After more than 12 years focusing on writing news stories at road.cc my role here has recently changed to that of community editor. Here, I’ll explain what I will be doing and how it aims to give you, our readers, more opportunities to help shape our content and give you more of a voice on the site.
When I started working here back in summer 2009, road.cc operated from a tiny attic room in a Georgian townhouse in Bath – three people at a time was a bit of a squeeze. Now, we have 15 people working on the site full-time, and a further 15 or so regular contributors including reviewers.
Part of the ethos behind the site’s foundation was to nurture a club-like feeling, including for people who didn’t belong to an actual cycling club – if we weren’t the first in the sector to use that .cc domain, we were certainly among the very earliest, and it was no accident we chose it.
As the site has grown over the years, including with the launch of our sister sites eBikeTips and off.road.cc, the roles of individual members of the team has inevitably become more narrowly defined, and while there’s a lot of bouncing ideas off each other behind the scenes, we also have to focus on the job at hand – and, with the growth of the site and the volume of content we now produce daily, that’s made it increasingly hard to step back and see the bigger picture.
That’s why decided to create this new role – so we have someone who acts as a link between the road.cc team and you, the readers, without whom we’d have no site at all.
So, what does it involve? Well, for one, it’s about going through the comments you make, whether on articles on the site or on our social media channels, and ensuring that where we need to do something – answer a technical question, clarify some aspect of a news story or make a correction, or flag up a story idea one of you has put forward – that gets acted upon.
But it’s also about getting you more involved in the site, by encouraging you to interact with our content, for instance through knowing that if you do make a comment or suggestion, it will be read and, where necessary, get acted upon.
I’ll also be writing regularly on some of the wider issues affecting cycling here in the UK and further afield, whether for transport or as a sport – topics we already address of course in individual news stories, but ones where it is also worth taking a step back to look at the broader picture and prompt a discussion where you can have your say.
I know that our readership includes a broad variety of people united by the fact they ride bikes, for whatever purpose, and I’ve done a whole range of that myself – from daily commutes to the office back in the day and still using a single-speed as my preferred transport across London and beyond, to riding my Colnago through country lanes in the Cotswolds when I lived there, and using my ex-Royal Mail Elephant Bike to ferry my pup around town in her basket and get the weekly grocery shop home, plus a bit of bikepacking when the chance arises.
I love going to bike races both here and abroad, more likely these days as a fan rather than a journalist, and I’ve been to dozens of protests over the years calling for safer roads for all of us on bikes – plus, chances are that at 7pm on the last Friday of each month you’ll find me underneath Waterloo Bridge on the South Bank, waiting for Critical Mass to start.
Between all of that, there’s plenty we have in common and over the years I’ve got to know a lot of our readers both through social media and in person, and I’m looking forward to meeting more of you through my new role and helping ensure your voice is heard on the site.
So, if you haven’t already done so, I’d encourage you to sign up to the site so you can post comments, knowing that someone at this end will be reading them, and to interact with us on social media as well as raising any specific issues with me directly on community [at] road.cc.
It's your site – help us help you make the most of it!
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.