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A Brief History
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In the beginning

A little bit of history is in order. The domain name cycling.org belonged to VeloNet, which was the brainchild of Patrick Goebel at Stanford University. Patrick, with blessings from Stanford, started VeloNet as a gathering place for cyclists in cyberspace. And VeloNet was a good idea. Cyclists all over the 'net flocked to it. This was in 1994. By late ’95, however, troubles were brewing. The low-life lawyers at VeloNews (the publication) have twice threatened to take Patrick to court over the use of the word Velo in VeloNet, claiming that they have exclusive rights to use that term. (So far I haven’t heard of them going after all the velodromes!) The straw that broke the camel’s back came in early ’96, when a spate of spams were sent to the over 200 mailing lists that were in existence at the time at cycling.org, literally shut down the server for a while. Patrick finally realized he could not effectively deal with all the administrative headaches associated with running the cycling.org server, which was essentially a one-man volunteer effort, and also performed his normal job.

So Patrick “deeded” the domain cycling.org over to a commercial entity named Cyber Cyclery (cyclery.com) for better on-going management of the server and keeping all of the mailing lists operational. This transfer took place in April ’96.

(Beginning at that time, because of the commercial nature of Cyber Cyclery, the mailing lists were no longer “free,” instead, Cyber Cyclery asked for a “voluntary” donation from subscribers.)

KyCycList

KyCycList (kycyclist@cycling.org) was started in December ’95 when I signed up on VeloNet, looking to start a mailing list for use among cyclists in Kentucky and the surrounding region. The list was still in its infancy when the entire VeloNet operation was transferred to Cyber Cyclery in 1996.

Through the magic of virtual domain hosting, mail sent to kycyclist@cyclery.com also ends up in the right place, but I’d much prefer to use the real list address, which is kycyclist@cycling.org.

Things were relatively tranquil through much of 1997-1999, although Carl Flansbaum of Cyber Cyclery repeatedly tried to transform the lists into a venture that can pay for itself through appeals for donations, footer ads, and various other attempts at extracting more monetary support from the list subscriber community. All had little effect and understandably the mailing lists became a liability to Cyber Cyclery.

In December ’99, without any warnings, Cyber Cyclery “partnered” with Topica (topica.com) to provide “free” mailing list service essentially selling off the collection of mailing lists to Topica. Much hue and cry ensued about the abruptness of the transfer. Also, the business model employed by Topica were called into question. More concerns were raised about subscribers’ privacy and intellectual property rights on Topica. Some of these issues were not explained adequately, and this is when I decided to part company with the remnants of VeloNet and struck out on our own.

Post-VeloNet Era

Looking to gain more control of the list’s destiny, it was decided that a commercial list hosting service would be the preferred route. EsoSoft (esosoft.com) was selected for its established presence in the mailing list hosting business, and also for its reasonable price plan. However, within five days of moving to a domain (imajor.net) served by EsoSoft, we were blindsided by EsoSoft’s announcement of its partnership with Topica. It seems we were chased by Topica around the Internet!

At this point, it was decided that a list hosting service that can map the list address to the Louisville Bicycle Club’s virtual domain (louisvillebicycleclub.org) would give the list a permanent identity, even in the event that we have to go looking for another host. So, on December 20, 1999, the list name changed one more time to kycyclist@louisvillebicycleclub.org when we moved to cisto.org, a small list hosting server located in Washington, DC.

January 2001 – The KyCycList mailing list has its own web site: http://www.kycyclist.org/ is the permanent home of the list and its archive of messages.

December 2005 – The KyCycList mailing list quietly passed the 10-year anniversary in mid-December. It was on December 14, 1995, that the first kycyclist list message was posted and distributed.

compiled by Duc M. Do
kycyclist list owner/manager/historian


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Last updated: 1 March 2006