The Future of Roads Unwound

There is a little lag between what I envision for this website and the actual content. Obviously most of the information to be gathered on this website is going to be in support of the bike journey I will begin this summer. Therefore, I thought it essential to describe what I see the future of the roadsunwound.com site and the roads unwound project.

First, to describe the growth of roadsunwound.com. Since photography is an essential component of my adventure, I am investigating multiple options for user friendly galleries on this site. I personally prefer a style that opens a slideshow type viewer on top of the webpage, as seen after a few clicks on my last post regarding my photo exhibit at Wild Joe’s. There are various options out there, and I will probably try each before settling on my favorite (or your favorite, as this website is for you). In addition to photographing the people and places along my route I intend to relay some of the uniqueness of each place through specific articles. I see these being different than my frequent updates and trip news by being more in-depth and researched. Obviously it is tough to anticipate what those articles will be about (conservation, design, sustainability, architecture, history, development), but I do have a vision for how they will appear on this site. In addition to my running blog updates on the front page I will create some sort of a feature post slider on the homepage to draw direct attention to the articles. Hopefully that will separate them significantly from the bulk of the rest of my updates and showcase my passion for writing.

I am also looking into all the options for mapping my route and displaying my current locations on this site. There are multiple GPS options, and I am now looking at ones that are the simplest to use, and swallow up the least amount of battery power (such as Spot). For mapping, I am considering the use of Mapmyride.com, to chart and calculate the entire trip. I should be able to show a running mapmyride map on this website. The advantages to doing this are mainly to provide more in-depth stats to everyone looking in on my ride. A google maps type application usually only provides the onlooker with location and distance information. In regards to stats, I am somewhat of a nerd (junky) whatever you want to call it, so I might as well relay all that information along to you. I will create a page (or sidebar info) to relay common stats that I will receive from my cycle computer and moniters, such as: distance, average speed, elevation change, heart rate info, temps, etc.

Something I have been interested in for a while is a way to build an active participant community. I have been stumbling upon one site in particular for a while, and after seeing it highlighted again yesterday by the guys at Salsa Cycles, I think I will give it a shot. At www.greenlightride.com you build an online community of cyclists that can participate in friendly events or competitions. The one Salsa Cycles highlighted yesterday was a challenge to ride the total length of the tour de france before the real race does. If you do, then you are entered into a prize pool. I figure I might as well give it a go since I need to pound out thousands of training miles anyway. My real interest in the site is how I can use it for my long ride. I think it would be fascinating to create a large community of friends and family that try to match my distance. So, if I think my trip is apporximately 18000 miles, then any number of people can join up at greenlightride.com to attempt to match that distance as a group (18 people participating would mean only 1000 miles each). With no direct interaction between me and all of you following my journey, I think this will create a more active connection.

Other things to look for on this site in the future. A twitter display for easy and rapid updates without the need for an internet connection. Links to common sharing platforms like facebook. A gear page to describe all I am bringing along (not up yet because I have no idea what I am bringing). A countdown ticker to departure once I select my date of departure from Deadhorse, AK. I would also like to have a guest post from someone who can understand and support my motivation for this trip, kind of like a letter of recommendation to everyone who doesn’t exactly know me.

I will try and be brief in regards to the growth of roads unwound. For those of you who read my previous post, exhibiting my photography is a huge priority right now as it provides me and the trip with the best chance for publicity and exposure to the public. Next on the list is creating my kickstarter account. I will make some sort of a pitch/video to post on kickstarter to begin to bring in donations for my trip. Kickstarter is devoted to helping artists realize their dreams. My artistic dream for this trip, and one of the primary reasons I am undertaking it, is to develop myself as a photographer. Through the support I receive on Kickstarter, I will develop a coffee-table book upon the completion of my trip. The money raised on Kickstarter will be devoted to either finding a publishing company interested in my work, or for self-publishing the book. Another ongoing task for the next few months is to continue to seek sponsor support either through gear or monetary contributions. In addition, I will be working on contacting publications and other media outlets for coverage of the trip. While all this is going on, I am allegedly working on researching and writing articles to post on the website during my trip, studying some Spanish with Rosetta-Stone, selling most of my possessions (including my car) and moving out of my house, working on lots of side woodworking projects (cabinets and bookcases), determining the trip budget and gear list, and riding as many training miles as possible. My to-do list includes much more, but I needn’t bore you with all of it. I always appreciate all the support and comments I receive. This time I am interested to hear if there is anything you would like to see on the website that I forgot to mention above, or if there is any additional information you wish to know about me and the roads unwound project.

2 Responses to “The Future of Roads Unwound”

  1. Caitlyn says:

    Excellent website. It sounds like you have all sorts of ideas for making cyber-ready for your journey. I bet that I could get a few of us in the Florentine clan to pound out some miles to match yours….especially Papa Flo, who likes very much to ride bikes. Keep up the good work! I’m excited for your long ride!

  2. Jenn says:

    The website looks awesome! Can’t wait to see the photos up at Wild Joe’s!

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