Welcome one and all. If you arrive here as a former reader of Red Kite Prayer, you will know the routine from the Friday Group Ride that featured there for the last decade. If you are not familiar with the RKP Group Ride, here’s how we do what we do. Every Friday I rhapsodize and pontificate (pontifidize? rhapsodicate?) on some topic of wide or narrow interest to you, the cycling intelligentsia. I pose a question on said topic, and you commence to hucking your two cents into this fountain of wishes.
We converse. Maybe we argue a little. We’re friends. This is how it goes.
So I might ask you what pedals you like, or what saddle you ride. We might argue over whether Tomac (no first name necessary) was the greatest ever mountain bike cyclist, or whether chamois cream can be used to grease pedal threads in a pinch. And while I can’t imagine what that pinch might be, especially in light of your recent purchase of one tub of Park Blue Grease, I’d be fascinated to hear what you think anyway.
Back at Red Kite Prayer, we managed to do this little dance 517 times, and we covered a lot of ground. I’m inclined to think, regardless, that there is still plenty of material to rake through, plenty of unpopular opinions to express, and, for me anyway, still a lot to learn.
What I’d like to do now, is take the very fact that this is the first TCI Friday and turn it into it’s own sort of metaphor regarding restarts, reboots, and rebirths, because we are, in a very real way, starting over. It’s exciting.
In my cycling life, I do this periodically as well. In college I started riding mountain bikes (riding in the mountainous style I like to say). At some point a friend pushed me to get a road bike, and without so much as a flash of lightning or clap of thunder, I became a roadie. What does that make me? A genre hopper? A bandwagoneer?
Usually I don’t see these reboots coming. They just happen. And they’re good. One thing goes stale. A new thing presents itself. The stoke goes on.
I didn’t foresee the end of Red Kite Prayer either. Padraig called me and pitched me the idea for TCI, and I responded like I would have if he’d said, “Hey man, we’re gonna ride unicycles this weekend!” OK. Cool. I’m down for whatever.
So here we are, at The Cycling Independent’s first TCI Friday, bobbing away on our unicycles, contemplating this new reality.
And so, this week’s TCIF asks, what was your last cycling reboot? Or have you only ever been one kind of rider? Are you on the verge of something new now? Or are you as happy as ever on the bike your riding now, in the style you’ve spent so long to cultivate, going along just fine, thank you very much.
*Big thanks to RKP reader Paul W for coming up with the TCIF name for this column, an awful/wonderful pun I couldn’t improve on.