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“Where cyclists come together”

The birth of PedalBuddies

After buying a second hand MTB I started looking online for someone to cycle with that had about the same average speed as me. I didn’t and still don’t feel comfortable joining a cycle club and making other riders wait while I catch up all the time, I feel it just spoils their day out.
I joined a few websites and posted a few “Looking for a cycle buddy” posts, I had a few replies but my average or my distance was not compatible or they lived the other side of the country.

I thought about the need for an online cycling community after having no luck looking for a buddy online. I contacted a web design company and explained what features I felt the site needed and asked them to give me an estimated time and cost to build the site, within 24 hours I received an email that said I could have a site but I would have to wait because it will take them one month to build and at a cost of £30,000 yes guys that’s thirty thousand pounds for a month’s work, I’m in the wrong business..
The idea was put on hold permanently, until now…

PedalBuddies idea brought to life… With other online communities getting more popular, Facebook has over 900,000,000 members the companies providing the necessary software have realised how important it is to be able to provide an affordable way for people to have a community site that is in the reach of the average working guy.

I will be honest and say that this journey has taken a lot longer and cost far more than my original budget. I first purchased the software, sorted out a domain name and hosting (Jan 2012). I was expecting to be online within a month or two.. I was so wrong..
I paid extra for some site modifications and was not expecting to have to wait 3 months just for 1 page to be changed..!
Seeing that this was taking far too long I searched for a company to make the required changes, 3-4 months later I found a guy who sounded just right.
The new changes were going great.. I was so pleased my dream site was finally coming together.. Then..
The guy was not replying to my messages, wouldn't answer the phone, totally unable to contact him..?
So there I am with a site half finished..
The search for someone else to continue where the last guy had got too continued.
A few months later I was put in contact with another guy, highly recommended.. So I was told..!
I had a chat with him and he told me that the site had so many errors in the code that it will take at least two weeks to sort out the problems then we can continue with the modifications I wanted.. He advised me to start again as it will be cheaper in the long run.
Ok I said, so we dumped the original site and software and started again with new software, the last guy had put passwords within the software and we did not know what they were so we were not able to access a lot of the files..
After waiting months for more alterations this guy then became very distant, taking days to answer his mail, saying yes mate I will do that for you tomorrow, which turned out to be weeks..!
If you're not aware the going rate for website design... these guys are charging me £40.00 an hour, I'm not getting mates rates where you accept things to take a little longer as you’re getting it cheaper than normal..
Realising that I'm now very concerned this is all happening again I searched for someone else to help..
Finally I'm very pleased with work that's being done on the site, even if it is nearly 4 years, 3 sites and £6,000 later..! (Correct at the end of 2013
When you have a dream you have to carry on and not give up at the first or second hurdle.. Right..?

The aim of PedalBuddies is not just a way to find a buddy to cycle with but also somewhere you can get advice from a friendly cycling community on all aspects of cycling. It does not matter if you have never cycled before or are a veteran road racer making a comeback there will be in time plenty of people here to help and advise you, please don’t think your question is a silly one, I’m sure someone has asked it before.

Over the next few months I will be adding more features to the site that I feel will add to everybody’s online and cycling experience. I welcome feedback on what you do and don’t want our community to have.

I was channel hopping one evening a while back and stopped to watch a programme about terminally ill children, being a parent myself I felt the anguish these parents were going through and how important it was for these children to have their last wish before passing away.

I have decided and it would be great if you felt the same, I’d like to help these children in any way we can.
The Make-a-Wish Foundation UK does an amazing job for these kids and you will see a few links to their website, if you can please pop over to their site and make a donation or give them a call even if it’s only a small amount.
I have also added the Make-a-Wish logo to the PedalBuddies cycling jersey which I hope will bring more attention to the challenging work they do.
Once The site is up and running how I want it to, I will donate a percentage of all money made from the PedalBuddies site and have this on display for you all to see.

April 2014
I’ve been concentrating so much on the build of the site that I’ve not had time to update my PedalBuddies blog.
I’m very pleased with the improvements and the new features I’ve had added to the site. Watching my dream growing month by month is so rewarding. Being knocked back so many times has only made my determination to build a successful cycling community site that much stronger.

So where are we up to right now…?
You’ll notice I’ve added a competition page, I intend to offer cycling related items for members to win. I would love to have a monthly competition but at the moment this will be a few times a year.
To kick start this great opportunity off, the competition will run for two consecutive months, at the end of June and again at the end of July the member with the most activity points that month will win a £300.00 Garmin 510 Dual Bike Unit.. Strictly one unit per member.
To earn activity points all you have to do is be active on the site, the more active you are, the more points you’ll earn. It’s as simple as that. I feel this gives every member an equal opportunity.
Like all competitions there are some basic rules and I’m keeping these as basic as possible. To be eligible to be considered for the PedalBuddies competition you must have all sections of your profile completed in full, including uploading a profile picture.

Competition Winners..
Well done to Alex W for winning the first Garmin 510 at the end of June and Leon Turner who won another Garmin 510 at the end of July.

What prize will I give away at a later date? You’ll just have to wait and see… You won’t be disappointed

Oct 2014
Wow is it really October already, where has the year gone..?
Where are we with the site at the moment?
I would have liked to have more regular members than we have at the moment and I'm now looking at employing a Social Media Manager to undertake the daily updates on the PedalBuddies Twitter, FaceBook, Instagram and Google Plus pages.
PedalBuddies branded items... I've had the design made up for the Drinks Bottles. I'm waiting on samples from a couple of companies that manufacture printed Jerseys. The first batch I had printed were a let-down with regards to the quality of the printing and the general quality of the jersey, was I expecting too much..? No I don't think so.
I was not aware that members were not able to see what activity points they have, I'm having this looked at as I'm sure most members would like to know where they are on the leader board.

