Before Web 2.0, blogs, web pages and even before the Internet existed, there was Usenet. Usenet is a collection of “newsgroups” — thousands of different discussion topics loosely organized into various hierarchies.

One of the hierarchies is rec.bicycles. Rec is for “recreation.” rec.bicycles — pronounced “wreck bicycles” — is further subdivided into rec.bicycles.soc, rec.bicycles.marketplace, rec.bicycles.misc, and so forth. You can still access these groups via Google Groups, among other methods. I believe Microsoft Outlook still supports subscribing to Newsgroups. I know Thunderbird and several other mail clients do.

I recently found some of my early posts to rec.bicycles.* from the early 90s. Here’s an example:

Newsgroups: rec.bicycles.soc
From: (Richard F. Masoner)
Subject: Re: Is there an anti-cycle-commuting conspiracy?
Message-ID: <cgp1n7>
Organization: sdf public access Unix, Dallas TX 214/436-3281
References: <cgii37>
Date: Thu, 18 Nov 1993 15:28:19 GMT
Lines: 18

In article <cgii37> Steve Green <steve> writes:
>I suddenly realized that NOBODY I know is supportive of my cycle
>commuting. My parents insist it dangerous. My wife says little
>against it, but never says anything for it either. And my friends
>just think I'm insane.

Everyone I know thinks I'm an absolute nut because of the
21 miles I commute through heavy traffic. Everyone I work
with is amazed I'm not dead yet; my wife, like yours, isn't
negative, but she isn't absolutely positive either.

>Maybe my continued cycle commuting as actually a manifestation
>of rebellious feels?

I'm convinced this is the case for me. I love it!
Richard F. Masoner
Seen on a magazine cover: "Guns don't kill people, television does"

I realize Usenet was about a decade old by the time I found it in 1989. Are there any other Usenet oldtimers here at CBB?

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