it's a lot of years since i started the washing machine post, really as a sort of in-joke between myself and fellow cyclist but, when you are page layout person for a newspaper, even as small as the ileach, it's well nigh impossible not to take advantage of the occasional column inch to bore folks with lots of cycling trivia.
then when we started the website, the opportunity was just too good to miss - loads of space, no restrictions and best of all for my reader, no charge. hence the washing machine post became an 'online publication'. for those of you who have never read the dead tree version of the ileach, it may be worth my while pointing out that the post almost never appears in print anymore. my editor has encouraged me to do so from time to time, but it usually only makes it if we are seriously short of copy. so if you are reading this online, feel gratified that it cannot be read elsewhere (or not, as the case may be).
however, the very, very best part of writing the washing machine post has to be the many nooks and crannies that it wends its way into without really trying. and i am constantly amazed at the number of people who manage to find the post since i don't actively promote it (other than by e-mail signature) and it has never, to my knowledge, been sumitted to a search engine. just as i was sitting with a blank computer screen in front of me, wondering what i should write about this week (a week later than it should have been), i received an e-mail from scott munn informing me that he had inserted a link to the washing machine post from his majorly excellent cycling site - www.bokeh.net/BikeReader/BikeReader.html. naturally, i immediately clicked the link to find out what i had been linked into and i would seriously suggest that you do likewise (once you've finished reading this stuff, of course). if you follow the links link and scroll down towards the bottom (the links are alphabetic). the link says 'The Washing Machine Post. Because we like the name.' and i'm glad, because i like the name too, theough i've always expected a 'remove and desist' e-mail from the washington post, but then maybe they just haven't found it yet.
the name has, as you would expect, provided some very interesting e-mails over the years. some irate gentleman mailed to complain vehemently that, while he had been searching the web for info on washing machines, he had found the washing machine post. and by crikey, he was not best pleased to find a dollop of cycling trivia. i also receive constant e-mails from something similar to hsueng fhueng manufacturing co of beijing, anxious to sell me 5,500 washing machine motors every month.
so from all the above and the constant stream of offers of links, i must assume that the washing machine post is well represented throughout the world of search engines, without any effort on my behalf. and i enjoy every minute of it. i have met the ceo of a select mountain bike company from california (now sadly in receivership), i have been involved in the national by-ways project, i have been interviewed for a mountain bike magazine and had a paragraph in the comic and conversed by e-mail with folks from all over the world, and all this from an ibook, in a small office in bowmore.
but then again, britney spears has become even more famous for less.
Remember, you can still read the review of 'the dancing chain' the utterly excellent book on the history of the derailleur bicycle by clicking here
any of the books reviewed on the washing machine post can probably be purchased from amazon.co.uk or amazon.com
as always, if you have any comments on this nonsense, please feel free to e-mail and thanks for reading.
this column almost never appears in the dead tree version of the ileach but appears, regular as clockwork, on this website every two weeks. (ok so i lied) sometimes there are bits added in between times, but it all adds to the excitement.
on a completely unrelated topic, ie nothing to do with bicycles, every aspect of the washing machine post was created on apple macintosh ibook and imac computers, using adobe golive 5 and adobe photoshop 6.0.1. needless to say it is also best viewed on an apple macintosh computer.