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Welcome to the Bike Café!

Screen Shot 2014-08-27 at 11.52.14 AMSame blog, new name and location!  After 6.5 years and 3.6 million views, Spinning Music has become The Bike Café and moved to www.thebikecafe.com.  (When you visit the blog from now on, you’ll automatically get redirected to the new site.)

When you check out the Bike Café, you’ll find some major improvements:

– All posts and profiles are now printer-friendly. (Just click on the printer or PDF buttons at the bottom right of each post).  The PDF prints a longer document with a larger font, while the Print widget is more compact.

– The Reader Playlist page and Bike Café page have both become forums.  No more clunky loading, plus the ability to comment on topics separately.  Most important, the forums are searchable, so if you remember seeing a great theme ride, you can find it quickly and easily when you need it.  The forums will look skimpy at first, but will soon be filled with kick-butt playlists and profiles and great advice from indoor cycling instructors worldwide.  Meanwhile, you can access all previous Reader Playlist and Bike Café posts under the Forum Archive tab.  Those contributions are now separated into pages so they should load faster than before.  Unfortunately, we were not able to extend the search function to the archives or to comments but most of the blog content is included.

–  Social media integration.  The Bike Café now has a Facebook page (like it to receive new posts there!) and you can follow me on Twitter @thebikecafe1.

– Mobile compatibility.  The site is now optimized for mobile viewing.

– iTunes playlists for new profiles going forward, so you can preview songs and decide what you like right from the blog.  (This is probably the #1 request I’ve had over the years.)

– Edited links.  I’ve placed the freshest, most recently updated sites at the top of the list of other sources for indoor cycling profiles and playlists and moved the links for sites that are no longer being updated to the bottom of the list.  (There’s still good stuff there, which is why I kept the links.)  For sites that are no longer being updated, I list the month and year of the last update if you hover on the link.

– Most posts, more often.  I’ve been holding off on creating new posts during the transition (which has taken way longer than I thought – sorry about that!)  I have 15 profiles in the hopper and will be posting more frequently – about once every week or two – until they are up to date.  Once up to date, you can expect one or two new posts per month.  If you subscribed to Spinning Music, no worries – all 1,830 subscribers have been transferred to The Bike Café.  Unfortunately, I was not able to transfer over those who’ve subscribed to comments only.  If you are still interested in following a particular post rather than the blog as a whole, you’ll need to re-subscribe.  All you need to do is navigate to the post, scroll down to the bottom left, click on subscribe, then enter your e-mail address.

So far, The Bike Café tests fine in Google’s Chrome browser and in Firefox but we haven’t tested it in all browsers.  If you experience technical issues, try a different browser.  Please leave a comment or e-mail me at bikecafeblog [at] gmail [dot] com to let me know about any issues so we can fix them.

Why’d you change the name of the blog?  I like Spinning Music.

I do, too.  When I started blogging in 2008 I inadvertently chose an easy, descriptive name that became the #1 search result on Google for the terms “spinning music”.  But Spinning is a trademarked term, and the folks over at Mad Dogg Athletics (who own the trademark) asked me to change it, so I did.

I see ads now!  What’s up with that?

WordPress always incorporated some ads into their free blogs, but you might notice more ads now.  Hopefully they will remain unobtrusive.  Right now, I am using Chitika, but I will likely move to Google AdSense in 2015.  I decided to include ads on the site for three reasons.  First, I want to be able to devote more time to the site, and that becomes easier to do if there is a revenue stream coming from it.  The blog will always be a labour of love for me and it’s been entirely a volunteer effort for the past six and a half years.  I am looking forward to being able to set aside more time for it on a regular basis.  Second, I am not exactly a tech guru.  I knew what I wanted to do to improve the blog but not how to do it.  I enlisted the help of web designer extraordinaire Dave Moore, over at ShadesColour to do the heavy lifting for me, and I think he did a great job.  (Mobile compatibility was Dave’s idea.) Thanks for pulling me into the 21st century, Dave!  Third, I love free content, and I want the content at The Bike Cafe to remain free forever.  No pay walls or subscriptions or premium memberships.  Just kick-butt profiles and playlists and the same amazing community of indoor cycling instructors from around the world.

What’s the donation button all about?

It’s my stab at crowd-funding for the site improvements.  If you enjoy the site and use the profiles and playlists in your classes and you’d like to contribute, there’s now a way to do so via PayPal.

When will you post your next ride?

Very soon!  Look for it this week.

Dave and I have worked hard on this over the past few months and I really hope you like the changes.  I’d love to know what you think.  You can leave a comment on this post, or e-mail me at bikecafeblog [at] gmail [dot] com.  C’mon over to The Bike Café, order a latte, and hang out for a while.

Warm regards,

Cynthia

 

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6 Comments On “Welcome to the Bike Café!

  1. Christopher Roche Reply

    HELLLLOO Cynthia!
    Christopher Roche here, Schwinn Cycling Master Trainer. It has been some time since we have connected but I wanted to reach out and say>
    YOU ARE AN INSPIRATION!!
    The UNBELIEVABLE amount of sheer energy, passion and unlimited devotion you have shown this community deserves the highest of praise. Even the post EXPLAINING the updates and changes and improvements you have made to enhance your blog (THAT YOU DO ON YOUR OWN TIME!!.
    THAT explanation alone would take me forever! I could go on, but I will simply say thank God that you do this work in support of soooo many people, to whom I am certain you are a saving grace!
    So, Thank you for being YOU and doing what you do. I haven’t seen the donate button but when I find it I will use it. I sincerely hope anyone reading this will not buy coffee ( not completely because that is just crazy talk !)… just buy Starbucks a couple times less one week and make a small donation.

    (Come on riders! “Spinners are givers” Donate 3$ and then send Cynthia a thank you message letting her know!
    I challenge you. I dare you! I double dog dare you! THAT’s RIGHT! I went there… It’s so on!!
    All the best… again…THANK YOU!

    1. Member Cynthia Reply

      Chris! Lovely to hear from you and thank you so much for the shout out. Folks, Chris is a Schwinn Master Trainer I interviewed for the blog a few years ago. In the interview, he offers lots of great advice on many aspects of indoor cycling – filling your classes, generating a following, music choice, motivation, and more. You can check out that interview here: http://thebikecafe.com/2013/01/04/interview-with-schwinn-master-trainer-chris-roche/

      Warm regards,
      Cynthia

  2. Jenn Reply

    I’m SO happy to see you active online again!!!! I had been checking in on your blog here and there and thought you had given it up. I love the rides profiles you post and have been “turned on” to great music I wouldn’t have found if not for your blog. I’m very excited to see what you’ve been working on. Good luck with your new forum!
    Jenn

    1. Member Cynthia Reply

      Thanks Jenn! Nope, haven’t given it up, just the opposite. My tech guy had to import my blog from the old site to the new one so I decided not to update it until the transfer was complete, otherwise we’d have to do it all again. Of course, that was when I thought it was going to take a few weeks. I really missed blogging and am looking forward to posting more frequently.

  3. Karen Reply

    Congratulations…

    1. Member Cynthia Reply

      Thanks Karen! I appreciate you stopping by.

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