By now, you have probably seen my kickstarter campaign about the 15/16 Cyclocross Album one way or another, but here is the story behind it.
I started thinking about this season’s cyclocross album back in November. The reviews and the feedback about the 2014/2015 edition have been really good so I thought it’s definitely worth doing another book. But then I looked at the logistics and I realised, that with my current schedule, it would be almost impossible to make it work. It proved to be rather challenging in 2015. Here is why.
When the books arrived in July, I quickly sent out the pre-orders, which was a relatively easy task. But I am on the road so much, that sending out the books in a timely manner became a challenge. When I went away for a week or two weeks at a time, I had to ask my girlfriend or my good friend, John Mullineaux to send out books. This is all good and well, but relying on help is not something that is scalable and it’s not fair on them either. I love wielding a glue gun every other day and packaging books, but others are not so fond of the machine that make things stick.
I looked into finding a company to take care of logistics for me. The offers looked great, but unless you’re sending out dozens of books every day (which I wouldn’t be doing), it didn’t make financial sense. The logistics enquiry also highlighted another problem: storage. I could either store the books at home, in which case you have large stacks of books sitting around for months, or I could keep them at a self-storage facility. The former is challenging for many reasons (and only one of them was that I’ve lived in the last four years on the first floor or higher), the latter costs a lot of money.
This was the reason that I decided to run a Kickstarter campaign. It wasn’t an easy decision, because there is a chance that it fails, that people just won’t pledge enough money to make it happen. After having done books for four consecutive years, this was/is a strangely scary thought. But, at the same time, I felt that all the challenging aspects of the previous books would have been sorted out, in one fell swoop: I would have everything I needed from day one and once the books were ready, I would spend a week, packaging, gluing, sticking, etc. flat out and take care of all the logistical aspects at once.
So I needed a video, to explain all this and to ask for your help. I thought it was going to be simple and easy, but I hadn’t anticipated how impossibly uneasy I felt on the other side of the camera. We shot the video on New Year’s Day, at Baal. It was a cold and miserable day and I was struggling with a nasty throat ache, the kind that makes talking painful. But I had to talk and I was supposed to be fluent and convincing and upbeat and… many things that I don’t think I’ve managed to achieve. It is a ‘good enough’ video and it explains the project, but I’m not happy with most of it. The bit that I do really like is the part where I asked friends what they thought of the previous books. When I asked them if they were willing to plug the project on camera, I was overwhelmed by how helpful and supportive they were. So Brook Watts, Katie Compton, Wout Van Aert, Elle Anderson, Matthieu van der Poel and Helen Wyman: Thank you! I also owe a lot to my girlfriend, Katie, who was kind enough to stay out with me on the slippery slopes of the GP Sven Nys and held the camera during the endless takes, while I was battling with my failing memory and my failing throat.
Help Me To Make The 15/16 Cyclocross Album Happen!
And here we are. The campaign launched a little bit more than a week ago and we’re just over 50% at the time of writing, which is brilliant. There is a constant stream of plugs on Twitter and Facebook, for which I am very grateful, so thank you very much for sharing the campaign. If you haven’t pledged yet, you can do that now ( your card won’t be changed until the middle of February !!) and if you have, please help and spread the word. It is going to be a great edition and with your help, I can make it happen. Thank you!