Bike49 On The World Wide Web

y Sara Dykman

Could it be 2am yet again? How many nights must I stare at this screen, clicking back and forth, slowly programming my way to victory? As I write this post, the website is still not up to my standards, but closer ever.

The website is over a year in the works. It has changed hands a half dozen times over the last year, each person sculpting, adding, and learning from the process. I was the last to take it on. Like many of bike49’s planning projects, what starts off simple becomes a way of life.

So, after another night of ‘webbing’, I can reflect on my experiences. I have learned a lot, which is already a reoccurring theme of bike49. There was a point when I didn’t know the first thing about html, php, css, or widgets. Now I can sort through the website, changing colors and fonts. Best of all, I now know enough to ask questions, AND find the answers helpful.

It has been a labor of love and time and messing up and trying again. You could probably call many of my “fixes” janky, but for the most part they work. When I couldn’t get rid of an extra menu bar, I changed the link colors to match the background. When the donation button didn’t work I deleted it and started over. When the footer banner showed up in the middle of the page (on some browsers), I ignored it. Talking to Matt one evening, I explained why I had changed the background to black. His response sums up my hours of work. “Sara” he said “I sort of figured that not every change you made to the site was intentional.”

With six menu bars, I knew something was wrong.

With six menu bars, I knew something was wrong.

This website, like bike49, is about pushing limits; learning from both mistakes and victories; and asking your community for help. I posted an ad on craigslist, looking for someone to help with the website. With in two days, fifteen people had answered my post. It was a boost to moral: people wanted to help because they wanted to be part of bike49, they thought it was worth supporting. More than the questions they answered; it was their support that kept me working on the website. With that I send my thanks to all who have already helped. Thanks to Ariana Schiff for creating the amazing bike49 header, to Ron, Ryan, and John for answering questions, to Aaron Antrim for technical support, and to everyone that told me to keep on trying

My advice for anyone wanting to start is to start. Start by messing up a thousand times, read plenty of forums, post a few questions yourself, go for a bike ride, and then mess up again. I can’t tell you how I learned, it just sort of happened. No one said it was going to be easy.