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Why I like "crazyguyonabike"

Old 05-04-16, 02:09 PM
  #51  
NeilGunton
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Originally Posted by alan s View Post
Not a big fan of CGOAB. First off, the name of the site is insulting to mentally challenged people. Plus it puts bicycle tourers in a bad light.
Fwiw, I chose the name at the time for a couple of reasons. First off, I had been reading a book called "The Essential Crazy Wisdom" by Wes Nisker (https://amzn.com/1580083463), and his definition of "crazy" really resonated with me as it related to a quest for knowledge and enlightenment. "Crazy" in his context isn't talking about mentally challenged, but rather about how thinking in unorthodox ways, which can seem "crazy" to most people, can give insights on life and our purpose here. In a nutshell, "crazy wisdom" refers to "some of the teaching methods and insights of some of the most radical masters of The Way" (Taoism and Buddhism). There's much more, and much more eloquently put, the book is well worth reading. From the introduction:

A special kind of wisdom is loose in the world. This wisdom is difficult to codify or categorize; and it refuses to be institutionalized. It is called crazy wisdom. And so it is, both crazy and wisdom.

Crazy wisdom is the wisdom of the saint, the Zen master, the poet, the mad scientist, and the fool. Crazy wisdom sees that we live in a world of many illusions, that the emperor has no clothes, and that much of human belief and behavior is ritualized nonsense. Crazy wisdom loves paradox and puns and pie fights and laughing at politicians.
A prime example of this seemed to me to be quitting a well-paid job on Wall St to go ride my bicycle across the country. Talk about crazy!

You can also find other references to the term, e.g.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crazy_wisdom

I admit that I also used the term to refer to myself sometimes when I had been out in the sun too long on my trip - I did indeed start to go a little crazy from the heat and constant traffic. That is no aspersion on mentally challenged people, "going crazy" is just a term that we use to talk about when we are getting a bit unhinged. Being mentally challenged is not the same thing at all, and I don't think anyone who comes to the site sees it in that way. In fact, trying to reserve the word "crazy" for just referring to the mentally challenged is probably more offensive, since it marginalizes that population and enforces the notion that those people are unhinged. In fact, being mentally challenged can simply mean that you are developmentally delayed, and it doesn't have to have any negative connotation with regard to your being hinged or otherwise.

And finally, I chose the name because even back in 2000, all the "good" domain names already seemed to be taken, and so I decided for my own journal (which is what the site initially was), I would choose the most long, comically unwieldy name I could think of. A long, multi-word phrase like "crazy guy on a bike" just seemed to hit the mark. And I have to say, the response from people over the years has been universally positive. People like it because it's playful, memorable and kind of funny (faux political correctness aside).
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Old 05-04-16, 02:11 PM
  #52  
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Originally Posted by axolotl View Post
If you were paying attention, you would have seen that the dates for that "story" are in the future. The trip is scheduled to begin on May 7, 2016.
I paid attention, lets hope he has not an accident in the "present". its not the first time people announce something and things do not happen later ..
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Old 05-04-16, 02:13 PM
  #53  
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Originally Posted by BobG View Post
Also sometimes folks format a journal ahead of time then don't take the trip or otherwise don't complete the journal for whatever reason and never delete it. I led an ACA TransAm tour one year and we had two members with journals on CGOAB. One fellow was a retired British English teacher. An excellent, witty writer and good photographer. The second fellow was neither. Both journals remain on the site. One was never completed beyond about 2 weeks.

Here's a good one on Mallorca. Lots of quality photos...

https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/...c_id=8435&v=QQ

It's a cold rainy day here in NH, thus I'm posting a lot rather than being out on a ride!




https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/...id=182669&v=EO

nice personal family album, great story telling on this first page, enough to not go on.



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Old 05-04-16, 02:28 PM
  #54  
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It's 70 and sunny in Wyoming - with snow on the mountains.
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Old 05-04-16, 02:31 PM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by BobG View Post
Also sometimes folks format a journal ahead of time then don't take the trip or otherwise don't complete the journal for whatever reason and never delete it. I led an ACA TransAm tour one year and we had two members with journals on CGOAB. One fellow was a retired British English teacher. An excellent, witty writer and good photographer. The second fellow was neither. Both journals remain on the site. One was never completed beyond about 2 weeks.

