Author Topic: a short history of acf

a short history of acf
« on: July 08, 2007 »
As a prod to increase my productivity, I have been asked to write a short history of the forum, or risk having my job outsourced to the lowest bidder. As a reward I've been allowed out of the Hotel for the day.


February 2000. BikeReader is born. The webmaster (a grand title for somebody heretofore hypertextually illiterate) foolishly neglects to buy proximate domains. Scores of articles – even an entire book – are manually input. Haiku is perpetrated.

October 2004. While cruising the internet, webmaster discovers Simple Machines software. Lightbulb moment. In a bid to make BR interactive and because online words have a disturbing tendency to run together, Freewheelingforum appears on the scene. Usenet audience courted with mixed results. Cyber cycling celeb Sheldon Brown is swept up in the membership drive and actually posts without being bribed by fixie paraphernalia illegal in Massachusetts. Due to adverse magnetic fields, or an especially thin ozone layer over Britain admitting energy-sapping cosmic rays, Freewheeling never really picks up momentum, and glides to a gentle halt a few months later.

April 2005. acf is launched in the spirit of try, try again, ergo another cycling forum. The first of many eccentrics takes up residence.

May 2005. In a bizarre accident of timing, a large forum nearby stumbles, fatally crushing the confidence of many users. A few scouts discover alternative digs.

June 2005. Hundreds of distraught users now flee from across the road. The reasons are myriad, a term seldom used in actual conversation. Some are escaping 'trolls'. Others seek classified ads. Still others are in search of a different managerial style. One lost soul is looking for his mother. He is directed to Friends Reunited, where he doesn't find her but does find Laverne, who fulfills certain other needs.

January 2006. Although donations have trickled in since almost the beginning, the first monthly standing order is received; a member of the congregation appreciates the enterprise enough to feel it deserves steady financial support. This is a watershed moment, privately enjoyed.

May 2007. The movers, not content with relocating mere threads, move the entire forum; lock, stock, and nearly half a million posts. Not that we're counting.

Spring 2008. Set the clocks backward. Or is that forward?

Much of 2008. History rhymes.

December 2008. Hard reboot.

2009 - 2015. The bloggy years.

January 2016. Enters suspended animation.