It was only a decade ago that the internet seemed so much simpler. You got most of your content from the bookmarks bar on your browser, there were no algorithms giving you quick doses of dopamine to keep you doom-scrolling, and influencers weren’t playing to the whims of the platform algorithms to try to get seen.
That’s not to say that life was better back then. We’re now treated with the best cycling content in history with a nearly infinite supply of podcasts, YouTube videos, race coverage, and social media that covers pretty much any interest you have. We’re spoiled these days.
As you might have heard I released a podcast on my journey with CyclingTips that began as a blog. Thinking about those early days in the mid-2000s reminded me of the golden days of blogs. It’s entirely possible that some of you reading might not even know what a blog is. They came in all shapes and sizes. Imagery wasn’t widely available (the only photos you had were what you were able to take yourself), YouTube was just a dumping ground for video, and feed algorithms weren’t really a thing so you had to go searching or just find good content by word of mouth, forums or Googling. Bloggers weren’t nearly as media savvy as the Instagrammer, Youtuber and TikToker generation and the blogging community produced a very different style of content than you see today. There are both positives and negatives to this shift, but as I said above I think it’s largely positive.
Some of the cycling blogs that I used to love and that gave me inspiration are still around and active. Some have created businesses out of what they do, some have gotten new opportunities that led them on other paths, and for others, it was simply a passion project for a time in their life and they’ve moved on.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of the best cycling blogs that have existed – they’re just the ones that were in my own personal bookmarks that I’d follow each day, which inspired me, entertained me, educated me, and gave me a few minutes of escapism.
Fat Cyclist was the first blog I discovered, and I absolutely loved it. It was a mix of Elden Nelson’s (affectionately known as Fatty) stories and experiences, and hilarious musings about cycling’s quirks. The two biggest blogs at the time (around 2008) would probably have been Fatty and BSNYC. I still remember the day when Fatty (Elden Nelson) put CyclingTips on his blogroll. That was huge for me.
Bike Snob New York City
BSNYC is Eben Weiss who has a gift for writing and I laughed out loud at his daily posts more times than I can count. He’s the master of cycling satire and ‘Snobby’ was the gold standard of blogs as far as I was concerned. I had lunch with Eben when he was visiting Melbourne on his first book tour. For me, it was like meeting a movie star.
Fyxomatosis is Andy White’s creation and when I first discovered it I’d get lost in his site for hours looking at the incredible photography, his wonderfully concise way of telling a story and simply making me want to get out for a ride. It started out as documenting his bike courier days, his track racing days, and his bikepacking adventures before that was even a word. I have a lot to thank Andy for, including the first time that he linked to one of my own posts, which got me over 100 hits! That was a big day for me.
These days Andy has created a strong brand out of Fyxo and does a fantastic job with his merchandise offerings. He also runs Melburn-Roobaix which has grown to be an institution in Melbourne. I’m proud to consider Andy a close friend of mine.
The Inner Ring came along in around 2010 and I was immediately hooked when I discovered it. I remember reading some of his first posts about the formations of GreenEdge (the new Aussie WorldTour team) and recall the amount of inside knowledge he had on the team. The author still remains anonymous, still writes in beautiful prose almost every day, and I admire his commitment to his blog and audience. I still read it almost every day.
The Cozy Beehive
The Cozy Beehive was written by an engineer named Ron George and had a lot of clever posts on the intersection of engineering and cycling. Everything he had to say was simply smart and insightful and I encourage you to go back and read some of his old posts which still exist.
Prolly is not Probably
John Watson, the man behind Prolly is not Probably, saw cycling differently than I did back then and it’s something I still love about him. Prolly is not Probably was five minutes of escapism to start my day and made me remember that there’s a fantastic world outside of the performance, racing and pro cycling that I had my head stuck into in those days. You can see the evolution of John’s blog with what is now The Radavist.
The Rules were a viral sensation back in around 2010 and they had lots of engaging posts over the few years they were around. It was run by a gentleman named Frank Strack and a few others which I always found a bit confusing, but they were the big thing at the time. I don’t know the whole story, but things seemed to go pear-shaped for them when they began trying to commercialise what they had and you don’t hear much from them anymore.
Belgium Knee Warmers
BKW was wonderful and encapsulated cycling to its core. At least to me. Beautiful writing, a love for the spring classics, and it educated me on the subtleties of the sport. This was written by Padraig (Patrick Brady) as well as Radio Freddy, and morphed into Red Kite Prayer, and now the Cycling Independent.
I loved Velodramatic for Michael Robertson’s photography and would admire it for hours. It was one of the blogs that sparked my own passion for photography.
The Climbing Cyclist
The Climbing Cyclist is written by my first hire, Matt de Neef. It is just as much of a resource of Australia’s best climbs as it is a personal blog for Matt. I encourage you to check it out as it’s still highly relevant.
El Cyclista was all about beautiful design, wonderful photography and stories about cycling culture. I don’t know anything about the author as it wasn’t much about him, rather it was about the mood and passion he created by using design and gritty photography.
Cyclismas wasn’t really a blog, but it was personality-led and quite innovative for its time. If you don’t know the story of its demise, I suggest you go into Matt de Neef’s deep dive on one of its main characters, Aaron Brown.
Alps and Andes
Alps and Andes was written by a gentleman named Klaus Bellon. He focused on Colombian cycling and it was superb. It was kind of like the Inner Ring for Colombian cycling. A gifted writer and he’d do some fantastic investigations as well. His pages oozed of intelligence, knowledge and passion. He was a guest on one of CyclingTips’ podcasts back in around 2018 and is a fascinating guy. I wish he kept Alps and Andes going…
CyclingIQ was a blog written by a good friend of mine, Cam Whiting. Cam is one of the nicest and smartest guys I know and he covered the cycling industry, and then it morphed into coverage of the Asian racing scene. This resembled a journalistic endeavour rather than a personal blog, but it certainly upped the ante. These days you’d see content like this on a platform such as Substack. This is another blog that I wish still existed.
BIG RING RIDING
THIS WAS THE FUNNIEST THING ON THE INTERNET. EVER. It was an anonymous Tumblr account at the time, and now we know it was written by cycling author, Max Leonard. Those who know, know. I can’t even get it to appear on waybackmachine, but I hope someone can find it and post it in the comments.
I hope this list brings back as many memories for you as it does for me. If anyone has any backstories into any of these blogs and where some have ended up, please let us know in the comments!
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