Here's a good one on Mallorca. Lots of quality photos...

https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/...c_id=8435&v=QQ

It's a cold rainy day here in NH, thus I'm posting a lot rather than being out on a ride!
If it's the one I am thinking of that was a good journal. An upbeat guy who got in trouble with a local for flying the British flag on his bike higher than the U.S. flag?
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Old 05-04-16, 02:37 PM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by mm718 View Post
If it's the one I am thinking of that was a good journal. An upbeat guy who got in trouble with a local for flying the British flag on his bike higher than the U.S. flag?
Yep. That's the guy! Bill Maxwell. He also got into trouble for violating a flag person at a construction zone on the descent of Togwotee Pass. She flagged him to stop, he gave her a friendly wave and sailed on through. Despite his transgressions we all liked the guy and he kept an excellent journal of our trip!
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Old 05-04-16, 02:40 PM
  #57  
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I'd like to thank everybody who has responded with good vibes. And the people who aren't so positive, well, you have your opinions and that's ok. It's a free world. I was annoyed at first, but I have had my opportunity to respond, which I did, and I know that there will always be some people out there who don't appreciate what I do. It is what it is.

On the donations front, which mdilthey commented on above, I will say that developing and running crazyguyonabike and topicwise has been a full time job for me for some years now. As such, I decided back in 2006 to make the site donation-driven. I wanted to keep it all voluntary, rather than charging people fees to register or post journals etc. And I didn't like the freemium model, whereby you get more features if you pay me. I like keeping it all free and simple and voluntary, because it just feels better to me. Also, it means I don't have to go around taking down people's journals if they don't keep up their subscription, or chase people up for payment, or whatever. It's also actually easier for me in terms of running the site.

I do have a home-grown ads system on the site, but I am terrible at soliciting business and haven't actively done so since the beginning back in 2006. Some of the ads don't bring in any actual money (e.g. the one for Co-Motion is up there because they gave me a discount on the two bikes I have had from them). I think eventually I will probably get rid of the ads, but for now I can use whatever cashflow they do generate. And, finally, you can always turn them off if you want, via the Options page which is listed right at the top of every page on the site.

So the donations has been going for over 10 years now, and it's been working fine, up to a point. The money helps to support me as I live, basically, helping me pay bills and just exist as I run the thing. So while the money that comes in may sound like a lot, I can assure you that I am not living the life of Riley here. In fact, all the money gets accounted for by bills of one sort or another - the current fundraising, for example, will be accounted for entirely by estimated taxes for the coming year, and credit card bills. Recently we have had some large bills related to car repair and veterinary services (we have rescue cats, and one of them, Headbutt, recently got very sick). As a result I now have a rather large credit card bill, currently still over $10,000, and the current fundraiser is to try to help me pay that down a bit. It's a once-a-year thing, originally (and still) to help me pay taxes around this time, but also to help me try to keep the credit card debt down to a manageable level. Since it's still all voluntary, nobody is being forced to participate or contribute, but it all helps me continue to exist.

People who don't like me talking about cat bills or whatever don't have to donate if they don't want to, and some people seem offended that every penny doesn't go to hosting costs etc. But I would just add that you can't reduce the "expenses" of running a site like this to the simple hosting and bandwidth fees. The site stays up because I spend all of my time on it, and my time means I am not working a "regular" job, and that means I have all those regular expenses that come with just, well, living. I have over 30 years development experience, and at this point in my career I should be making a lot more than $40,000 a year, trust me (for comparison, in 1997 I made $200,000 from working as a consultant for Goldman Sachs, the residual savings from which provided the initial first few years of funding for crazyguyonabike). Instead of pursuing that train, I decided to run this website for free for all you good people, trying to do something good for the world, and in the process a vet bill of $600 for a dental cleaning has come to fill me with horror. For most people, $600 might not sound like much, but it's a lot if you don't have it.

So yes, donating to crazyguyonabike is helping me pay vet and car repair bills, but that doesn't mean it's some kind of scam. You are helping me live, and my everyday life is developing and running this website that many thousands of people use, so helping me is helping the website. My life is pretty bare bones - I work at home, don't get out much, and I haven't been able to go on a proper vacation of more than 1-2 days for as long as I can remember, mostly due to money, and the fact that if I go away for even a few days without checking up on things, I return to find hundreds of emails and problems and whatever stuff people do wrong on the website that needs fixing (people tend to not be very good at categorizing their journals, for example - they often choose inappropriate categories and leave out essential ones, etc). So the site, while largely self-running in terms of functionality, requires a lot of constant care for the content, kind of like a garden. Some stuff is hard to automate.

