On Writing & Riding: BicycleKitty
BicycleKitty is a high-mileage bike rider who hails from Portland, Oregon. Her cycling interests range from alley cats to randonneuring… and most recently, cyclocross.
Direct and engaging in her writing style, I always look forward to reading BicycleKitty. She’s also the kind of rider who wants to try new things and push her own limits. I’m so glad she shares her experiences on her blog.
1. What is one sentence or phrase that summarizes your blog?
My mission is to experience as many types of cycling possible. I write about my varied adventures on a bike, often with an emotional twist.
2. What prompted you to start BicycleKitty and why did you choose to write about bicycling?
I started the blog at the same time the Portland Society started, almost four years ago. We are a collection of professional women in Portland, Oregon, who are passionate about cycling and making Portland a better place to live and ride.
Our first presenter talked about social media and blogging and I was inspired. She urged us to concentrate blogs on one topic. Bicycling was an obvious topic for me since my entire life is centered around bikes.
3. How did you come up with your blog’s name, BicycleKitty?
My cat likes to hang around whichever bicycle just came back from a ride and I have a lot of great pictures of the bicycle and the kitty.
4. Who are you writing for? Do you have a particular audience in mind?
I am writing for myself. I am writing for the sake of writing. That anyone reads my blog completely blows my mind.
I hope cyclists like me read it, but I also hope to reach non-cyclists who may just get inspired to hop on a bike.
5. What aspects of bicycling do you enjoy writing about?
The hard stuff. The rides that make me cry. Observations about other riders, terrain, equipment, endurance, food.
6. I first started reading your blog because of your randonneuring stories. Why did you start to write about randonneuring?
I started writing about randonneuring because I started randonneuring!
(Editor’s note to self: Ask an obvious question…)
7. How does it change your experience to be one of a small population of women in the sport– a quick search of the demographics notes that 19% of RUSA members are women — as compared to another activity where the participation is more balanced? Or do you really think about that?
The blog post “The Pink Conversation” covers some of my feelings about being a woman in the sport. I dislike receiving any special attention or considerations because of my gender.
I often ride with a big group and notice later when looking at pictures that I was the only lady present. It’s generally off my radar.
I am often invited to “women only” rides, groups, clubs, events and wonder what the reaction would be if there were an equal amount of “men only” activities. (I do belong to an all female book club and network group, so insert hypocrisy here!)
8. While you are an experienced bike rider, you started doing Cyclocross fairly recently. What is it like to write about a type of riding that is “new” to you, while the essential foundation (riding a bike) is something you have done for years? (I hope this question does not sound pretentious or too ethereal or something!)
Ethereal questions kick ass! Writing about a new type of riding is super stimulating to me. It helps me build courage when viewing the event as a “research project” to write about instead of a real life experience, even though it is just that.
I was scared to death to race cyclocross, but was able to get past that by observing my thoughts and feelings objectively so I could “save them to write them”.
9. What are your favorite parts of being a blogger?
I’ve always enjoyed writing and blogging helps me keep at it. It’s free and instantly published. I can see how many readers I get every day and for which posts.
I am hopeful that my experience(s) on the bike can somehow help or motivate others to ride more and try different types of riding.
10. Was there anything about maintaining a blog that surprised you?
How easy it is!
11. Do you have any favorite posts? What are they and why?
Looking back to the beginning of my blog, I realized how much my writing has grown! Thank you for this question. Here are my faves:
- The Pink Conversation. This was probably the hardest blog entry I’ve written, but it felt good to finally put all these messy feelings into words.
- Donuts to Domination. I like this write up in that it really captured what a good day it was.
- All American Alley Cat Race. My stab at poetry. Literally, I stabbed poetry!
The following posts are faves because each one was the hardest ride I’d done up to that point!
12. What did I forget to ask you?
“Favorite color?” Pink
“How many bikes in my stable?” Eleven