2009: An LB Year in Review
First and foremost I think we have to mention the outstanding charity efforts conducted this year. I'll let LB Charity Leader GSXRAnge explain
“Charity News - 2009 showed just how generous LB members are in both donating and with their fund raising. We managed to raise a massive £4443.65 for the London Air Ambulance beating all previous efforts! A break-down of this can be seen in the LB Charity Efforts Forum here.
I can't thank you all enough for your continued support, it has proved a very successful year. Everyone who donated to a ride, run, sponsored cycle ride, raffle and also everyone in the back ground helping to make these events happen, well done and I hope you will be brave enough to tackle those challenges again in 2010.
For 2010 we already have members arranging their own events in aid of the LAA.
- ‘Trackday Junkie’ already has this mega ride planned for June and he is working directly with the LAA.
- Tiggi & Co will be competing in the London to Brighton, keep your eye in the Charity Forum for more details it will be updated as and when.“
Terry-Moto’s amazing charity contribution for fellow member and close friend Tania broke all records and expectations; I’ll let him sum it up.
“Earlier in the year our dear Tania was paralysed in a road traffic accident, so we set to work raising as much as we could for a state of the art wheelchair for her. With the Christmas Party looming I thought it would be a great idea to rope in Ben632364 and JasonB and dress up as Dot Cotton, Peggy Mitchell & Pat Butcher, three gorgeous beauties from Eastenders. Donations were flooding in so we upped the stakes to having our legs waxed at Borough Market and getting our ears pierced ready for the party, we were going to wow the crowds. Garret also offered to have his pierced if it meant we had more donations, which he did.
The event went well with a lot of fun and frolics had by all, Tania was allowed out of the hospital for the weekend and surprised us by turning up at the party.
I'd like to thank everyone who donated to the fund, to Ben & Jason for being such good sports and crying like big girls when having their legs waxed (I took it like a man), to Lisa, Jo and Joy for all their help in getting us looking like our characters, to GSXRAng for keeping tabs on all the donations coming in & all who helped make this fund raiser happen.
We raised £4661.00 which will buy a new wheel chair and help go towards adaptions once Tania is home."
Ange sums up as follows:
“I am so pleased that combined with the LAA donations and the Tania Fund, LBers have raised an astounding £9104.65!!!!”
All of us involved in running LB would also like to extend our thanks to those involved with Ange being top of that list, and more importantly perhaps we thank those who dug deep in their pockets despite this grim economic climate.
December 2009 saw another LB Xmas party (photo gallery) to see out the year in style. The usual venue of the Brook Green Hotel in Hammersmith saw much merryment including a rather startling display of cross-dressing by 3 members of the site - TerryMoto, Ben632664 and JasonB under a pretext of fundraising for Tania, a pretext as thin as the underwear they were wearing.
Organised by Lou this year, her third event of 2009, there were lots of issues to overcome but overcome them she did and the result was another success with much merriment had by all. The most amazing element of the party was the traditional charity raffle, an event which wholly and entirely depends upon the generousity of our contacts in the industry who are willing to throw prizes our way.
Some of our brilliant charity sponsors:
So here's a big thank you to the following people:
- Our Gabs (powerpuffgirl) and Garret for coming up with an amazing prize list
- BN Race Science and specifically our B for the donation of a suspension set up.
- Loads of Overboard waterproof goodies so thank you Adam at Overboard
- Race Performance Parts for an exhaust discount
- Wasp for donating some tailoring work
- M&P for the BikeIt U-Tags
- Kreiga for the backpack
- Norton Motorcycles for the fleece
- Nick Sanders for his DVD
- Duke Video for the BSB review DVD
- Hein Gericke for the Red Torpedo shirt
- Eva at Xtream Weather for the comms gear
- and not to forget a massive thanks goes to Rachel at Bridgstone Motorsport for the signed Rossi cap - hope you are looking after it Alex!
We also owe many thanks for many year's support to Sid's Trophies in Hammersmith for providing the trophies so coveted by the masses and without whom the award giving would be a bit pointless.
2009 saw 3 big competitions organised by Garret with prizes donated by Action Cameras (a fantastic £200 X170 helmet cam), Odeon (8 BSB review DVDs) and Axo (Donington WSB tickets) - quite a haul I hope you'd agree! Well done to the winners!
A special thanks also goes out to the Punch Tavern on Fleet Street for hosting a great poker night in October, including providing a poker coach, and we also would give special mention to the Two Brewers pub in Northaw, Hants for providing a fine venue at virtually the last minute after the traditional venue for the Summer BBQ closed its doors to us.
2009 was a big year behind the scenes with many profound changes in personnel.
The Mod Team got a shake up with Lustfish and BabyPolarBear (Shauna and Stace) stepping down which made us stop and think about moderation policies. PJ stepped onboard with a different outlook to moderating and we realised that they would have to be more involved and (more importantly) show greater support for their team in this most difficult of jobs.
All of us owe a great deal of thanks to the mod team of 2009, to Shauna and Stace both for their amazing dedication during their service but also for making the difficult decision to leave. LB staff do what they do for the love of it and that comes with an emotional cost. Afro and Shane have continued their diligent work through these changes and despite changes in their own personal lives are still on duty every day so again thanks are officially due. PJ has stepped into some pretty big shoes and yet took to it like a duck to water.
