There has been a couple more cameras added to Area Rides' gear inventory. This makes more options for shooting. It will allow for more clever, extreme angles and they can really get into the action. I will have more mounting options soon too. So this leaves me with a bit of a conundrum: what to shoot first?
Just the other day I was speaking with the a local business owner about cars. The subject was about car shows and he dropped a comment which took me by surprise. He had stated that the idea of attending a car show as being a bit daft. Instantly, I thought was is this guy thinking? Yet, as I think about it, the thought does have merit!
If you whittle down the concept of an automobile to its most fundamental level you end up with a machine that essentially transports things from one point to another easily and quickly. It is more efficient to use a vehicle than picking it up and carrying it yourself. Sometimes these “things” are heavy or you will need to move them at great distances or you need it somewhere else faster than hauling it by hand. Vehicles are best suited for moving things like people and cargo.
If you are reading this you deserve my most sincere gratitude. The St. Louis Automotive Community (that's you) has accepted Area Rides and has driven me, personally, to continue doing what I have been doing. With all the cooperation, fellowship and positive feedback I have seldom had any second thoughts about what Area Rides stands for. Just over a year ago I took the plunge and made Area Rides my sole project. Now that the second season of the new Area Rides is underway I can finally see results. Because of all the great things that have happened I have experienced one of the best days I have ever had in the last decade or two.
I am not obliged to divulge much of my good fortunes from the day's events. Most all of them are still in their planning stages and are not ready for formal announcement. Mark my words- they are cool. Even if none of them succeed the mere fact that it was Area Rides that has brought these opportunities has made it all worth while. Just having this great day is worth all the effort I, and many others, have put into Area Rides. If I had any misgivings about Area Rides and its goals they would have all be erased by the day I've had.
To many, this may not seem like anything special. You must consider I am just a dumb, lazy oaf who liked cars, photography, video and web design and found a way to do them all at once. I have never spearheaded a project like this- never by myself. In my noggin' this is a big deal.
I cannot take all the credit. I must give credit where it is due. There are others who have contributed pictures, video, airfare and accommodations and no small sum of cash. Area Rides' success would have never happened if not for them. Even if it would have happened there is no way it would have happened as quickly. You know who you are and I thank you.
Yet even with all the help, services and money there is absolutely no way it would have been remotely successful without you, dear reader. It is the St. Louis Automotive Community that deserves all the gratitude and credit for the advancement of Area Rides' growing popularity. Just by your visiting this site right now is enough for me to continue to my work and pushing toward the site's goals.
Let's Step Back a Bit
Though Area Rides was created circa 2007 it was not until the next year work seriously began to take place. The year of 2008 was good, but no where close to its potential. There were some big plans for 2009 and none of it happened. The same amount of nothing happened for 2010 season. It was on the morning of October 1, 2010 when I made the final decision to pursue Area Rides as a serious full-time project. For the next few weeks to follow I made a lot of predictions and projections. By June of 2011- mid season- the site had exceeded most of the projections and all expectations. By the end of the season most all of the results were at least twice as good as planned.
By comparing the data from the same dates of 2011 and 2012 there has already been a 570.59% increase in visitors per day! Area Rides' reach via the social networks have increased by ten fold! I have found more and more people already know about the site and its offerings before I have a chance to tell them!
The great opportunities that have been popping up lately will only make Area Rides a bigger and better resource for the community. Case in point, (though as I have said I cannot give details) one of the goals of Area Rides was to continue providing event information and show coverage until it was clearly apparent that this was no fly-by-night venture. This, in turn, would open many doors that would otherwise be locked to the casual media creator. The plan was to show the folks behind the locked doors that Area Rides is a serious project and should not be taken lightly. However, with all the plans being exceeded the people are now calling me.
Another example is the coverage. Originally, the plan developed in 2010 included expanding event listings and coverage beyond the St. Louis area by the year 2014. To date, Area Rides' is frequently visited by people from Chicago, Illinois all the way to Sullivan, Missouri. (So you can expect to see more listings for those areas and all points in between.) If the growth continues the site will then be broken into other cities. This has already been set up and planned for since 2007!
More and more people have approached me at shows and cruises just to tell me how much they appreciate the work I've done on the site. This never ceases to surprise me and usually catches me off guard therefore I sound like a illiterate buffoon during these conversations. Yet it is one of the best things that I can hear at the shows. This is all it takes to make the rest of the day be great. It only pushes to do more! (Just remember if you come talk to me understand I am "in the zone" and I make speak in tongues or gibberish, but I do mean well.)
Do not misunderstand me. I am not bragging. It is just to illustrate how much of an impact you- and others like you- have had on making Area Rides as great as it is. As long as you rely on Area Rides for local automotive information that is all I need to keep it going. Keep up the good work and I will try to do the same.
Thank you again!
Organizing a car show is a daunting task. Getting a location, vendors, insurance, restroom facilities and everything else requires a lot of man power and organization. Putting all of this together requires patience and no small amount of organization.
Yes. I have used the word "organization"- in one form or another- three times. This is to illustrate a point. I am a fairly organized person yet the mere thought of putting together a car show fills me with anxiety. All the little details and nuances can not be ignored. Putting them all together in one smooth running event without losing your mind seems practically impossible. Yet they happen. People do it. My hat is off to you.
More after the jump...
Just today my mother told me she likes the new Mustang GT-500 and she would not mind owning one. This elicited no small amount of joy from me as well as a little bemusement thrown in. The first emotion is obvious. To have a septuagenarian get a little pumped up about horsepower and top speeds is a bit of a fun novelty. How cool is that having your elderly mother want to tool around in a modern muscle car? I was beaming with pride.
Although the camera gear is not getting used as often, it is not collecting dust. There have been some new additions to the gear like new cameras, mounting options, hardware and software. Testing the gear and exploring new techniques will be going on all winter. There are a couple events happening before summer 2012 and AR will strive to be there. Winter does not mean media creation is over for Area Rides.
A landmark event passed and I failed to notice. The Anniversary of Area Rides happened and came and went with no fanfare. Technically, Area Rides was first created in June of 2008, yet this newly updated (and more serious venture) version of Area Rides turned one year old in October.