As we are cruising at 25,000 feet headed for Las Vegas' sunny skies and Interbike, I find myself with five and a half hours to kill. For some time now, I have been thinking that it would be a good idea to incorporate an editorial page within our content. So this seems like a really good time and place to write the first one, what, about three years from that first Yahoo User group? We find ourselves with over three hundred pages of content, galleries, forums, and we are adding more content every month. What would you our reader want to know about that effort? I will attempt to answer!
Born out of a group of friends riding and training for charity rides, here at Pedal Pushers Online, we have tried to maintain that same friendly, informal flavor within our pages. We look at our readership as friends donating their time to spend it with us looking for answers about technique, gear, or technical issues. We try to answer that search with real world responses with solutions that the average recreational rider can afford, both in terms of time and commitment. Yet we also try to answer the more in depth inquiries of riders seeking to develop their skill level beyond that entry level, but to do so with the approach of keeping it attainable for almost everyone.
When we started out we write about bike stuff we bought for those original Pallotta Rides. and nNow we are working closely with manufacturers and suppliers to provide our viewers with as up to date product info as we can manage. And now I find myself flying out to Las Vegas to cover the premier Bike Manufacturer and distributor exposition in the world. To say that we have come a long way is in my humble opinion an understatement.
What consistently surprises us, is the degree of concentrated effort required to keep the content of these pages updated and current. Time is required to contact manufacturers for product for reviews, rides have to be scheduled and ridden to evaluate these same products. Articles need to be researched and written, and questions for the Answerman need to read, digested, and answered. Then the code needs to be written to display the pages in your browser, photos and artwork need to be shot, corrected, and designed, and ultimately all this needs to be reviewed, proofed and corrected, posted and eventually updated.
So to say that this has grown into a full time job, is an understatement. In fact, Dan and I will be spending the next few days working full time and more to bring you our first real time, from the field, event reporting effort. It is going to be a labor of love. It is also one which we are working very hard to continue to provide to our readership for free. In pursuit of that end, you will note that we have added advertising to our pages. We have attempted to keep the context of this advertising consistent with the editorial content of our site, and we have also added "Family Filters" to the advertising content permitted here. We would encourage you to explore our advertisers and to report back to us if you have any comments or issues with any of the ads or advertsiers.
Some of you have also noticed and some of you have actually used our affiliate links for purchasing products. We thank you for this! As the demands of keeping this site up to date and published increased, we were faced with the need to develop revenue in support our efforts here. An Affiliate program seemed like the quickest way to a positive balance in terms of cash flow. I am happy to report it ALMOST WORKS! So keep clicking those Affiliate Links, and the Buy Now links on our review pages. They support our effort to provide you with new and interesting Bicycling content.
What you will be seeing throughout the next few weeks and months is PPOL's new retail store! We are developing a retail product line and online store which will allow you to purchase directly from PPOL. It will be integrated directly into the review section as a buy now link, and it will also be accessible for browsing directly from the menu bar. "So, who needs another online bike store?" Well, we hope you do! What will separate PPOL's Store from the rest is the fact that every product offered for sale by us will have been tried, used, and reviewed by us! There will be no "pig in a poke" products of undetermined quality. Only those products deemed acceptable will be offered for direct sale through our online store. So, if you see it for sale here, you will know it works!
Why am I telling you all of this? Quite simply because we are looking to grow and we will need your help! We would like to take PPOL to the next level, and make it into a full time enterprise, dedicated to you the readers and the bicycling community at large! Your PPOL staff would like to become your at large advocates for the bicycling community and to help our towns, counties, states and country grow into a more bicycle friendly environment, one in which you and your loved ones can ride more safely and comfortably. We would like to lobby for more and better maintained bikeways, for cleaner safer streets with provision for bicycle traffic, and to help local and state governments to become more aware and representative of our needs as cyclists. To do this effectively we need more time to devote to these pages and to this cause.
Therefore, we are looking for your support, and we are looking for it in many ways. Tell your friends and other biking associates about PPOL. If you like what you read, spread the word! We are more than happy to send you cards and posters to support your promotional efforts, just ask and they are yours. We ask your support of our advertisers and our affiliates. If you need biking products, click on PPOL first, then use an affiliate link to take you to a vendor. And, once it is open, please patronize PPOL's online store to purchase pre-tested goods that you can rely upon. Lastly, and in many ways, most importantly, send us your thoughts and comments, your article ideas, and submit your own stories for these pages. We have ongoing contests for your writing efforts. Send us your stuff! You could win some neat prizes!
As we look forward into what I hope will prove to be a bright future for Pedal Pushers Online, I want to thank all of you who have spent your time visiting our pages. In the world that is internet publishing, each click you make navigating around our site increases PPOL's visibility through out the web. Every time you visit a page or download or upload images, every time you post to a forum you make PPOL stronger and more visible on the world wide web. So in all sincerity, and perhaps for the first time ever, you can honestly understand that, "We could not, and can not do this without you!" Your support and your feedback is what keeps us riding and writing. While others doze around me as we hurtle at 500 mph in this steel tube toward the deserts of the American Southwest, and the Orgy of Bicycle Mania that is Interbike, it is your dedication to our pages and the fact that you will enjoy these pages that keeps me awake and writing.
Thank you for all your past support! Keep viewing these pages and keep holding our feet to the fire to keep us honest. Ride Safe, Ride Strong, and remember, Keep the rubber side down!