Friday, October 2, 2020

The Cycling Independent

 Patrick Brady, aka Padraig, started Red Kite Prayer in 2009. I have always enjoyed it but have sometimes missed checking in for months on end. The usual excuses apply. Patrick and others have now started a new online magazine, The Cycling Independent. It looks interesting and as Padraig says, is geared towards a wide audience rather than a niche market, or in his words:

“…I care less about what kind of bike and what kind of ride we write about than I do the overall mission, the desire to affirm that cycling gives us so much more than a fun way to burn calories… ”

Cycling has always had a mystical quality for me. Or, remembering that overused story about the Zen master, “I ride my bicycle to ride my bicycle”. Anything else sorta misses the point. Now what was the point?

 I'm glad Padraig, Robot, and the gang from Red Kite Prayer are continuing The Good Fight on the Innertubes. It was at RKP that I first read Padraig's wonderful description of The Prayer as I recovered from months on end of down time and increased girth as the result of multiple "fall down and go boom" events in 2016 and as I struggled to get back in the groove.

"Summoning the strength to make a final surge to the finish is as universal as the urge to finish; no one wants to roll across the line in defeat and that final effort is the chance to accelerate to a personal victory that comes from the satisfaction of knowing you left everything on the course." --Padraig

 Anyway, I've added The Cycling Independent to the blog roll and suggest you check it out. For an idea of what you may someday find there, I offer this snippet from a Padraig piece in a 2019 RKP essay:

There will be chaos—keep pedaling.

...“There will be chaos.” In that I hear the lesson of acceptance, that no matter how much I want to get through this particular chaos, the future will hold more chaos. Acceptance is my reminder to myself that I might as well chill; any plan I have isn’t going to it—the plan, that is.

The second half of the quote—”keep pedaling”—is an imperative. It isn’t an invitation. It isn’t a suggestion. It isn’t a request. It goes Nike’s “just do it” one better because in order to keep pedaling, one must already be pedaling. In as much as this is an imperative, it is also an assurance; you’re doing it right. Now just keep doing it...."

 Heh. Once again, the bicycle as a metaphor for life. Good advice, especially during this election season as well as in bike racing. Most of us don't do the Tour de Industrial Park. We all do the Tour de Life. 

Check out The Cycling Independent and consider a subscription.

No comments: