Don’t miss out on the latest CyclingTips updates.
I have written a few “letters from the editor” in my short tenure here at CyclingTips. This is the first that is part of the weekly Ella newsletter – because this week marks the launch of our newsletter packed with Ella-exclusive content.
The plan is to have the newsletter hit your inbox each Wednesday. And while we’re posting this letter from the editor on Ella, letters from the editor will largely be a newsletter-only feature in the future.
Want to be absolutely sure you’re across on our favourite content? Interested in special events and giveaways? Eager to stay updated on the inner-workings of all things Ella? Sign up for our newsletter here. Worth noting that if you’re signed up for the CyclingTips newsletter and want to receive the Ella newsletter as well, you’ll need to subscribe.
Hello everyone –
Exactly one month ago to the date, I boarded a plane in Melbourne following a whirlwind of a two-month trip out to Australia and headed back to my European home in Girona, Spain. My first (ever) trip to Australia included a crazy amount of bike racing (Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic, National Road Championships, Santos Women’s Tour, Tour Down Under and the Herald Sun Tour), morning rides with Rapha and the St Kilda’s Cycling Club, night rides with Specialized, and adventures with new friends and old friends across three states.
It was completely full-on and jam-packed – overflowing with bikes and new faces, friends and new places. It felt decadent and luxurious to have such full days and such a full heart. “How good is this?” I found myself thinking over and over and over again. I was plotting my return trip weeks before my departure. (Full disclosure – I still am).
It also, of course, included this. It included Ella. When I arrived in Melbourne on the second of January, this site didn’t even have a name. We called it “the sister site” until “Ella” fell into our laps on a train ride home from Williamstown on my first day in the office – which was where I met my new co-workers Andy and Jonathan. I had met Wade and Matt just a few days earlier at the weekend races. Which I only point out because it’s hard to believe that this is all still so new.
Three months ago – there was no Ella. I had no faces with names. We hadn’t written any stories. You hadn’t read any.
And today – well, I’m the first to admit that the learning curve remains as steep as ever and some days I don’t feel like I have a clue what I’m doing, but I’m starting to feel a bit more confident in this new role and with these new challenges. I recognise that we won’t be everything to everybody, but I strive to find something to offer anyone who finds their way onto our home page.
A home page that has existed for not quite eight weeks.
It’s easy to get immersed in the day-to-day business of running Ella – writing and interviewing and editing, searching for the perfect photos, keeping in constant contact with all our contributors, floating story ideas by the CyclingTips team, taking on board all the story ideas that are passed along, pushing out content on social media and engaging with our new followers, jumping into the comments sections on Ella, participating in and leading conference call after conference call (often in the middle of European night) and dealing with the steady flow of emails that hit my inbox at every hour of every day (because time zones).
Holy emails batman. I mean – really? I could answer emails all day and never catch up.
And when I get immersed in the day-to-day, I sometimes lose sight of how proud I am of what we’ve done since the day Wade offered me this job four months ago. Since the day I arrived in Australia three months ago. Since the day we launched Ella eight weeks ago.
I’m proud of the relationships we’ve built and the content we’ve created. I’m proud of the writers we’ve signed and the riders we’ve interviewed. I’m proud of the trust we’ve earned and the confidence we’ve inspired. I’m proud of the feedback we get that tells us we’re on the right track. Hell, even the feedback that tells us we might want to consider something different – I’m proud of that, too. Because it means we have your attention. That you’re willing to tell us what you want. That you hope we’ll take you under advisement.
I do take you under advisement, by the way. So please speak up if you have something you want to say. I want Ella to be your place, too.
Shortly after Wade hired me, I wrote an introductory letter over on CyclingTips. Because Ella didn’t exist yet, so I couldn’t write to you here. In that letter, I explained that cycling has provided me with a sense of community from the start and that it was my sincere hope that Ella would become another place that we could learn, connect and share the bike love together.
I would like to think these last eight weeks have shown you how sincerely that is our intention.
Jessi Braverman :: Ella CyclingTips