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OPINION

road.cc is 15! How it started, how it's going and a few big thank yous

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As road.cc starts its final year of high school, we're still independent and still growing, but haven't forgotten our back-of-a-campervan roots

It's been five years since Tony penned a blog about road.cc turning 10, and a whole lot of stuff has happened since... but despite a pandemic, boom and bust in the bike industry and my own impostor syndrome, we're now 15 years old, I'm still the editor after taking the reins a couple of years ago and the site is bigger than ever. Superb! 

If you're not familiar with our story, we think road.cc was switched on for the first time in a car park at the annual Eurobike show in southern Germany, but internet speeds at the time meant it might also have been in the Eurobike press room a short while later after an argument over plug sockets. Apart from some server hiccups and a couple of occasions when the entire site has been accidentally deleted and swiftly resurrected, road.cc has been working ever since. 

Even since I turned up for my first day in 2017, writing a story about a jersey that helped prevent tan lines and trying to present a video (I was terrible, that didn't last long) it's been incredible to see the continued growth of road.cc and the talent we've assembled along the way to facilitate that. I think our current small but perfectly formed editorial team is the best it's ever been during my time at road.cc, and that's reflected in the great work being produced day-in, day-out. 

My start date makes me a relative newcomer in the history of road.cc, and the bulk of our growing was done before I was here thanks to the relentless hard work of Tony, Dave, Oli (our operations manager, graphic designer and basically running the show behind the scenes-er), Elaine (sales director), Mat (tech editor) and numerous others who helped to shape road.cc into what it is today in those formative years. 

A lot has changed since those early days, but a lot's the same too. road.cc is still completely independent with no big bossy publishing house bigwigs telling us what to do, its founders are still very much around and working as hard as they ever did, and there's still the odd bit of working in campervans, cafes, ferries and other unusual places.

I'd also like to think we've maintained our founding principles, which is essentially to reflect and report on the real-world experiences of cyclists from a (mostly) British perspective, and all the great things and not-so-great things that come with that. Whether it's reporting on a shiny new thing or trying to hold naughty police forces and politicians to account, we're always asking ourselves what's in it for you - the reader - before hitting publish, and I'd like to think that's why so much of what we do strikes a chord. 

With all that said, the most important thing to do is to thank you, the readers. road.cc wouldn't exist if no one read it of course, and thankfully for us there's quite a lot of you - millions in fact - who read the site regularly, which helps an awful lot. 

Of course, we're well aware that some of you read and contribute to the site more than others, hopefully you know who you are and know that we're continually grateful and humbled. So many articles and article ideas (and the odd correction, tut tut!) are inspired by your comments and suggestions, and over my years of working for road.cc I've found writing for such an engaged core audience very rewarding. Even if it's an almighty scolding for screwing up a name, date or obscure fact, know that we appreciate it and the feedback helps us to be better... so don't be shy! 

I thought I'd dig a bit deeper into annals of our CMS to give a special shout-out to those of you who have been around since that very first year of our existence and continue to read/access road.cc today. By my calculations there are 40 of you in total: 

IanMunro
Mrchrispy
Mooseman
cy.cotic
apidya
anagallis_arvensis
Simon E
Dom (founder of Mason Cycles)
Londondailyphoto
amazon22
dhague
OldRidgeback
Alotronic
Michophull
Ian Roberts
Sniffer
Effemm
PzychotropicMac
davz-cinelli
Zebra
Edglass
handlebarcam
Shugg McGraw
MagicM
davwil
MarRun
jonb
G-bitch
Muddy Ford
nick h.
thelonelyone
poppa
mattjng
NiceGuySean
StuAff
maisietoo
DCLane
delwick
leejclarke
hughese

So, whether you've stuck around for 15 years or have just stumbled across road.cc, subscribe, comment, only come here for the helmet and disc brake debates or just occasionally check in, thank you! On the subject of subscribers, if you do subscribe then expect an email in the next couple of days with details of a subs-only competition, as we've put a bundle of goodies together for a prize draw to celebrate us turning 15. You can subscribe here for £20 a year or £1.99 a month if you're feeling lucky and want to sneak into the prize draw. 

We're also trying to put together a round-up of our top 15 road.cc articles of all time (plus some honourable mentions), so suggestions welcome in the comments. Fear not, L-shaped cranks is already on the list... 

Arriving at road.cc in 2017 via 220 Triathlon Magazine, Jack dipped his toe in most jobs on the site and over at eBikeTips before being named the new editor of road.cc in 2020, much to his surprise. His cycling life began during his students days, when he cobbled together a few hundred quid off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story) and bought his first road bike - a Trek 1.1 that was quickly relegated to winter steed, before it was sadly pinched a few years later. Creatively replacing it with a Trek 1.2, Jack mostly rides this bike around local cycle paths nowadays, but when he wants to get the racer out and be competitive his preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking - the latter being another long story.  

