Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Reflections on One Year as "Velo Family Diaries"

As our youngest starts to find his riding legs, we
look forward to another year and all new
This Friday marks the official one year mark since I first sat down and started writing my tales as the Velo Family Diaries. Thinking back, I could never have imagined that so much could have happened to our little family, or even people's opinions I may have helped change. What started out as a place to transcribe the adventures I have with my two children and my husband on bikes has quickly grown into to a place to discuss the positives and negatives of being a bicycle family, and challenge the thinking of those who would deem our lifestyle unrealistic or our demands for change as aggressive and unrealistic. I have also learned a lot about myself, about what is important to me when it comes to bicycles, and I have discovered that there are a lot of people out there who really do want to hear what I have to say.

I'm sure that when most people start blogging, they likely think that it is a stepping stone to something greater. In truth, I felt that way, too, but also had that nagging sense of doubt. Will anyone actually read this thing? Do people really care about the bicycle adventures of a young family in Vancouver, BC? Obviously, I didn't let the doubt sway me, keeping in mind that writing a blog would cost me nothing but time, so if it turned out to be a bad idea, I could stop at anytime. As it turns out, people did care, and in my first week, my posts had been seen over 350 times. Not too shabby considering my topics basically ranged from how we spent our Canada Day to travels with my kids throughout the city to local parks. As of this moment, while I reflect on my year, I have now had nearly 23,500 page views, with some posts clocking in at 1000+ views, and readers from all over North and South America, Europe and Asia. It's truly humbling to know there are so many people who make a point to read my tales of my bicycle family!

Through this blog, I have made many connections within the cycling community, and have had a chance to guest post on various online news outlets, as well as the privilege for being a continuing contributor for Momentum Magazine. I love speaking with other bike enthusiasts, swapping stories, lamenting the challenges we seem to still face day after day, and commiserating with other parents as we struggle through the challenges with our children and celebrate our successes.

I think, though, what I have come to appreciate the most through sharing my stories are the compliments I receive from complete strangers. People I have not and may never meet, sending me messages, tweets and comments telling me that what I am doing is great and to never stop trying and sharing! It is truly amazing, with this online community spanning the globe, to hear that the rantings of a bicycle mom have touched so many. Some tell me I have inspired them to start relying less on a car and try riding a bike. Others tell me they've read my tales of travelling with our bikes and are eager to have their own two-wheeled adventures. And while I'm grateful to be inspiring all these people, each and every read, comment, kudos has been my inspiration to continue on this road slightly less travelled, and it is actually challenging me, whether to try something new or express my sometimes strong opinions more often. Without the encouragement I could never have grown the way I have over these past twelve months.

On Friday, June 28, I will spend the day as I did 365 earlier; travelling throughout the city with my children who will have just started their summer vacation. If the weather cooperates, we'll definitely be out on our bikes, eager for the adventures this summer will bring. I see the day as a milestone for the Velo Family and all of our crazy adventures. I am proud of what I have accomplished this year with the help of my wonderful family and friends (physical or virtual), and feel like I may have only just scratched the surface of what the future will hold for me. Writing the Velo Family Diaries has become such a passion, and I plan on spending the next year growing, adapting and pushing for the changes I, and those like me, wish to see in the city I live in and beyond. Thank you to everyone who has read my stories along the way, and I hope you continue to follow us on this incredible ride!


  1. Keep it up Melissa! I don't always get to them as soon as you post but I enjoy reading what you and the family are up to! <3 Shannon

  2. Congrats Melissa! Keep up the great work :-)