excellent design blogs out there (and by new ones as well).

If you just discovered Bicycle Design or haven’t looked back in a while, I encourage you to explore the 8+ years worth of archives. There really is some great stuff in those archives, so I want to again say thanks to all you who have shared links, contributed your designs, participated in the competitions, or added to the discussion over the years. You guys all made this experience a great one for me… and I really do appreciate it.

Outside of my design job, my focus will now be on other projects. After all these years, I don’t think I can quit blogging entirely though. My new blog at JCTdesign.net will be a place for me to occasionally (likely very occasionally) talk about design, my projects, and anything else that interests me. I will also continue to be active on Google + and on Twitter at @JCTdesign (and yes, I’ll continue to post about bikes and human powered transportation in those places). So this is not really a goodbye post… just moving on to a new chapter. Thanks again to all of you for reading and contributing to Bicycle Design for the past 8 years! I hate to end with a cliché, but it really has been a great ride.

Update 8/20/14: Disregard everything you just read here. This final post is not so final anymore. I guess I just needed a 6 month break, but Bicycle Design is now back!


34 Comments

  1. mommus February 18, 2014 at 12:44 pm -  Reply

    Very sad to hear you’re closing the blog

    I have found Bicycledesign.net a genuine inspiration, from its wide-range of stories to the way the curiosity and enthusiasm of the author flows throughout.

    I think this blog has been instrumental in maintaining my excitement for cycling, and for design in general.

    Thank you for all you have given to your readers

    • James Thomas February 20, 2014 at 1:08 pm -  Reply

      Thanks, mommus. I know that you have been a longtime reader and commenter, and I appreciate the kind words.

  2. BFresh February 18, 2014 at 1:01 pm -  Reply

    As an Industrial Designer and fellow cycle enthusiast, I always enjoyed reading your posts. A link to your blog sits next to my daily reads (gizmodo, core77, etc) on my browser’s bookmark bar, as will your new blog. I have found that many blogs post about interesting bicycle design, but very few other blog writers really understand design AND how a bike works/is made.

    I am planning to launch my own interesting bicycle design in the near future and was looking forward to trying to have it featured on this site. You are certainly at the top of my list when it comes to going public, whether you post it on your new blog or not, I’m sure you’ll be interested to see it.

    Keep up the good work

    • James Thomas February 20, 2014 at 1:10 pm -  Reply

      Thanks. I’ll look forward to seeing your design when you make it public.

  3. Mohsen February 18, 2014 at 1:28 pm -  Reply

    So sorry to hear that.

    • James Thomas February 20, 2014 at 1:06 pm -  Reply

      Mohsen, change isn’t always bad. Give my new (smaller) blog a chance.

      …and thanks for your past contributions to Bicycle Design.

  4. James February 18, 2014 at 1:36 pm -  Reply

    Thanks for the last eight years and enjoy life without the pressure of continuing to present a high quality blog. Your blog brought me to places I would probably never found on my own.

    Good luck and good health with your future

    • James Thomas February 20, 2014 at 1:11 pm -  Reply

      Thanks! I’m glad you enjoyed the blog and I appreciate the well wishes.

  5. Grand Bi February 18, 2014 at 6:30 pm -  Reply

    strange to read this post on the very first day I’m looking at the blog since the “I’m taking a break” post couple months back.
    Good luck on your next projects I will certainly be reading those as well.

    • James Thomas February 20, 2014 at 1:14 pm -  Reply

      Definitely bad timing. I had hoped the break would give me time to recharge and get back to it, but I realized that it was time for something new. Glad to hear that you will be following along to see what comes next.

  6. michael downes February 18, 2014 at 10:34 pm -  Reply

    James,

    A sad day indeed. Your blog was a huge inspiration to me and I was very proud to have been able to contribute in a small way. It certainly provided the impetus for my own bicycle designs and blog. Good luck in you future endeavors.

    Regards,

    Michael

    • James Thomas February 20, 2014 at 12:41 pm -  Reply

      Michael, thanks for the comment and for your contributions to the blog! You were the first bike industry designer who I profiled back in 2006. Hard it believe it was that long ago. Thanks for your two excellent guest posts as well. All greatly appreciated.

  7. Tirapop February 18, 2014 at 10:43 pm -  Reply

    Thanks. I’m going to miss the interesting posts that turned up on your blog and the perspective you brought.

