I mean well, I honestly do.... but, it's time for me to get real (again).
This blog isn't a full-time gig. I don't make a dime from it, as much as I wish I did. Perhaps that's an indication that I haven't tried hard-enough, that my annual URL investment of $10-or-so isn't working FOR me... it's merely a labor of love, an outlet, a way to get thoughts out of my head. Perhaps I SHOULD try harder... but, I lack -- rather, I haven't MADE -- the time. Maybe it's advertising, maybe it's trying to sell branded stuff like stickers or custom caps, maybe it's continuing to pimp my stuff to various outdoor and cycling rags.... heck, I've had tons of ideas in the hopper, but, apparently I'm truly spread-too-thin: school, kids, a full-time-plus desk job, still finding the time to RIDE - lest I have nothing to write about, and then - of course - making the time to write ANYthing of substance, and to post photos. Maybe the social media presence is enough, I dunno.
What's the point of this post? Oh yeah....
Well, a couple posts back I got REALLY excited about the "free time" I'd suddenly uncovered, with a major milestone in my life and my kid's lives wrapped up. I promised reviews of some products I've acquired, and updates on previous reviews for products in the arsenal which still carry on strongly. Here's the honest, apologetic bit: I can't. I won't make the time. I'm sorry for that, but, really... there are lots of folks across the interwebs posting high-quality, well-written reviews on everything I've promised, and more. Real reviews, with excellent photos, REAL scientific data on lights, lumens, watts, run-times, etc. Actual bench-tests of tires, rolling resistance, tread-wear, measured against competitor products. Well-written, edited, staff-supported excellence, rich with content and data, filled with links and references. I can't possibly compete.... not with the time I've allotted. This is just a blog. It's a brain outlet only, and - while I KNOW if I gave it maybe 10% more attention, answered more of the supposed-spam-but-maybe-legit email offers to cross-link, review products, try this and that.... hell, if I think I'm pressed for time NOW... yikes. Despite how genuine my intentions have been, I already have a workbench full of items I can't get to. Keeping up school, fixing the brakes on the car, home-owner projects, a crappy yard that won't fix itself (don't get me started on WHY I feel like I have to be part of the greater neighborhood property-value paradigm - speaking of downsizing), really wanting to go back to that part-time job I loved and feeling horribly guilty about it - yet still knowing I face the same problem with that as with everything else here, computers and phones to fix for family members, that fence I need to fix so the dog will stop getting out, and MOST importantly, random stuff I've promised the kids: promises that I absolutely MUST keep.
It's who I am... part of me knows that none of this should be apologized for; but guilt is part of my personality. I'm thinking about it, no matter what "it" is, even if nobody else is losing sleep over "it". It sucks sometimes, and it's probably why I'm in this particular boat.
It'd be one thing if commuterDude.com was THE job. I really want to step back, downsize, assess, and figure out -- if I REALLY want to -- how I can make a living off of that about which I'm most passionate, and still make ends meet... and, still -- the biggest hurdle -- make sure my family is insured, medically. That is the tallest, most insurmountable hurdle facing us. This won't turn into a segue about "Obamacare" or anything like that... but, honestly, it's real. It's a tough choice, and it's kept me from making the step I'd truly prefer. A kid that needs braces, surgery that I need for myself, and that scary "what happens if..." element.
Don't get me wrong --- I *LOVE* what I do at my day job. I'm not sure many can truly say that. The bikes and the riding are truly an outlet and escape mechanism... and, sure, horror-of-horrors, if I had to do bikes all day long, I'm sure I'd get sick of it (not bloody likely, but I'd like to find out how long it'd take - HA!).
All in all -- it doesn't REALLY matter that those reviews I'd promised won't materialize. I'm really apologizing for posting about it and getting all excited, well -- that's a small picture of my reality. I honestly WANTED to... but, eventually, reality always sets in. I hate that I put that teaser out there, getting people (and myself, honestly) excited about it... and then realizing that I'm never going to get to it. In short: The Light & Motion light is terrific, the Axiom bags are still going strong, Panaracer can't (in my book) do any wrong in the 700x28c tan-sidewall department, and I've created a few hacks that are working well. One of these days I'll figure out how to push that extra 10%.... but, I'm exhausted.
On the pathway to being a genuinely happy, well-adjusted, stress-free bicyclist with a day-job, I have to be my own advocate and get some of this self-inflicted stuff off my plate. Limiting this blog to ride reports only is just one step. I appreciate your understanding, and rest-assured: the ride reports will continue. I receive a lot of positive feedback, for which I'm thankful and grateful, and my goal of highlighting randonneuring and commuting by bicycle as worthy pursuits continues; if for no other reason than to outlast another supposed "commuterdude" in Atlanta whose only goal appears to be giving motorists an outlet to complain about potholes. I want my Twitter name, pal. Give it up.
As always - thanks for reading, and stay tuned for the December ride report!