Annual Review

Ups and Downs

It has been a year of ups and downs at Much of my time has been spent being modest about the ups and hidding the downs. Now I'm going to blow down my trumpet and 'fess up.


Drowning, not waving.

Server failures dogged us throughout the year. This was really bad news because it often removed from the web entirely. We went off-line in March and May and had continuous issues through July to September. Since then I've kept my fingers crossed and mouth shut. It is a tribute to your loyalty and patience that this has not impacted adversely on our general success. Thanks.


Riding along on the crest of a wave.

Top 12 Non-English Speaking Countries hits in 2013


Visitor numbers have continued to climb slowly; on occasions they have topped 10,000 a month. Page views are about 5000 per month above last year's figures and with good reason; there has usually been about four new or updated pages every week.

We have visitors from all over the world(wideweb). Many from Europe are drawn to the website by our European Rally List with data provided by Hans Veenendaal and his team. I suspect most of them use the mobile page.


Down to work.

This year I struggled to put together a team to run Kegworth Control. Thanks to regulars Peter Wright, Dave Parry, Rob Winnett, Mary and Andrew Grant and new recruit Grahame Billington, we managed. Hopefully in 2015 there will be fewer weddings - although Christening may cause a problem.

In 2013 I promised National Road Rally riders that we would post the true (Google) miles between controls and even suggest routes. Best laid plans went awry when we tried to get the scripts to work in the fraught weeks running up to the rally and I could not deliver on that promise.


Up to scratch.

We still produced an interactive matrix for the NRR that was well received, and produced a new moble phone page that conveniently carried details of the controls in the order you planned to ride the rally.

Again we recorded riders passing through Kegworth in our searchable photo page and afterwards emailed full size photos to competitors who requested them.


In the Doldrums.

As usual I managed to accummulate a backlog of badges due to the collecting powers of the Rally Collective.

The Rally Collective: Dave Cooper, Hans Veenendaal, Jean-Francois Helias, Lee Oversby, Mel Burden, Nigel Woodthorpe, Phil Drackley, Phil Nicholls, Rachel Crossley and Ted Trett.

Over the year we added about a hundred badges to remind you of great times. That may be an up but there are still a hundred to be done.


"Don't look up!" (Derek's cry on approaching a hill)

Embers cycling group has gone from strength to strength in 2014. We regularly have ten or more riders seeking a comfortable pub.

Before we joined up with Nick Reeves at Thornton. Roll your mousewheel to zoom in.
Left to Right: Ian Bower, Mick Ayriss, Nigel Lines, Kathy Lines, Richard Clark, Helen Ayriss, Richard Sleath, John Muschialli, John Ashworth, Grahame Billington, Ben Crossley, Dave Parry, Derek Jordan and Peter Wright.

April was a particular highlight with a five day tour centred on Morecambe and, later, a fifteen bike turnout when we nearly had to fight a funeral party for food.


Down to the Nitty-Gritty.

An accumulation of details that needed to be done better drew my attention from time to time. I am prone to fidgit and fiddle about when I know you deserve a higher standard of presentation.

  • Hans' Rally List receives continuous enhancements as well as frequent corrections when I mess something up.
  • Many of the maps on have had make-overs as I attempt to keep up with Google Maps API.
  • Site navigation is a nightmare that I am ashamed of. It was complicated in the middle of the year by rationalising the sections. To encourage you to tackle the beast there are small inprovements in helpful tooltips and cross-sectional page tabs. Didn't that help you? Hard luck!
  • Making the website responsive to small screens on mobile devices has almost come to a halt. The main reason is that I'm not very good at it. Maybe by the time I solve the conundrum mobile screens will handle desktop websites.

Up, Up and Away

Up to more mischief.

That's the review of 2014. What of this year?

There will be a lot more of the same, we are sure to have a bumpy ride!