Author Topic: how I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb


I have an addictive personality, but few addictions. Don't smoke. Don't drink. Don't gamble, unless you count trusting BBC Weather. I cycle; and forum. Occasionally both at the same time.

Usenet was the gateway drug, the Cycling Plus forum [now BikeRadar] my first taste of the harder stuff. Every post was another hit. Sometimes there were good trips, sometimes bad, it depended on the quality of the mix. So I grew my own. That wasn't a panacea, but it did offer the opportunity to make my own mistakes, which is strangely more satisfying than enabling those of others.

'Another cycling forum' (some people name their dog 'Dog') achieved critical mass, as we say in the forum and bombmaking biz, when C+ experienced difficulties and a cadre then a cascade of regulars immigrated. It lasted about three years and then went pear or mushroom shaped, accounts vary.

Whether or not I did a good job as admin could be argued until the cows come home, if any cows are interested. It no longer exists, which is silent testimony for the prosecution. And now I have an image of a Gary Larson cow being cross-examined in a courtroom on the far side.

Correction: acf continues to exist as of this writing, but as a blog. Here's a timeline written by a noted historian/retired bloviator. And here's a picture of a bike I think Gary Larson would like.

It also goes on, after a fashion, at Yet Another Cycling Forum, started by people who fled or were expelled, and this is starting to read like Exodus: When will we find the promised land? I don't know if they've found it there, but it seems to be working for them.

Then we have CycleChat, which found its own critical mass in the afterbirth of the clearly fecund BikeRadar forums despite the mixed metaphors. Friendly, or so it says on the tin. Lots of traffic. Nice logo. Surely CycleChat is of interest to an addict such as myself, no?

Well, no. I mean, I've posted there, it continues to tempt. (As will London Fixed-gear & Single-speed, later when I'm still casting about for inspiring digs.) It's not them, it's me.

My wife and I live in the countryside. It's gorgeous. We have no immediate neighbours, are not overlooked by anyone but zombies sheep, the odd badger, insouciant deer. (Not really, I just like that word.) Every time we return home, and I mean every single time, we both feel pleasure right down to our toes as we come down that drive. The only hitch is, we've arrived at the point of no return. Having lived in New York City and London and Tunbridge Wells long enough to get disgusted, we now require more elbow room. So even if we saw a perfectly lovely semi-detached that we could actually afford and that had oodles of charm and a ballroom in the loft and rainbows sprouting out the back garden, we couldn't move. We are, in a word, stuck. And so am I.

Having run my own forum and administrated another, the user became the dealer, I can't settle down in one run by somebody else, at least not a cycling forum. There are too many things I'd want to change. It's kind of like being offered a bike on the condition that you keep all the original parts on it.

The upside to all this is, perhaps it will cure my addiction.

Step one: admit you have a problem
Step two: do a personal inventory, possibly have a car boot sale
Step three: make a list of the forums you've been to, post in them, flush out fellow addicts who might themselves discuss the nature of addiction and how much of this is tongue-in-cheek
Step four: go out for a ride, unless it's raining
Step five: learn to like the rain