Perhaps this is something I should have done sooner. It's the why behind La Velocita. Why did it start, why the name, why the approach, what's your background, why, why, why. People have been asking me these questions a lot recently, so here it all is...
Words - Mike Boudrie Images - Jeff Curtes
It's something that I have not shared previously, basically I was not sure people were interested in knowing... Why La Velocita? Why did I start it? And who is Mike Boudrie. Well, if you're interested, here it is.
I've always loved riding my bike, from when I was a little kid, through my teens, university and through my career. I still love it now, for me there's nothing that compares. Cycling has been something different to me as I've worked my way through life. From being a pure form of enjoyment, to my only form of transport, to a way to keep fit and healthy, a way to meet new friends, a way to challenge myself, for relaxation, to reduce stress... I could go on all day. Now it's one of the things I do to make a living.
HOW DID IT ALL START
In 2014, I was on holiday with my wife and new young daughter. Shortly before the holiday, I'd been involved in a relatively serious accident while riding my bike to work in Melbourne's CBD one morning. The accident left me with some pretty nasty physical injuries, but it also left me with some serious emotional challenges. I suppose a 'near death' experience shook me up and I suddenly realised how precious life was and what was important.
I had a few weeks off work to recover from the accident. When the emotional toll hit we decided to get away for a couple of weeks. While I was away I decided to start a simple blog to review bike kit and bikes to allow me to get my cycling 'hit' while I was not able to ride. I did not care if I was the only one that read it. It was just an outlet for me, and if a few people visited, perhaps they would be inspired by some of the things I loved about cycling.
Fast forward a month and I was super excited that for September 2014, 374 people had visited La Velocita. I mean seriously excited. The guys at Pedla liked the blog so much they sent me a new kit to review. I'll never forget that they were the first brand to give me a go.
A few months in and traffic was increasing, I was frantically learning how to build a webpage and writing three times a week. The Weekly Rider was gaining interest and people were asking me about the site. By the time Christmas 2014 came I had passed 1,000 views for the month. I realised I might be onto something.
La Velocita. Technically it's spelled 'La Velocità' ... it translates directly to 'The Speed'.. It's a bit of a mouth full but I like it and it's a bit different to 'Bike this' or 'Cycling that'.
How to pronounce it... 'Velo-chi-ta' Head to this site to list to various Italians saying it
WHO AM I
Wow. How do I explain this in a couple of paragraphs? I'm 37 years old. I've ridden bikes since I learned to ride. My Dad's job moved us around the world a bit, so before I'd finished school I'd ridden around the UK, covered lots of K's in France, and of course Australia, mainly between Sydney and Melbourne.
My first road bike was an old Peugeot, purchased in the UK for 90 pounds. Before that it was all about mountain bikes and BMX. I actually don't think I have ever been without a bike. As I moved from the endless free hours of University to the intensity of working in corporate advisory roles I had less time for cycling, but still got out a fair bit. As I smashed into my 30's I really started picking up the bike more then the one or two times I had been and moved to three... then four... then pretty much everyday. Of course I have breaks. Like right now, I've been off the bike for 4 weeks after the neck injury from my bike versus car experience has flared up.
I'm married to a beautiful and intelligent woman, Alexandra, I have a self confessed cheeky 2 year old, Harriet and in around 2 months time there will be a brand new baby in our house... and not to forget our dog and cat. Between my wife and I, we run three businesses out of our office in Kensington. We've both jumped from safe jobs to making our own way and I am excited by the possibilities every single day.
WHY THE APPROACH
I've always loved riding my bike. Like you, I probably spent too much time at work looking at cycling website, staying up late watching cycling on TV and spending most spare moments riding or thinking about riding. When reading most websites I found that they were interesting and helped me with buying new stuff, but none of them really connected me. I've set out to build a website that is not built around bikes, but built around people that ride. Bikes are nothing without the people that ride them... even if they do look pretty cool.
We want to write about local cycling, local cyclists, local manufactures, retailers and people giving it a go. We are here to grow interest in cycling and get people on bikes.
I have surrounded myself with passionate people that love cycling. They are not professional cyclists or career journalists. They are people like you and me, people working, with families that are sharing their love of cycling through La Velocita. They are real world cycling consumers, they are the same as our readers. We're not a outlet for a media channel or retailer selling this or that. We have no alt eria motive, we just want to share all the cool stuff about cycling.
WHERE ARE WE NOW
La Velocita will be 2 years old in September 2016, we're learning everyday. As of this month we've pushing toward 50,000 unique viewers per month. Most of our readers are in Australia, but we're getting an increasing level of interest in the UK and the US. We don't run paid adverts, have, 100% real and engaged followers and are growing month by month. Were an amateur band of people that love cycling and want to share that with you. We're not backed by big business, locally owned with no big media company pushing an agenda. We're fully independent, local, honest and just want to share good stuff that you can do. We promote local businesses wherever possible and work hard to appear bigger than we really are so people take us seriously!
I'm not sure what's next, but there's no doubt that we are on the edge of something pretty exciting.
A QUICK THANKS
La Velocita would not happen without the contributions of my awesome team. It's a labour of love for them and they fit writing into their spare time, most of the time without financial reward. I can't thank them all enough. You know who you are guys.
If you want to get on board and show your support, join thousands of other by just entering your email into the box below. We're excited. I hope you are to.