Anyway, thanks to everybody who has contributed this fundraising season, and I hope to be able to get myself in gear to do great things in the next year.

Neil

Last edited by NeilGunton; 05-04-16 at 02:57 PM.
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Old 05-04-16, 02:41 PM
  #58  
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Not a lot of Elbonia - bicycle images:

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Elbonia.jpg (48.4 KB, 75 views)
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Old 05-04-16, 02:45 PM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by NeilGunton View Post
Fwiw, I chose the name at the time for a couple of reasons. First off, I had been reading a book called "The Essential Crazy Wisdom" by Wes Nisker (The Essential Crazy Wisdom: Wes Nisker: 9781580083461: Amazon.com: Books), and his definition of "crazy" really resonated with me as it related to a quest for knowledge and enlightenment. "Crazy" in his context isn't talking about mentally challenged, but rather about how thinking in unorthodox ways, which can seem "crazy" to most people, can give insights on life and our purpose here. In a nutshell, "crazy wisdom" refers to "some of the teaching methods and insights of some of the most radical masters of The Way" (Taoism and Buddhism). There's much more, and much more eloquently put, the book is well worth reading. From the introduction:



A prime example of this seemed to me to be quitting a well-paid job on Wall St to go ride my bicycle across the country. Talk about crazy!

You can also find other references to the term, e.g.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crazy_wisdom

I admit that I also used the term to refer to myself sometimes when I had been out in the sun too long on my trip - I did indeed start to go a little crazy from the heat and constant traffic. That is no aspersion on mentally challenged people, "going crazy" is just a term that we use to talk about when we are getting a bit unhinged. Being mentally challenged is not the same thing at all, and I don't think anyone who comes to the site sees it in that way. In fact, trying to reserve the word "crazy" for just referring to the mentally challenged is probably more offensive, since it marginalizes that population and enforces the notion that those people are unhinged. In fact, being mentally challenged can simply mean that you are developmentally delayed, and it doesn't have to have any negative connotation with regard to your being hinged or otherwise.

And finally, I chose the name because even back in 2000, all the "good" domain names already seemed to be taken, and so I decided for my own journal (which is what the site initially was), I would choose the most long, comically unwieldy name I could think of. A long, multi-word phrase like "crazy guy on a bike" just seemed to hit the mark. And I have to say, the response from people over the years has been universally positive. People like it because it's playful, memorable and kind of funny (faux political correctness aside).
It's a great name because it fairly describes bike tourers, and is a memorable one. No one could seriously take offence, except perhaps the PC crowd. Please don't feel like you have to defend yourself here. Sometimes when things are really slow at work, a bit of comic relief is warranted.
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Old 05-04-16, 03:24 PM
  #60  
NeilGunton
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If you want to see what CGOAB could be, go to Backpacking Light's website.
Ok, I went there, and this is what I saw when I tried to read one of the articles:



So, is that what you want crazyguyonabike to become? "Access to the rest of the content on this page
requires either a Premium or Unlimited Membership"?

Not me, sorry. Thanks but no thanks.

Neil
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Old 05-04-16, 03:39 PM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by NeilGunton View Post
Ok, I went there, and this is what I saw when I tried to read one of the articles:



So, is that what you want crazyguyonabike to become? "Access to the rest of the content on this page
requires either a Premium or Unlimited Membership"?

Not me, sorry. Thanks but no thanks.

Neil
Thanks for that Neil.
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Check out my profile, articles, and trip journals at:
https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/staehpj1
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Old 05-04-16, 04:04 PM
  #62  
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Originally Posted by NeilGunton View Post
Ok, I went there, and this is what I saw when I tried to read one of the articles... So, is that what you want crazyguyonabike to become? "Access to the rest of the content on this page requires either a Premium or Unlimited Membership"?

Not me, sorry. Thanks but no thanks.

Neil
Did I ever tell you about a tour I was on with a couple of fellow riders when we ran into a guy named Sloyd?

