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Light Housekeeping: Next Steps, and One Last Word On Interviews

This has been an iNsAnE week for some of your usuals here at the Cafe. The details of my life are quite inconsequential, but Gavia has been tied up on a behind-the-scenes gig that has involved Atlas-level heavy lifting, one you'll all rejoice over soon (well, I will). So, light blogging. Won't last. Never does.

If you looked over the sections in the left sidebar today, you probably noticed a few things that have changed. First, I went on a three-section killing spree, eliminating the unnecessary Housekeeping, Transfers and Reference sections... all stuff that we weren't using and/or didn't need. The stories in those sections were moved to news or happy hour. No content was deleted, just the section designations.

In place are some new priorities. You may have noticed that Women's Cycling has emerged as a priority this winter. That's just a start, and we intend to make this as much a feature of the site as we can. There are two problems: our current slate of regular authors have limited time, and the sport suffers from a lack of live video. But Monty and Gavia are on the job, and we will gladly enlist further help. I will say this: since the team previews started, my interest in the women's scene is rapidly growing. Dunno about you, but for me it's bike racing, so if I know anything about the scene, I can safely say I'm interested.

Same, basically, for North American Racing. Fred Marx has been posting beautiful work, and Sui Juris has long been one of our peeps on US races. Nikki and Clydesdale are deeply involved in Midwest events like Missouri and Elk Grove. It's safe to say that we don't have a master plan yet, but we're working on it. We won't pretend to keep up with Podium Insight and their awesome coverage. But there's no reason not to add our own take.

2010 Team Previews -- sorta speaks for itself. I am still tinkering with the format, but hope to have the first one pop over the weekend. It's always a challenge to do an exercise that everyone does and find a way to make it useful. Or interesting. Or... something. Whether we get there... stay tuned. Anyway, I thought it would be good to have a section so that when people circle back for team info, it's easy to locate.

Last -- I always save the best for last -- is one point I could/should have brought up earlier: if you like the interviews we've been getting, then you love Nikki. Privately we have named her as our VP for External Affairs, a title she has earned over the past few months through much hard work: finding the right person to call to get a request for an interview with so and so, navigating the team staffs... George Hincapie's phone number doesn't land in my lap by accident. [Don't ask, I deleted it.] We are deeply indebted to the riders and their team media representatives, all of whom have been very kind and generous in dealing with us, but at least for my big inverview scores, the person I am most indebted to is Nikki. I haven't said much because I thought we needed to protect her privacy while she lines up my next interview (President Obama), but I got wind that the Times was planning to break the story over the weekend, so I wanted to beat them to it. Round of applause, people!