Twisted Spoke re-launches. Thanks for the skin job, fellas.

Tim on the right. Thanks, man.

The new Twisted Spoke launched yesterday afternoon and I’d just like to thank four people and thousands of people.

The new look is an off-the-rack template that was tweaked and perfected by Tim Howarth, a film student I found on craisglist. Tim looks like he’s a 16 year old California skater bum, has the business presence of a sharp 30 year old entrepreneur and the genius of a wordpress blog rockstar. I’m impressed on a daily basis and feel dumb, old and tired by comparison.

So first, thanks Tim. You’ve given me a new skin job that’s beautiful and chock full of features and possibilities I will soon take advantage off. Lance Armstrong wishes he could get a new, younger skin like this. Tim is now my guru and, other than my wife and kids, he is basically indispensable. If you’d like to look at his cool little production company, it’s Terrabang Studios.

The second person to thank is my long time, good friend and awesome designer Jim Mcdonough. Jim is in my humble opinion the funniest man alive and never fails to deliver the design goods. He also owns a winery which may explain part of my enthusiasm and flattery.

I gave him a day to come up with a basic logo design. He gave me four works of brilliance. One I chose for now and one I’ll have him perfect for later. Notice the design on the O letter, done like a cartoon dialogue bubble —  literally a “I just spoke” line and a wheel in one. Thank-you Jim. Down the road there will be TS merchandise and Jim will probably put his stamp on a jersey and bib shorts.

Third, I’m indebted to Austin-based photographer Brent Humphreys for the Twisted Spoke masthead photo. In 2007, Brent covered the Tour de France and captured a side of the race you never see — not just the stars but the amazing fans all along the way. You can see those photos at his projectletour site. Our goal is to work with Brent on the Tour of California.

I’d also like to thank my paramedic, Aaron Shin, a designer at the visionary company IDEO in San Francisco. Aaron resuscitated my past history. In the transfer from free blogging platform to paid hosted site with my own domain name, I lost about 370 posts and 90% of my audience overnight.

Imagine the horror of building an audience over a years’ time, week by week, month by month, reader by reader and then, through some bizarre google glitch having it all disappear. I was shocked and profoundly depressed. Yes, readers were redirected to the new site but every previous post was a 404 file not found.

That’s where Aaron comes in. I mentioned the disaster and, having a music wordpress blog of his own, and being yet another young genius, he quickly noticed — and by that I mean in less than five minutes — what the problem was.

He changed one click box and in seconds all 375 posts were online. Business protocol and the fact that I was happily married prevented me from smothering him with kisses. I owe him a serious bottle of wine.

And finally, I’d just like to thank the thousands and thousands of readers in the last year who stopped in to read Twisted Spoke. It may perhaps seem that I’m a flip, cynical guy with a bent sense of humor but inside I’m just a gush-ball.

It’s a humbling experience to have people all over the world read something you wrote. Your comments, good or bad, mean a lot to me. I make mistakes and errors in judgement but my goal is always to entertain and add something different to a fantastic sport.

Now, I made the promise of podcasts and even video. I’ll go on record with future plans so there’s no back-tracking. Twisted Spoke will be covering the Tour of California live and in person. We’ll also be doing live podcast interviews during the Giro with a rider from Team Sky. That is gonna be insanely funny.

There will also be, gulp, advertising sometime soon down the road. It was my former life so here is something I can also promise. If it is ugly and stupid, it will not be here. If it is cool and creative and relevant and I personally respect the values of the company, it will make the cut.

Yes, I’d like to make small money on my addiction, but it will not foul the nest. Advertising should be a continuation of the experience and fit the content, not the other way around. You will never, ever see a banner ad for a cheap Mexican vacation in the Twisted Spoke header. That is obscenely wrong.

And finally, Twisted Spoke is going to France this year for the Tour. We just sold the house, debt gone, credit card empty and the possibilities are endless. Lance, Contador, Schleck and Twisted Spoke. Damn, that sounds good. Just typing the words makes me giddly.

Yeah, that’s a dream come true — at least for me. I can’t speak for Lance — although Bruyneel does follow us on twitter. So thanks to everyone but especially Tim, Jim and Aaron and all the readers out there in Googleland.  I’d be lost and irrelevant without you.

Twitter Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Technorati Facebook Email
Uncategorized
  • henkio

    Looks great, congrats!

    • walshworld

      Henkio, glad you like it. It’s pretty clean and graphic andshould last me a year of two, then I might have TS designed from scratch — which will be even cooler. Thanks for all your support, man. And I will take that beer in Rotterdam!

  • http://www.TheNewPeloton.com The New Peloton

    Greetings from TheNewPeloton.com.

    Bravo on the site update! We’ve added your newsfeed to our Today’s Cycling Newsfeeds page (http://thenewpeloton.com/tnp/index.php?page=7).

    Keep up the great writing.

    • walshworld

      Thanks for the Bravo. I can already see a significant bump in traffic coming from TheNewPeloton. Mmm, traffic, yummy.

  • http://snowcatcher.blogspot.com/ Snowcatcher

    Brilliant job on the redesign! And TdF?!? Holy moly!!! Boy, did you ever land the big one this time!!!

    • walshworld

      Thanks Snowcatcher, catching a lot of snow in Paris-Nice right now. I appreciate you checking in and giving an opinion. I like the new look and the next few weeks will be learning how to put a podcast together and start using the video window sidebar. Thanks for reading.

  • http://musicfornightclubs.com a.shinn

    Woohoo! Thanks for the shoutout Matt. Site looks great.

  • http://www.mauricio-soler.com FanDeSoler

    WOW! This reminds me of when I picked up the Madone after dumping the old Raleigh – nice job!

    • walshworld

      A nice upgrade, huh? Thanks for the positive vibration.

  • RidgeRider

    The new look is great. Very attractive. Love the photo at the top. Reminds me of roads I have ridden here in Northern California and so it feels 'homey' in that sense. Well done!

  • RdeF

    Thanks for the insight on design, photo, etc. That always make things seem more personal and relevant. Been following TS awhile and look forward to more!! Kudos.

  • Alex Simon

    The new logo is excellent. Like it a lot.

    Can I make a suggestion?

    At the top of the homepage, when you want to read an article, it sometimes takes 2 clicks and a fair bit of mouse movement to access a full article.

    (Click on the right-hand menu, then click on the heading of the article in the left section)

    Would it be better if the first click (on the right-hand menu) took you straight to the full article?

    Cheers

    Alex

    • http://www.atwistedspoke.com walshworld

      Alex, thanks for the tip. I'll ask Tim the web guy. It may be that the template just works that way. Hey, two clicks, you burn an extra 3 calories.

  • Alex Simon

    lol – I only weigh 58Kg. I need all the calories I can get!

  • Johnny Masury

    I’ve tested out the site on the iPad for a month or so and everything worse well. My only gripe would be to keep flash out, use HTML 5 please.