Well, in spite of this I have indeed cancelled my hosting. Beentherebiketours is gone, although I preserved the best info right here. And I did keep my domain. All good and some simplification achieved.
I just went for a ten minute bike ride. It wasn’t planned. I jumped on my simple orange single speed and pedaled around the neighborhood at dusk. No gears, no kit, no prep (other than a quick tire pressure squeeze).
Would my road bike have been faster? Certainly. But the orange “crate” was the right bike for the ten minute moment.
I try to write ten minutes every day.
I try to post a photo a 365 photo every day, which takes about ten minutes.
What else can we do in ten minutes?
Kiss the dog
Kiss the spouse.
Consider your future.
Learn a language.
Make a small change.
A few years back, I started up BeenThereBikeTours, dedicated to finding every #citybiketour on the planet. I hoped, and still do, to ride and review as many of them as possible.
The website has (soon to be had) a blog, tour reviews and an index by region. For example:
There are over 600 commercial or regular city bike tours worldwide. And dozens more self-guided options. New York City, at 14, had the most in one city at last count. And there are tours in cities you might not think much about, like Kuching (in Borneo) or Da Lat (Viet Nam).
I’m not aware of any other website that has attempted to index them all. Unfortunately bike tour companies come and bike tour companies go. Keeping that list current with new tours and frequently validating that the listed companies are still in business has become more work than I’m willing to dedicate.
The real fun is actually taking bike tours and making up my own DIY routes. And writing the reviews is rewarding and helps preserve the memory of the day. For years, I’ve written personal “trip reports” for vacations. It’s a habit I learned from keeping a journal of my month in Germany when I was 17.
So…I’ve decided not to renew my hosting for BTBT. After June 10, 2019, BTBT and its indexes will be gone. On the bright side, I’ve transitioned the ride reviews here.
Most of the commercial bike tours are pretty easy to find via Google. For example, here’s Berlin. Unfortunately, the tricky part is that search doesn’t reveal some of the more offbeat tours and rides. Not to worry though, I’ve consolidated the best of them here.
Finally, I had originally hoped to attract some sponsors for BTBT. Unfortunately that has not happened. I don’t believe there is enough traffic to justify placing some Google ads. The net is that I’m spending time and money (hosting) for little benefit. Adios then to BeenThereBikeTours.
I think the more correct term is Vanity Site but Selfie Site seems like an amusing title. I was expecting that a quick google of “vanity site trends” would turn up some obvious downtrends as social media continues to take hold of the interwebs. Amusingly, I learned instead that “Sinks Are Impacting Countertop Choices” which seems reasonably intuitive to me.
The main reason I registered backamp.com back in 2007 was due to a dull education session with a work buddy. “Dude, you have to get as short of a domain as possible“. He was right of course, so perhaps some day I can sell backamp.com for enough to pay for a few decades of domain registration and hosting.
Anyhow, once you own a domain name, you may as well do something with it. If you know just enough to be dangerous (me), you cobble up some HTML and load some photos to your host. I had fun for a few years writing an annual web Christmas card, with photos and stories (way more work than writing/mailing Christmas cards), but it felt less laborious, plus I still have all the old files which don’t tend to yellow or need postage. Email and increasingly ubiquitous broadband were a big deal in the early/mid 2000s.
Then, three things happened:
HTML is pretty approachable for many people. CSS introduces some abstraction and complexity that makes hand coding a bit less fun and more complicated. Facebook (and other social media) made reaching an audience simple. And mobile added platform complexity (hey, wait, CSS is here for that!)
The point is, publishing “stuff” on the web became (and continues to become) both harder and easier. Harder to roll one’s own but easier than ever to use a platform (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Flickr, Tumblr et al).
And to me, this is where WordPress comes in. A WordPress.com account and a likable theme can take you to Web 3.0 (whatever that means) without being an actual software developer. And for those (like me) with the inclination to fiddle with some bits but not REALLY develop anything, one can build a website/blog/e-commerce/channel/social whatever with a not unreasonable amount of effort.
So, why am I talking about this? Because I’ve nearly cancelled my hosting four or five times. WordPress.com provides a LOT of what someone might need to build whatever.
But I keep on keeping Backamp. Because domain names are pretty cheap and I still have hosting needs for BeenThereBikeTours. (Which also runs hosted WordPress)
“The chief cause of problems is solutions” — Eric Sevareid
Today is my third, and last, last day working for IBM. The first time, in 1999, the Austin card assembly plant was divested to Solectron. Coincidentally, we were moving to Florida and I ended up back at IBM in field technical support. In 2010, IBM laid off most of my group, for dubious reasons. A year later (after months of false starts), I was rehired with the promise of “getting everything back”. You can imagine what happened with that promise, but that is another story.
And today marks the closing of another divestiture of the Retail Store division to Toshiba, and my last, last day. I couldn’t be happier about it.
If you were exchanged in the cradle and
your real mother died
without ever telling the story
then no one knows your name,
and somewhere in the world
your father is lost and needs you
but you are far away.
He can never find
how true you are, how ready.
When the great wind comes
and the robberies of the rain
you stand on the corner shivering.
The people who go by–
you wonder at their calm.
They miss the whisper that runs
any day in your mind,
“Who are you really, wanderer?”–
and the answer you have to give
no matter how dark and cold
the world around you is:
“Maybe I’m a king.”
This is the classic version of the Menard family crest. The inscription that goes with it is:
“D’or a une main sen., tentant un arc. de gu, bande de sa., pose en pal”
Or for the Latin challenged:
“Gold, A left hand holding a red bow, stringed black, posed vertically.”
Family lore says that Pierre Menard is either my great-great-great-great grandfather or my great*5 grandfather. Either way, my Dad’s extensive work to connect us genealogically has not proven this out. Pierre Menard was a fur trader in his youth and a contemporary of Lewis and Clark. He later became active in Illinios state politics and was the state’s first Lieutenant Governer.
As far as we know, we’re no kin to the Menard’s hardware stores in the midwest (or, by association, the Menard’s racing team). At least, they haven’t been sending us any checks.
“Idealism increases in direct proportion to one’s distance from the problem.” — John Galsworthy