YGR MTB StampToday we’re celebrating the 8th anniversary of YGR. I still can’t believe what the site has become and where it has taken me. I am eternally grateful for the support the Fort Collins Cycling Community has shown the site. Unbelievably, what started out as a public service now pays my mortgage and allows me to work from home with my kids.
I anonymously launched the original WordPress blog, The Group Ride, on Halloween 2008. It only stayed anonymous for about a two days before Rich Davis called me out on it. Apparently there weren’t that many people who rode the Oval, Worlds, raced New Belgium and complained incessantly about the state of the local scene.
The goal of the site was to increase attendance on local group rides and to give race promoters a place to post flyers, photos and results. The Fort Collins Cycling scene was huge and very active but it had become increasingly fragmented over the years. It wasn’t long before the site housed a forum, classified ads, local routes and I was publishing NoCo cycling news. Initially, I had no intentions of monetizing the site but the traffic was there and I coincidentally hated my cubicle job so in Feb of 2009 version 2 of Your Group Ride was launched. Someone else owned the thegroupride.com URL so I had to come up with a new name. I built the new site on the Joomla open source content management system. This gave the site many more options. I had zero web design experience so it was and still is quite challenging fending off Russian hackers and chasing glitches. Luckily I’ve had a lot of web and graphic design help along the way (Sam, Nicole, Desmond, Curtis…). By July of 2009 I was running paid ads by New Belgium Brewing, Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant, Lee’s Cyclery El Monte and BecomeFit. Shortly after I started running ads in 2009, I went part-time at Keypoint Government Services and on Oct 10th 2013, a month before my 2nd child was born, I worked my last day at Keypoint and went full time on YGR and as a stay at home dad.
YGR has settled into a pretty good groove since 2009. We host 12 YGR time trials, RioSwap, the Wounded Rider Program and YGR Live. With the help of the NoCo cycling community we brought the USGP and the USAPC to the Fort, developed the Group Ride Code of Conduct, recovered stolen bikes. We raised thousands of dollars for sick and injured riders, the High Park Fire and Big Thompson Flood victims. We’ve supported hundreds of grassroots and sanctioned races logged hundreds of thousands of group ride miles. We’ve done our best to encourage safe group ride behavior. We’ve shown filled court rooms.
I hope the site has made it easier for new cyclists to get involved and feel welcome in the NoCo scene. I know it has helped experienced riders that have moved to NoCO to figure out what is happening and when. While the site and its programs have grown, the focus remains the same: promote and support the people that take part in road, mountain, cyclocross and track riding and racing in Northern Colorado.
Again, thanks to everyone that has supported, found value in, advertised and recommended the site to others.
Here’s to another 8 years.
High five,
Dan Porter