Nov 2014
I've been working closely with our new Social Media Marketing Company and they have made a few site recommendations, the main one being a better site logo. Existing members will notice the modern look of our new PedalBuddies logo and the corresponding website colours.
I'll have all the posters and flyers re-printed with the new logo, shame the re-branding wasn't done 6 months ago before I had them all printed up, never mind...
The sample drinks bottle I received was not what I was expecting, the print quality was ummm... not very good. I've been in contact with the supplier and they assure me that their printing is of a far better quality now...
I'm also cleaning up the Photo's page, I felt that there were too many sub-categories for members to select when uploading photos.

Jan 2015
Well January has been a good month for the site in terms of registered members, PedalBuddies twitter account is doing really well. It’s far exceeded my expectations in the number of followers on twitter, currently 1,895 and that’s in just two months.
Members that have been registered for a while will have seen that we were playing with a route planner, but as it was not reliable I had to remove it. I have been talking with a couple of guys about getting this up and running again. Also having the ability to upload and download routes is another key feature I would like completed.

Unfortunately like all community sites there have been a few people registering with the sole purpose of adding links to external sites to which they are affiliates for. I feel this spoils everyone’s enjoyment of our community and what it’s for. I regularly check new members to see what content they are adding to the site and if they are here just to post links to external sites other than a personal blog I delete them and block their IP address. I do leave the odd members profile visible with a comment that they have been banned as a warning to other would be spammers.
Please don't hesitate in reporting anyone posting external links.

I have been asked by one member if it's ok to put links to websites organising charity bike rides, I myself and I think all other members would have no problem with this, in fact I welcome it.

February 2015
Even though I monitor the site statistics regularly some days I have to look twice…!

Absolutely fantastic that during the course of this month we have had over 100 new members join, I’m sure this is all down to the Social Media Campaign as our Twitter account has over 3,100 followers.
Those of you that are active on the site by using a mobile device will have noticed that I have switched the Mobile Module back on. After issues with members not being able to up load photos from it I was not happy having the mobile version of the site if it was not reliable enough, I hope this is a better version.

You will see I’ve added an Auction Page listing (Similar to EBay) to the site.
I’m sure all you guys have the same problem as me, we all love upgrading our bikes and accessories and before long we have a cupboard full of unwanted items. Yes we can sell them on EBay but if you’ve ever sold items on there you’ll realise that buy the time you’ve added up all the costs you’ll be surprised what it costs.
You will see that I’ve added the ability for members to sell cycling related items, I’m keeping the charges to a minimum, but you will have to be a subscribed member to be able to use this facility, I’m concerned that some members may not be as honest with their age as they should be and I don’t want children listing items for sale, so the subscription is an age verification idea I’m running at the moment.
I realise that no members are going to want to list items for sale by auction if there are not enough bidders to increase the final sale price so this Auction is set as a Buy-It-Now only. So for a very small fee you are all able to list any items for sale you no longer want.

Ohh did I mention that all listing will run for "TWO" months for each subission.

If you look at these low listing fee’s I’m sure you’ll agree they offer amazing value for money compared to a UK weekly cycling magazine you could sell your items in.
As I previously mentioned, a percentage of these charges will be donated to the Make-a-Wish Foundation UK to help the organisation to continue their amazing work with terminally I'll children.

I’ve been looking at having a Business Directory on the site for companies related to cycling to list their business. I’ve found what looks like a great module I can add to the site that will have good features not just for the company that lists their business but also, members will be able to interact with them about the products or services they have to offer. I will be adding this to the site very soon and ask members to be patient while our directory grows. This offer will be offered to the business initially with a low yearly fee after the promotional period.

You are welcome to mention this business directory to any local shops and business' etc. that may be interested in setting up a business page for a low cost.

I’ve also noticed that some profiles are businesses and even though they are not hiding their service, I do think it would be better if members are aware that activities by businesses are identifiable. Therefore think it would be better to have the option on the sign up page for businesses to be able to select the option that they are a business and have their business name as their profile name.

Let’s keep PedalBuddies alive and thriving, spread the word to all your PedalBuddies
2015 is going to be an amazing year for us all.

April 2015
Where are we with our community…
I’m pleased to announce that the PedalBuddies Social Media Campaign is still going very well, Twitter is currently at 4,630 Followers Smile We also have 467 registered members on site, if you see a new member, don’t be shy, send them a quick welcome message.

We were all new to the site at one point and getting even a short “Hi” can be all that’s needed to encourage new members to share their experiences.

I’ve added a couple of items to the Classified page, no not to make a profit but I felt it looked very empty and I was thinking maybe members did not want to be the first to post items for sale.

Don’t forget the Make-a-Wish Foundation uk will benefit from your listings.

So come on girls and guys, sort through all your unwanted items and get them listed, if the items you have for sale don’t fit in any of the categories, PM me and I’ll add more.

The Business Directory should be up and running in the next couple of weeks. This is going to be such a great feature to the site for members not just to find Business’ for products they are interested in, but to also ask them for advice and recommendations but also reduced costs if the business is offering discount to members.

I have noticed and deleted a couple of spammers that registered on site, they then post links to their affiliate page in the info section. You can spot them a mile away, they register with a male name then in the info section on their profile they introduce themselves with a completely different female name.

I’ve been blocking their IP address they use but if they are using a mobile device it uses a different IP address all the time.

I’m sure they will move on when they get fed up having to re-register all the time..

I’ve been looking at other features I can add to the community, it’s going to be a busy couple of months ahead Smile
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