He was hanging out in what had become a well-known hostel. Cyclists could camp there for free on a patch of grass or under a roof. The hostel was behind a roadside fruit and vegetable store conveniently located in the middle of nowhere, Oregon about midway between 50¢ hiker/biker camps that were a day's ride in either direction.

Supposedly, Sloyd was waiting for a frame that was to arrive any day my mail. Sloyd showed us how he could pull the seat tube out of the butt on the bike's bottom bracket.

We learned later that Sloyd had been camping out there for months. During that time he'd probably lived on donations while carving his name on all plywood bunks that lined the wall of an old barn out back behind the store.

I guess it's hard to forget a name like, Sloyd.
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Old 05-04-16, 07:20 PM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by NeilGunton View Post
Ok, I went there, and this is what I saw when I tried to read one of the articles:



So, is that what you want crazyguyonabike to become? "Access to the rest of the content on this page
requires either a Premium or Unlimited Membership"?

Not me, sorry. Thanks but no thanks.

Neil

Good man, Neil!
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Old 05-04-16, 08:27 PM
  #64  
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I remember riding in the Sierras between here and there, after a long descent came to a rolling section and just started laughing with joy. Must have looked like a crazy guy on a bike.
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Old 05-04-16, 08:42 PM
  #65  
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after all these years of seeing the name, I still think its a great name. Fits the view that some think of travelling by bike, and has a ring to it and is easy to remember.
I also still think its a great resource for ideas, as well as recent and reliable info to routes and what to expect on a given route.

plus, its just fun to read some of the more interesting trip journals when mired in a Canadian winter.
I'm still on the fence about doing a trip journal myself, part of me is not keen on having a public presence during a trip or to have to take the time to keep a journal updated. In the past I have kept a paper journal of trips, and even that was a chore-but I suppose one could do a post trip thing--which would at least possibly be a help to someone thinking of biking in the same area.
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Old 05-04-16, 08:44 PM
  #66  
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If you take pictures in Elbonia you will scare the locals.

It is too bad Neil is such a scamster. "look at me I need to eat and pay vet bills" Who does he think he is, a normal rational human who needs small amounts of money to survive and continue doing what he loves? It's people like that wot cause all the unrest ; )

CGOAB is a fine site to check out every once and while especially for those who have toured unusually (such as on a Penny Farthing). Some of the stuff can get repetitive but that will happen. It is quite cool that you can read stories from so many different people all over who have toured all over even if sometimes quite similar. It might inspire someone to go on an adventure or might give someone a new tip or trick or cool spot to check out.
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Old 05-05-16, 03:48 PM
  #67  
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If you're looking for slick websites and glitz, there is plenty of that elsewhere. For substance it's hard to beat CGOAB.
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Old 05-05-16, 04:06 PM
  #68  
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I wish there were some additional way to get referred to good CGOAB journals that I would enjoy reading. I know about Featured Journals, and it is a big help. I know about Ratings, and they help too. But I would like some way that works even better for me. I feel like I am probably missing some great journals that I would really enjoy. But I don't have time to go through them all. I know I could just bite the bullet and sample sample sample. But sometimes it takes a while for each, and it can really add up. And sometimes I just want a good quick guide. Rotten Tomatoes can help with movies, as can finding a reviewer whose tastes, ratings, and enthusiasms match my own well.

Amazon customer reviews can be very helpful for books and other products. Maybe there is, or could be, something similar for the journals....

Last edited by lightspree; 05-05-16 at 04:22 PM.
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Old 05-05-16, 06:59 PM
  #69  
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Originally Posted by lightspree View Post
I wish there were some additional way to get referred to good CGOAB journals that I would enjoy reading. I know about Featured Journals, and it is a big help. I know about Ratings, and they help too. But I would like some way that works even better for me. I feel like I am probably missing some great journals that I would really enjoy. But I don't have time to go through them all. I know I could just bite the bullet and sample sample sample. But sometimes it takes a while for each, and it can really add up. And sometimes I just want a good quick guide. Rotten Tomatoes can help with movies, as can finding a reviewer whose tastes, ratings, and enthusiasms match my own well.

