It started, like so many of my other daft mountain bike ideas do, late one evening after a while trawling about online. An interaction earlier in the week had sown a seed that I had no idea would grow into something quite so involved nearly a decade later.

But here I am – Keeper of the Peak – 14,000 tweets, thousands of blog words, countless bike mag mentions, a regular column, and now 3000 followers later, looking back and thinking ‘blimey’.

Now I know 3000 followers is miniscule in the old Twitter-verse, but for a niche-targeted group in a small part of the UK, it feels like a good chunk of people. But it’s not about quantity is it? It’s quality, and I really think that this group of 3000 people – this community – is really, really high quality.

And that’s what KoftheP was all about when I started it all that time ago: people. Making your rides in the Peak enjoyable, helping you plan, giving you a way of doing your bit to look after the places we ride. Hopefully it’s done that maybe just a little.

With you lot behind me too, I’ve had the confidence to go and argue on your behalf – pushing for better mountain biking access, representation and dare I say it – respect – for us as a community in the Peak.

There have been some particular highlights of course. The work on Cut Gate is right up there – a huge project which brought the entire community together to really show what we can do. It was nerve-wracking but worked out. The numerous bike mag mentions are a huge endorsement (you wouldn’t believe how excited I was to get a mention in the Local Info section of an MBR route guide), the numerous Award nominations including one where I was up against Chris Boardman and a certain Boris Johnson – (neither turned up so I drank their wine). And then just the nods and recommendations that riders make to others to follow KoftheP – these are perhaps the nicest things to get.

And then behind the scenes there’s been loads of things that having the support of a large group has meant we have even more sway in discussions and decisions.

And that is 100%, totally thanks to you lot – the followers of Keeper of the Peak.

There’s so much more I’d love to do – more podcasts, more blogs, more proper, real effective campaigning. More actual riding. But for now I’ll just keep on keeping on, sharing the updates and pushing for better MTB stuff here in the Peak District. Spread the word, encourage others to follow.

And thank you all for your support – hitting 10 followers back in the day felt like an achievement, 3000 is really, really rewarding.

“What are you doing?”

“I’ve got an idea for a Twitter thing to help riders avoid muddy bits.”

“Oh right, do you think it’ll work?”

“I’ll give it a go”.

See you on the trails

Chris

Ride. Tweet. Update.

PS: There are a number of you who have updated KoftheP week in, week out for years now. You know who you are. Thanks for keeping me going. Your support and enthusiasm to make things better for others (and share some amazing pics) really does make a difference.

PPS: None of this would have happened without the SingletrackWorld forum. It was on there where the seed was sown, and the mag has shown great support ever since for this whingy twit. Thanks STW, you’ve been ace.

PPS: Thanks to my biking buddies too. You know who you are and you keep me on my toes with it. Making sure you lot are happy is a great yardstick. Let’s sort that next trip.

“I’ll give it a go…”

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