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2011 Moderator Election

nomination began
Sep 13, 2011 at 20:00
election began
Sep 21, 2011 at 20:00
election ended
Sep 29, 2011 at 20:00

On Stack Exchange, we believe the core moderators should come from the community, and be elected by the community itself through popular vote. We hold regular elections to determine who these community moderators will be.

Community moderators are accorded the highest level of privilege on our community, and should themselves be exemplars of positive behavior and leaders within the community.

Our general criteria for moderators is as follows:

  • patient and fair
  • leads by example
  • shows respect for their fellow community members in their actions and words
  • open to some light but firm moderation to keep the community on track and resolve (hopefully) uncommon disputes and exceptions

Every election has three phases:

  1. Nomination
  2. Primary
  3. Election

NOTE: The only way to be nominated is by nominating yourself. The way you do that is by clicking the "Nominate yourself as a Candidate" link below and then answering the questionnaire on Meta.

Please participate in the moderator elections by voting, and perhaps even by nominating yourself to be a community moderator!

I am a keen, but very amateur cyclist, I do a reasonably regular commute to work (16 miles each way) and love long distance cycling at high speeds (always had pure racers) and although I am not anywhere as knowledgeable about bikes as many of the members here, I am active on a lot of StackExchange sites, and am a pro-tem moderator over on security.SE as well as managing a lot of the contributions for the blog over there, so I am used to the role.

One of the reasons I wanted to nominate myself for a mod role here is that I'm not too bad at organising, moderating, encouraging and generally being supportive of communities - which I hope is enough to qualify for the role despite being pretty new on bicycles.SE.

I am a professional bike mechanic, service manager, and bike enthusiast in general.

I am very interested in seeing this site succeed, and I will do my best to see that it does.

My biggest problem is an occasional lack of patience with folks that argue that known facts are false or who think that the whole bike industry is out to get them personally, but I know that, and I'll be extra careful with it in this context.

I'm not perfect, but I'll do my best to be fair and careful if you put me in this position.

Thanks for your consideration.

I've been an irregular user of StackOverflow since its beta days and have been a keen denizen of Bicycles.SE since I noticed it had come into existence (it is much to my chagrin that I lack the Beta badge).

My cycling credentials are fairly middle of the road, I find that's the safest place for all concerned. Most of my miles are as an urban cyclist for utility and commuting, currently doing a round trip commute of about 23 miles, four or five days a week. I had my eyes opened to the ways of the open road about ten years ago by a friend who was a keen racer. He taught a bunch of us the basics of group riding and, since then, I've tried to always knock off a century ride or two per year (my Eddington Number is a relatively paltry 45).

I see moderation here much as I do my cycle home in the evenings: generally just keeping my head down and leading by example - stopping at red lights, not going on the pavement, go about my day answering what I can, leaving alone what I don't know about, just the occasional interjection to point out the behaviours that might not belong, aiming to educate and enlighten. If you've done something daft because you don't know better, then a big stick won't work, but a quiet word, a careful edit and a willingness to believe that it wasn't done deliberately are all that are needed.

The community that has coalesced on Bicycles.SE over the last 12+ months has shown itself to be patient, knowledgeable and willing to go into extraordinary detail on some superbly arcane topics and the pro-tem moderators have started things out in the way that those who come after should do well to follow with the need to exhibit only the lightest of occasional touches to keep things straight.

I participated early on in the Beta for Bicycles.StackExchange, and late last year when one of the previous moderators was unable to continue, I was asked to step in. I have been a bike commuter on an off for my entire adult life, and am currently riding 22 miles round trip 2-3 times a week.

I try to be active in my local bike advocacy community. I collect used bikes and occasionally turn a wrench for the Salt Lake City Bicycle Collective. I try to do one or two charity rides a year. In the past I taught an evening workshop on Beginning Bicycle Commuting for University of Utah Continuing Education.

I am a software development team lead during the day, and while I participate on several of the SE sites I am most active here.

As a techy commuter type my interests and answers can at time be math heavy and pedantic, but hopefully they are informative with just a touch of levity.

I think that in general our community on Bicycles.SE is a well behaved and helpful bunch that rarely needs reining in.


