172 Comments
Sep 25, 2023Liked by Mike Sowden

Hi Mike. You’re an idiot. An interesting hilarious idiot. And you’re our idiot. We wouldn’t have it any other way.

Our idiot Mike has a nice ring to it.

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“Hola Mike! Eres un idiota.”

Being British, this is hard to say. But using another language liberates me.

Pero escribes muy bien.

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Sounds much better in another language!

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Hi Mike, you're an idiot.

I read Lenny's 500,000 subscribers post and the part on "real-life experience" you highlight here also caused me pause. I'm really glad that I've read your insights on writing what you're interested in before encountering Lenny's advice. If I hadn't I would find it extremely discouraging to thinking I couldn't even start writing before becoming an expert on something - god knows what.

So thanks for your perspective and endless curiosity!

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Sep 25, 2023Liked by Mike Sowden

Hi, Mike. You're an idiot (whom I love to read and secretely wish to live close to and have a beer each Friday evening with). Thank you for what you do and you! Cheers from Slovakia

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I don't know you well enough to call you an idiot but I will now get up to speed on your archive until I feel qualified. In the meantime, congratulations on your milestone!

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Sep 25, 2023Liked by Mike Sowden

Hi Mike! You’re an idiot.

But aren’t we all???

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Mike, you delightful, generous, talented idiot!! Fantastic work done with glee, curiosity and wonder, always. 👏👏👏

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The best idiot of all!!! :D

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I can’t do it....

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I couldn’t either!

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Hi, Mike! You're NOT an idiot! Thank you for this wonderful edition and for 2.5 years of thought-provokingness, though I've only been along for the ride for part of it.

I really resonate with point #1 above -- writing with awe and wonder about a topic from a perspective of *not* knowing seems to me to be a perfect match. It's exactly because I'm NOT an expert that I even have the question in the first place -- scientists probably already know that bee's nests are made from their spit or why some people are allergic to poison ivy and others aren't. They've known it for so long they've forgotten it's an interesting/unknown fact for others. It's exactly because I'm one of those ignorant people that I can even wonder the question.

I think I need to make more clear in my own writing that I don't know what I'm talking about until I dig into the research. Sometimes my friends approach me and ask, "Why are lakes green?" as if I'd know the answer and I suddenly realize -- they think I know stuff! I most certainly do not! I'm an idiot! At least until I search through the internet and find a satisfying answer. Then I'm just a slightly more-informed idiot.

So thanks for the piercing realization that I'm an idiot!

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Mike, you're a jerk, a complete kneebiter ... oh, sorry, that was meant for Arthur Dent :-)

I love the idea of writing what I want to learn, I'm currently undertaking a PhD around academic engagement and knowledge exchange and very much want my blog to be interactive with its readers, shared learning and understanding. Always be open to learning and new understandings.

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Hey, Mike! Shove over, will you? It's crowded in this clown car.

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Sep 25, 2023Liked by Mike Sowden

Hi Mike! I'm still curious whether you're an idiot, or not.

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You’re an eejit.

I keep meaning to write stuff, mostly about cycling and stuff, but never quite have the confidence - and Heather Cox Richardson’s output scares me. This year I have had too many other things going on but soon. Maybe.

Thank’s for the newspaper, not sure I have ever commented before but that does not mean I do not enjoy the writing or understand it.

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Sep 26, 2023Liked by Mike Sowden

Hi Kevin, would your newsletter appeal to keen 'ordinary' cyclists? By ordinary I mean people who cycle often but don't race, or know a lot about the technical aspects of bikes (but would be interested to learn!). Most info online seems to be pitched at people who can pay $10000 for a new bike and routinely strip it down to bare bones and rebuild it in 30 seconds flat while bragging about their Strava segments and buying tickets to the next Tour de France. Intimidating to say the least. If you were going to write something for, well, the rest of us, I'd like to read it :-)

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Good question Anelie. I was thinking of writing more about what I have done or doing. There would be little about mechanics or Strava pb’s but places I have been and a bit on kit choices that suit me.

I ride locally but also try and sleep outside once a month, sometimes quite local but I also caught a ferry to France a few weeks ago. Not sure people would learn a lot, it might inspire one person and that would be nice.

It would not just be bikes but add what music I had just bought or bands I am going to see.

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Nice! I have wondered about bike trips but never attempted one. Maybe if I read about yours I'll understand better what's involved and give one a go :-)

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Thank you for your encouragement. When I get the next couple of weeks out of the way I will attempt to be brave and take the plunge. Confidence and who wants to read my scribbles are a factor but Mike’s writing is helping with that.

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Sep 25, 2023Liked by Mike Sowden

"Heather Cox Richardson’s output scares me." Heh!

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Hi Mike! You're an idiot -- what a way to start my readership with you. Cheers to 20k!

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Hi Mike, you’re an idiot - and this is the first newsletter of yours that I have read, so that was fun! I love the advice to write about what I want to learn (of which there is plenty!) as opposed to what I already know. Looking forward to catching up on your writing.

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