In between mixing batches of egg nog the past few days, I got curious about the most popular stories at Biking Bis the past year. I checked my stats and here's what I found:
The most popular story of the month reflects the biggest pro cycling story of the year — the return of Lance Armstrong. The story that got the most hits was “Versus TV schedule for 2009 Tour Down Under,”which tells me a lot of folks wanted to know when to tune in to view his first comeback race. Closely following that story was “Lance Armstrong's Tour Down Under bike, by the numbers.”
Armstrong's bike was the most popular story the next month too. “Citizen turns in Lance Armstrong's stolen bike to police.” Like a chapter from The Gang that Couldn't Shoot Straight, it turns out the do-gooder citizen actually had received the bike as stolen property after the heist in Sacramento during the Tour of California. The thief who busted into the Astana trailer to unwittingly take one of the most famous bicycles in the world at the time was sentenced to 3 years in prison.
Iowa was the scene of this month's most popular story. “Another Iowa county bans group bike rides…. Update: Ordinance will be repealed” reports how Hardin County board of supervisors voted to require any bike ride with more than 10 people to carry $1 million liability insurance.
This discrimination against cyclists got a lot of attention, and eventually the supervisors rescinded their vote. Maybe they realized that cash cow known as RAGBRAI might avoid the county due to its laws. All this action occurred in 2008, but it still interested readers into 2009.
Armstrong was again the most popular this month in “Armstrong survives 'showergate'; reveals ID of Juan Pelota.” It reported how the French anti-doping agency would permit him to attempt his 8th Tour de France championship in spite of leaving a sample-taker outside while he showered off after a training ride on his bike. Also, it told how Armstrong came up with his pseudonym.
Staying with the pro cycling, this month's most popular story was “Where to watch the 2009 Giro d'Italia? Universal Sports.” In a last minute move, the sports network agreed to a live webcast of the Giro and delayed cable coverage.
This was good news for bicyclists anxious for Google to add bike routes to its mapping application — “Google Maps filming bicycle paths for Street View.”
The most viewed story this month was the tragic story of a Seattle bicyclist struck and killed when a van pulled out in front of him:“Seattle bicyclist Jose Hernando dies after collision with van.”
The comeback kid is once again the most popular story after he announced in July the formation and his participation in the RadioShack pro cycling team. That story was subsequently updated and has become “RadioShack roster set with Armstrong, Leipheimer, Horner, Kloden.”
That RadioShack story continued to get the most hits this month. The runner-up was “Old jail reopened as bike hostel in Farmington, Missouri.” The townspeople chipped in and did the renovation to give bike travelers on the TransAmerica Bike Route a free place to spend the night.
Again with RadioShack this month, but the second most popular was “Photo contests: Adventure Cycling and Alliance for Biking & Walking” announced two photo contests underway. Just to update, a couple of deadlines are looming. Submissions to the Adventure Cycling Association photo contest face a Dec. 31 deadline. The deadline for voting for the Alliance for Biking & Walking winners is Dec. 31.
Interestingly, the biggest story of the month wasn't one written in 2009 or 2008, but published on the last day of 2007. “Top 10 bicycling websites” listed my most favorite bicycling websites. Looking over it again, I don't think I can convince myself to change any of them.
So far this month, the Top 10 list and RadioShack top the stats. The next highest finisher is the story submitted by bike traveler Finley Fagan — “Traveling across Europe by bike with two dogs.” The Australian and Dawn Lumsden of Canada are biking around the world with their two SPCA-rescue dogs, Jack and Paco. You can read their adventures at Cycling Gypsies.
Thanks for stopping by, everyone. Hope to see you all next year too!