Close to a year here with no posting. The challenge for me in using a blog on this type of project, I’ve come to realize, is translating bits of work-in-progress into stand-alone blog posts. Frankly, it can be hard enough to keep plugging along on academic writing on its own….let alone also trying to convert/translate that into post-sized nuggets! One option would be to use the blog more for totally speculative observations and comments about the state of the bike biz, trends I’ve noticed, etc. But, that only really makes sense if you already have an audience.
In the meantime, I’ve found a way for the blog to actually help me make progress on some analysis and writing.
My last post outlined what I was up to, with the link to my “Survey of U.S. Framebuilders” which opened up last March (2019) just in time – not by coincidence – for the 2019 edition of NAHBS. Indeed, I kicked things off at NAHBS by walking around the show for 2 days handing out links to the survey and encouraging (read: begging) builders to complete the survey. Many did so, across the spring and early summer…at which point I let it sit until the fall, when I did another round of solicitation and promotion. That included, by the way, two podcast appearances promoting the survey and situating it in my research – on The Outspoken Cyclist and Patrick Brady/Red Kite Prayer’s The Pull – if want to have a listen. Using the data collected up to that point, I also put together a presentation/seminar for the 2019 Philly Bike Expo, in November. A number of people showed up for the presentation and asked a bunch of useful questions, which helped me think about further analyses.
Where does this leave me with the blog?
Having now completely closed the survey and fully cleaned the data (yes, there were a few minor errors with the data I used for the Philly Bike Expo analyses), I’ve been running loads of different analyses for my own scholarly-oriented work. I also promised builders completing the survey that I would eventually make some kind of summary/market report freely available. Looking at the data as a whole is a bit daunting – around 60 questions covering many different topics – so I’ve split things up into different categories (e.g. builder demographics, business demographics, handbuilt segment output) and will move through each one.
As I work through each of these topics, I’ll be posting here on the blog with some results and some thoughts on/interpretation of what they mean. This will serve as a first draft for the subsequent report and, ideally, might even lead to some discussion and feedback here on the blog or on forums (where I’ll likely be cross-posting) that can help me in the continuing analysis of the data.
So, if you want to follow along, please keep an eye out here on the blog for a series of posts in the coming weeks/months!