Amazon customer reviews can be very helpful for books and other products. Maybe there is, or could be, something similar for the journals....
I know you mentioned the Ratings, but are you also aware of the different ways that page can be presented? A lot of people don't mess with the little form at the top of that page, that allows you to select what you want to see, by what rating, and ordered latest first, or by score. Ordering by score is interesting, because it gives you the "greatest hits" for that rating. For example, here are the journals with the highest 'great read' scores:

https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/rati...ad&order=score

And here are the highest rated pics on crazyguyonabike:

https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/rati...cs&order=score

And the funniest forum posts, etc:

https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/rati...ny&order=score

I think this is about as close as you're going to get to a consensus-driven recommendation system, because the ratings are entirely driven by the community. If a lot of people have rated a journal as 'great read', then it's probably worth a look.

Hope that helps,

Neil
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Old 05-05-16, 07:34 PM
  #70  
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Originally Posted by NeilGunton View Post
I know you mentioned the Ratings, but are you also aware of the different ways that page can be presented? A lot of people don't mess with the little form at the top of that page, that allows you to select what you want to see, by what rating, and ordered latest first, or by score. Ordering by score is interesting, because it gives you the "greatest hits" for that rating. For example, here are the journals with the highest 'great read' scores:

https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/rati...ad&order=score

And here are the highest rated pics on crazyguyonabike:

https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/rati...cs&order=score

And the funniest forum posts, etc:

https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/rati...ny&order=score

I think this is about as close as you're going to get to a consensus-driven recommendation system, because the ratings are entirely driven by the community. If a lot of people have rated a journal as 'great read', then it's probably worth a look.

Hope that helps,

Neil
Thanks much, Neil. That is very helpful too.
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Old 05-05-16, 11:22 PM
  #71  
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In german they say: man sieht den Wald for lauter Bäumen nicht ..
no time to search deep inside 2million pictures for some pearls..

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Old 05-06-16, 01:02 AM
  #72  
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If you do not donate he will delete you.

you can read the journals

if you post you must donate

many a person told elobrate storys, just to get deleted.

do not take a chance on posting there, it could be a waste of time, unless you pay.

spend hours telling a story than pay for the space, or get deleted, simple as that

he sells advertiseing, is that not enough?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uu-COF6DBCc
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Old 05-06-16, 01:59 AM
  #73  
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Originally Posted by chrisx View Post
If you do not donate he will delete you.

you can read the journals

if you post you must donate

many a person told elobrate storys, just to get deleted.

do not take a chance on posting there, it could be a waste of time, unless you pay.

spend hours telling a story than pay for the space, or get deleted, simple as that

he sells advertiseing, is that not enough?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uu-COF6DBCc
None of this is true. I don't charge for posting, and I don't delete you if you don't donate.

Basically this person is, as I recall, someone I kicked off the site back in 2011 for posting a weird profile page. I had an email exchange with him that was also weird, and inconclusive, and ultimately it seems that I didn't allow him back in.

One thing I have learned over the last 15 years of running the site is that sometimes you have to ban people, but it doesn't end there. They don't just disappear, sometimes they harbor grudges for literally years and pop up in threads like this one.

Based on the subsequent behavior of some of these people, it just confirms that my original decision to keep them off my site was the correct one, later fallout such as we see here notwithstanding. Never a pleasant experience, but it is what it is, part of being a website admin.

Neil
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Old 05-06-16, 03:47 AM
  #74  
BobG
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Originally Posted by str View Post
...no time to search deep inside 2million pictures for some pearls..
Thus, as posted above, Neil has provided a tool on the site to separate wheat from the chaff...

https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/rati...cs&order=score
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Old 05-06-16, 04:48 AM
  #75  
str
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Originally Posted by chrisx View Post
If you do not donate he will delete you.

you can read the journals

if you post you must donate

many a person told elobrate storys, just to get deleted.

do not take a chance on posting there, it could be a waste of time, unless you pay.

spend hours telling a story than pay for the space, or get deleted, simple as that

he sells advertiseing, is that not enough?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uu-COF6DBCc

donate or not, who wants to see private family albums like this one:

https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/...id=182669&v=EO

or this flower photography album:

https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/...id=182684&v=D2

or

"we went to bed and had a good sleep, we got up early and did a 100k bike ride, after we went for dinner, after dinner we went to bed again"

with stuff like this you can impress your relatives.
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