    • James Thomas February 20, 2014 at 1:20 pm -  Reply

      Thanks!

  8. Tom February 19, 2014 at 4:20 am -  Reply

    Thanks for all the inspiring posts, I will miss them!

    • James Thomas February 20, 2014 at 1:21 pm -  Reply

      Thanks, Tom.

  9. Johann February 19, 2014 at 4:27 am -  Reply

    Woh, such a news. I understand your decision even if there were a lot of bikes that we can’t find anywhere else than here… Then, your point of view, your designer’s experience are different, maybe THE difference. I keep your blog as a big bikes Bible. Let’s begin something else!

    • James Thomas February 20, 2014 at 1:02 pm -  Reply

      Thanks, Johann. I appreciate the comment. Your blog is one of a few that can keep the momentum going. I’ll definitely be reading it (with Google translate).

  10. Andreas February 19, 2014 at 6:20 am -  Reply

    I think I’ve been following you for 4 of the past 8 years this blog has been running and it’s always been a pleasure to read. It’s good to sometimes close a chapter of one part of your life to focus your energies elsewhere. Thank you for an incredible blog!

    • James Thomas February 20, 2014 at 1:18 pm -  Reply

      Thanks, Andreas! I appreciate you including Bicycle Design in your top 50 cycling blogs lists for 2009 and 2010. It was definitely an honor to be included with many other great sites.

  11. Mark Sanders February 19, 2014 at 7:43 am -  Reply

    Its been an awesome ride James :-)
    Enjoyed every enriched mile.
    Huge thanks for all the inspiration.
    Keep in touch.
    Mark

    • James Thomas February 20, 2014 at 12:48 pm -  Reply

      Mark, thanks for your numerous contributions to this blog…from your first guest post, to serving on the jury for both design competitions, to the many other posts on this blog that were related to your work. You have been an inspiration and a great help.

  12. James Thomas February 19, 2014 at 9:07 am -  Reply

    Thanks to all of you for the nice comments! As I mentioned, this was not an easy decision, and knowing that people will miss the blog doesn’t make it any easier. It is nice to know that Bicycle Design inspired a few people over the years though. I wish the same for my future projects, so I hope all of you will stay in touch.

  13. Nick F February 19, 2014 at 12:17 pm -  Reply

    Your blog was definitely a big part of why I’m a bike designer today, so I’m sad to see it go…. but as the one responsible for several of my own (extremely neglected) blogs, I completely get it.

    Holler if you ever have any down time in NYC, would love to meet up. Or maybe Shenzhen…?

    • James Thomas February 20, 2014 at 12:53 pm -  Reply

      “Your blog was definitely a big part of why I’m a bike designer today.” Wow…that comment made my day. Thanks, Nick! I am glad to have played a small role in your decision to pursue that career path.

      …and thanks for your guest post and other contributions as well. We were close to meeting up in Shanghai that one time. One of these days….

  14. Wim February 20, 2014 at 10:55 am -  Reply

    For once this is not a blogpost I liked.

    Thank you for all the great bicycle news and inspiration.

    Keep up the good work!

    Wim

    • James Thomas February 20, 2014 at 1:21 pm -  Reply

      Thanks, Wim.

  15. Christophe February 23, 2014 at 12:56 pm -  Reply

    Thanks James
    for your great work !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • James Thomas February 25, 2014 at 10:57 am -  Reply

      Thanks, Christophe!!!!!!!!!!! I appreciate your velomobile design submissions over the years too.

  16. Shevonne March 11, 2014 at 11:43 am -  Reply

    I’m so sad! Still be connecting with you via Google Plus

    • James Thomas March 12, 2014 at 4:40 pm -  Reply

      Thanks, Shevonne…and yeah, I will continue to talk bikes on G+. You can also follow the new blog, where I will occasionally post about bikes, starting with NAHBS coverage this weekend.

  17. Jason July 29, 2014 at 1:15 pm -  Reply

    James,
    I am sad to hear that you are letting it go. I actually found it because http://www.blogmetrics.org/cycling ranks it as the 3rd most popular/influential blog. If something does change, the bicycle accessories importer and distributor I work for (http://www.cantitoeroad.com) would love to send you a few products to review and/or do some guest posting.

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