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20 comments

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peted76 | 2 months ago
7 likes

I just wanted to congratulate road.cc for a pretty darn decent run of things in the past fifteen years.. I've only been around for about ten of those, but it's been a pleasure. 

I think of all the cycling media out there, for me, road.cc gets the tone right. So I'm raising a virtual glass of ale to another fifteen years of 'getting it right'. Congratz guys and gals! 

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ktache | 2 months ago
4 likes

And a very happy birthday.

What else could I be doing with my time...

And a shout out to Simon E, still posting regular, and featuring the very distinctive Richard Scarry worm as their avatar.

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Simon E replied to ktache | 2 months ago
5 likes

Thanks fella, much appreciated. Lowly Worm, that's me.

I have been increasingly frustrated by the trolling, senseless arguing and personal insults at times but road.cc remains the cycling-related place I visit most often (and by some margin). That's due as much to the wisdom and wit provided by you and the other commenters as it is to the editorial team.

Chapeau one and all!

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matthewn5 replied to Simon E | 2 months ago
1 like

Simon E wrote:

Thanks fella, much appreciated. Lowly Worm, that's me.

Not the Laidly Worm?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Laidly_Worm_of_Spindleston_Heugh

And happy birthday to road.cc! My go-to cycling website.

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galibiervelo | 2 months ago
4 likes

Top Marks to Road.cc. Love the passion.

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Dnnnnnn | 2 months ago
3 likes

Happy birthday, road.cc - thanks for your work over the years.

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chrisonatrike | 2 months ago
5 likes

Well done all for herding cats and keeping the show on the road!

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HollisJ | 2 months ago
2 likes

Congrats! I am also proud to work for this site, albeit in a very much part time way.

I feel the site should also give a special mention to Nigel and his many, many pseudonyms for keeping us all entertained over these years. Naturally, long may that continue.

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chrisonatrike replied to HollisJ | 2 months ago
4 likes

Serial WUMs?  👎.

Although if just counting "effort" I guess the various returnees (even if not all merely incarnations of one master) are far ahead of the rest.

Also tend to have lines like "this site is rubbish" and "be like me - dodge the ads and contribute nothing".

Unless it has all been like the old "letters page"  - apparently often a source of light relief for the hacks / a training ground for junior subs - and it's all a cunning road.cc creation...

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HollisJ replied to chrisonatrike | 2 months ago
0 likes

I think it's just the sheer persistence in the face of such overwhelming adversity that really inspires me. A bit like the 'real' Nigel F, I suppose.

Sad to say but those more spirited discussions do tend to mean better numbers for the site.

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Left_is_for_Losers replied to HollisJ | 2 months ago
1 like

HollisJ wrote:

Sad to say but those more spirited discussions do tend to mean better numbers for the site.

Remember that chaps...I know my viewpoints are not reflective of a lot of others. But it all helps a worthy (lol) cause. 

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SimoninSpalding | 2 months ago
7 likes

Happy birthday and well done road.cc team.
Thank you for making us mere readers feel part of the family by joining us in the debates BTL as well.

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Left_is_for_Losers | 2 months ago
2 likes

"With all that said, the most important thing to do is to thank you, the readers. road.cc wouldn't exist if no one read it of course, and thankfully for us there's quite a lot of you - millions in fact - who read the site regularly, which helps an awful lot."

Happy Birthday, and you're welcome 

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Sredlums | 2 months ago
7 likes

Congrats! 15 years is an eternity on the web, so that's quite a feat.Keep up the good work.

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Rollemynot | 2 months ago
6 likes

Happy birthday... teenage years can be so difficult. I was always a fan of an alternative site and used Road.cc as a secondary opinion. Thankfully you guys have maintained a balance of magazine feel over advertising cart horse (fully understand nothing is free and you need adverts) and now I rarely visit said other site. Keep up the standards and forge ahead.

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Rendel Harris | 2 months ago
13 likes

A very happy birthday to a website that fills a gap in cycling journalism online that I don't think any other provider does, with its mixture of enthusiasm, campaigning and reviews - and of course (with one or two trollish exceptions) it has the best informed and most intelligent BTL commenters of anywhere!

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perce | 2 months ago
5 likes

Happy Birthday.

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hawkinspeter | 2 months ago
12 likes

Happy 15th time round the sun!

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giff77 | 2 months ago
5 likes

Happy Birthday Road.cc. Think I've been skulking around since near enough the beginning. Where's the time gone by. 

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essexian | 2 months ago
8 likes

Happy Birthday Road CC. Lets hope there are many more to come.

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