I'm primarily a utility/commuter cyclist. My bike is a touring bike equipped as a commuter (drop bars slightly higher than seat, fender, lights, rear rack able to hold 25kg). My next bike will probably be a cyclocross or comfortable road bike (like a Roubaix). I do a few casual fun rides by myself or with small groups now and then. I ride year round and have no car. I'm not a mechanic, but I do the typical amateur maintenance and minor repair many cyclists do. I'm not really an expert in anything except makeshift cargo loading

I've volunteered frequently with my local cycling advocacy group for a few years and this year I'm on the board of that local cycling advocacy group. I'm often encouraging people to cycle and helping them to do so in many ways in my local community.

Previous Experience

I've been involved with online/electronic communities since dial-up modem BBS systems in the early 90s. I ran my own BBS for a while back then, and assisted with running one or two other more popular ones. I've been a newsgroup moderator, and mailing list moderator. I helped start and run a linux users group and a system administrators group.

Professionally I used to do more programming but have been doing much more Linux Systems Administration for about the past decade. I think I'd checked out Stack Overflow, but it didn't have much interest for me. When "the trilogy" was announced and ServerFault was created that was much more interesting to me. Early on I was very active there and was on the first page of high rep users, but have since slid down to the third page. When I saw a site for bicycling on Area 51 I came over and checked it out. I don't remember if I was involved in the private beta stage or not. I was very active, got a good amount of reputation points, and was asked if I was willing to be a pro-tem moderator.

Basically, I'm even-tempered, experienced with online communities and specifically experienced with how Stack Exchange sites should work.


For about the past year I've been a pro-tem moderator. I try to be impartial and fair. I usually don't get too emotional about online disagreements, but when I do I usually have the sense to walk away and come back later. If I make a mistake I'm willing to admit it and fix it. If I disagree about what should be on or off topic here, I'm willing to go along with the community consensus. I'm willing to learn to be a better moderator and will continue to try to improve.

I enjoy helping an online community to thrive. I believe my efforts as a pro-tem moderator have helped with that, even if most of the job is fairly invisible. I think we have a good community here, full of people who like to help and to share their knowledge.

Some of us pro-tem moderators have been very pro-active with fixing questions. As the site grows I'd like to see more of the community (high rep users) closing and/or editing questions that need help, etc. Even though I think the long-term goal should be more community "policing", I wouldn't at all mind dealing with more flags. Right now this site averages about 1 flag a day, which is really quite little effort.

I am keen to make this site work for everyone involved in cycling:

  • Normal cyclists from beginner level upwards that need advice

  • People that work in local bike shops that need help with customer enquiries

  • People that work elsewhere in the trade needing to make sure customers understand their products and any 'known issues'

To increase participation I would very much like to invite advocacy groups, product managers and others needing to reach an audience of cyclists. Having the badge 'site moderator' after my name would be most helpful in this task. It would confer authority and hopefully result in a better response. That is the why I am putting my hat into the ring.

Regarding the moderating team, I am from the UK where a flat is something you live in and a tire is a task that makes you tired. We have got three English languages on this site and I think it would be really good if the moderating team could have people from three continents - Australasia, North America and Europe. In that way there would always be someone moderating 24/7 with different regional perspectives considered.

I would like it if we could carry over some of the existing moderators that have set the standard and made this site what it is. To combine their experience with some new talent is what I hope we get out of this election. I don't believe that a lot of moderating is really needed, and maybe the new team needs to mentor new contributors and look outwards to foster involvement from other cycling groups rather than being focused on closing down debatable questions. A light touch is what I would like to see where moderators act on concerns raised by contributors to close questions etc. rather than instantly jump on anything that could be a problem.

Hopefully the site can enter a new phase. We have seeded the site with good questions and answers, we have done the design and tailored the site to work with the SE platform. This new phase has to be a 'vision thing' where we make the site the first port of call for anything to do with bicycles, and for that to work for anyone. If there is to be a mission statement then it has to be something to do with getting the world on two wheels. Cycling is a gift we have to share, and, through this site, we can enable people to start and keep cycling.

I have worked in the cycle trade on and off since I was knee high to a Raleigh shopper bike. I do bring a certain level of insight from that, however, I have no ambition to work in the trade again and I feel that I can answer questions on this site without thinking of the commercial imperative first. However, moving forwards I hope to be writing for the blog and doing outreach work rather than answering questions.

My current personal 'bee in my bonnet' is for the next tour. I am hoping to do Land's End to John O Groats with nothing more than a tandem, debit card and girl friend. Hopefully I will get to blog that one, maybe to inspire a few others to put touring blogs up, right here on

I won't be particularly miffed if I don't get a 'moderator' badge, but, if I do get trusted with it, keep me up on my ambitions to extend the audience reach by working with me on meta.

Thanks for reading!

This election is over.