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BIKE DESIGN James Thomas is a Senior Industrial Designer at a company that makes residential lighting fixtures. His blog is at Bike design blogger hits the spot US blogger James Thomas gets up to 1,700 daily visitors to his bike design site, many from the industry. Carlton Reid seeks his views on the future of bicycle design... What’s your background in the bike trade? While I was a college design student in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s I worked as a mechanic in a bike shop. Why did you start blogging? I started blogging on a whim in September 2005. I had been cleaning out some old renderings and models from college. I ran across an old marker sketch of a track bike that I did in the late ‘80s and at that moment I decided to make it my first post I liked the idea of blogging, but I didn’t know what I could add to the hundreds of bike blogs already out there. When I rediscovered that old sketch, it just hit me that I could blog about bikes and their designs. How many unique visitors are you getting per day? The blog gets around 1,200 to 1,750 unique visitors a day. It surprises me that so many people read the content that I write quickly during my lunch hour. If I have 15 minutes, I just worry a little about some of the grammar and spelling errors that were bound to occur in my posts. What kind of articles get the most views? Posts with new designs for urban or transportation-oriented bikes and it gets linked to like crazy. I like the fact that I am often surprised by what content sparks a conversation. I really enjoy the interaction with readers and I think that is what keeps me going. I certainly don’t know everything that is I am sure that an Apple iBike would look nice, but then I would be stuck buying the expensive proprietary Apple chain lube and tyre air! type quickly and hit the post button without editing at all. At first, it was no big deal because nobody was reading the blog anyway. As the readership started growing, I started to tend to stay popular. Sometimes I post something that I think will be big and no one links to it or comments on it at all. Other times, I just mention something in passing going on in the field of bicycle design, but I like the fact that my blog has become a forum for anyone who is interested in the subject. A lot of my best posts come from reader tips or submissions, so I consider the blog to be a two-way street. I can pass along ideas that I like and I can learn from the readers about things that I probably wouldn’t have seen otherwise. The reader comments is where you can find some of the best content on my blog. Who’s reading? I know that a lot of bicycle industry people read the blog, because I see IP addresses from nearly every major bike company that I can think of in the stats. High-profile designers include Chad Lockart, a senior industrial designer at Trek, Torgny Fjeldskaar, the director of industrial design at Cannondale, and Mark Sanders, the Englishman who designed the

Bike design blogger hits the spot

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