Event organising had been ChunkyMonkey's baby as we went into 2009 but after a succession of poorly attended events he decided that enough was enough and stepped down, and Lou stepped into his shoes. It seems that the lack of interest experienced by her predecessor plus a worsening economic situation continued to dog events through the year and as a result 2010 will see a much smaller events timetable.
Garret stepped down as Editor at the end of 2009 due to a pressing workload (and, I suspect, a need for more Xbox time) so he also is owed huge thanks for the thankless task of updating the news column, sourcing material for articles and even preparing the event pages on the site. Those of you who have had a dig at Garret in the past need to remember how much he has done before letting fly with the sarcasm. Our guest sports writer Neil Everett continues his analysis of all things racing for us which will continue into 2010 with the hope that we can get him into the paddocks to write 'live' reports for you all.
Management also saw some changes with Foxy (Tasha) departing to pursue her life and is currently enjoying a life on a tropical island far away from this miserable weather. Running this site is simply too big a job for one person to do, so Patrick and I joined the management team. Patrick's role is to be the leader of the community, so all decisions on forum policy including moderating and policing are ultimately his concern, Jay continues to be the geek-at-large responsible for all technical aspects of the site, but far more importantly he provides the drive and strategy direction for us all. The leaves me to act as Editor, media co-ordinator, photographer and general doorway/mat to the management team.
As far as the rest of the team who started and ended 2009 with us, we all owe thanks to you no matter how small you feel your contribution was. What matters is that there was a contribution and none went unappreciated.
2009 saw a full season of BSB coverage along with the UK round of WSB and the IOM TT being covered also. Only cost (a thousand euros plus per pass) prevents us from covering MotoGP but Ian’s excellent coverage of the MX events easily offsets this. Londonbikers has built a huge reputation for its sports photography, and not just blowing my own trumpet but that of my colleagues, without whom I couldn't have dreamt of covering the events we have. Ian Biggs joined us in 2009 producing first a world class World Trials gallery and then coming with me to the BSB rounds which, along with the MX series, meant Ian barely had a weekend at home until late October! His classy style, all shot with a Canon 5D (possibly the least appropriate DSLR to shoot sports with) was a complete contrast to my own works and that of Mikey from whom Ian took over - check out his website. Late in the year, when it became clear that I couldn't continue giving so much time and energy to covering the BSB calendar I turned to Ryan Smith, a longtime follower of all things motorsport and someone who's ability to convey motion in a still frame has inspired me many times over the years. Ryan jumped at the chance and immediately started producing images which give amazing contrast to mine and Ian's - take a look at his Flickr page. It is with great enthusiasm that I look to 2010's season starting, all three of us are champing at the bit to get going with it.
Road racing is always on the cards for us, in 2009 LB member Floyd produced a great gallery from the TT, and depending on funding we will be heading over the seas to get to at least one road racing event. And then there's always Scarborough.
We'd like to thank Hein Gericke, MCE, Twin Shack, Yanchor, Race Performance Parts, California Superbike School, West London Suzuki and all the other businesses who advertised with us last year despite difficult financial conditions. 2010 isn't going to be much better by the look, but judging by the successes of the motorcycle shows LB attended, there is still money in the motorcycle economy. There is a lot of hope out there too, for example we are pleased to see smaller businesses like London-based arc-on leathers (sic) expanding their operations after weathering the storm (hopefully due in some part to LB's promotion of them) and Scorpion helmets being seen in far greater numbers in recent shows than in 2008. Running this site costs more every year, and we simply could not keep the site going without significant advertising revenues. As members you can all help in a very direct way by engaging with the adverts we put on the site - we always try to find clients who offer a service we genuinely believe to be of value to you guys. To that end remember you can always recommend business's to us - help us spread the word. PM Powerpuffgirl with businesses you think might be interested in advertising with us, and there will be a percentage finder's commission for you!
2010 will see a major redesign of the site to highlight our increasing journalistic content and make the site more attractive to advertisers. Jay is working hard at this, and initial design peeks look very encouraging. Websites need to change regularly to retain a measure of freshness, technology and design moves forward constantly so LB should be up there at the forefront of it. As this goes to press a new Forum module is also in testing, and subject to our modifications being adaptable to it, this should be in place very soon offering such advantages as topic tagging (for easy searching), more flexible and accessable member profiles, and a much less clunky feel in general. Looking further ahead we plan to bring more Facebook connectivity and indeed take some of the concepts from social networking sites and bring them into LB so members get their own spaces to create mini-sites etc.
We hope to bring more video into the site, making it part of the site rather than just linking to YouTube etc, but again this is cost dependant due to the extra hosting costs of video. But 2010 will see far more emphasis put on video content, so anyone who's interested in getting involved had better make sure their batteries are on stand-by.
2009 was a great year for member content especially considering how skint most of us have been. We’ve had overseas trips, bike test articles, bowling trips and countless ride-outs all documented in one form or another. Enough photos were submitted by members to photos(at)londonbikers.com for a couple of member galleries, a new idea and one that should prove as much a success in 2010. The site needs more member content, from test rides to product reviews don't be shy to write something and send it in to editorial(at)londonbikers.com. We might have to edit it and restructure it before publication, but your experiences are what we need. Likewise ff there are any areas of the motorcycle world you'd like us to investigate let us know.
So that was 2009. Let's see what 2010 turns out like.