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:
Dom (founder of Mason Cycles)
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.