While this blog has been a great source of information about biking for me, there’s another site that I visit daily. Bike Forums can command my attention for way more time than I should give it in one sitting.
If you are involved in cycling, Bike Forums has a community to match your interest. Hard core hammerheads trade gibes in the Road forum, large bikers hang out in the Clydesdales & Athenas group. There are forums for commuters, collectors of classic and vintage bikes, safety advocates, regional forums that attract readers from a specific geographic area, and many others.
My favorite is the 50+ forum, for riders aged 50 and up. The dialogue is usually civilized, and members are quick to offer tips and advice. Right now, I am eagerly awaiting delivery of my 50+ forum jersey (most of the forums feature custom jerseys, but they’re not always available, so latching onto one can put you in a fairly exclusive club).
The 50+ forum jersey.
In addition to 50+, I frequently visit the Road forum and the Texas forum, and sometimes the Clydesdales & Athenas forum (although if I can finally get my weight under 200, I’ll no longer qualify for that one).
I first posted a question on the forums several months ago, about what I needed to do to upgrade my old Raleigh 10-speed. I got two pages of responses, including several offers to give me a replacement front derailleur for the bike. That experience got me hooked.
Now, I log on every day to see who is saying what. Ride reports are a staple of the forums after weekend rides, and most feature pictures from scenic bike routes from all over — even sometimes overseas. Many of the posters are regulars, and they develop their distinctive online personalities through their posts and interactions with other forum members. We share triumphs when someone reaches a difficult riding goal, such as completing their first century ride, and setbacks when others are sidelined with injuries. Sometimes, the posts even get off the topic of biking. I choked up when one regular 50+ poster — a cancer survivor — put up a picture of himself walking his daughter down the aisle at her wedding.
Online forums had never attracted my attention, until I discovered Bike Forums. Take a look — but don’t be surprised if you find yourself going back again and again.