Ray Niekamp is The Bike Noob. This 50-something journalism professor at Texas State University in San Marcos, TX got into road biking after his wife completed a local charity ride. Ray bought a new bike, got some clipless pedals, and last November completed his first metric century after only a few shorts months on the bike.
Ray is a professional writer, and I like the way he breaks down biking jargon into something any newbie can understand. His article about saddles, for example, is probably among the best I’ve seen about saddle selection and comfort. I think the bike industry should hire Ray to rewrite some of their user manuals and other consumer material.
Besides his desire to help out other bike newbies, Professor Ray has an academic research interest in blogs and how news organizations use blogs to supplement their mainstream media efforts. He tells me, “It occurred to me that having my own blog will allow me to understand blogging better. I failed last year in my first attempt at blogging — no focus — so I thought finding a narrow topic to write on would improve my blog readership.”