If you had to pick just one aspect of cycling that most accurately characterized and encompassed the cycling (specifically the roadie) lifestyle, what would it be? This was the debate around the table at a popular cycling magazine’s headquarters many years ago.
Red Kite Prayer is my favorite cycling blog, hands down. Padraig (author’s pen name) was a major contributing writer to the iconic, cult favorite Belgium Knee Warmers blog and branched off on his own to pursue RKP as his own creative endeavor and tribute to the sport we love. And are we glad he did! I would argue that few know as much about this great sport we love than he does. Just a quick view of RKP tells you that this guy possesses a wealth of knowledge on almost every aspect of the sport. The writing is compelling and there’s always something new. There’s my best recommendation. It’s just great stuff. Subscribe.
Each Friday, Padraig sends the world his Friday Group Ride posts. Topics vary but last week’s caught my attention. He writes that many years ago he was in a staff meeting at a well-known cycling mag and the question of how best to depict the Roadie lifestyle came up. Racing? Commuting? Centuries? This was his conclusion:
My opinion is the same now as it was then: The center of the bullseye of the roadie lifestyle is the group ride.
Not only do I agree wholeheartedly, but I’ve written HERE, HERE, and HERE (among other places) about the innumerable benefits of riding in a group including the fact that Group Rides are the center of any local cycling scene. If you haven’t guessed by now, it’s the major theme of this blog. Regarding Group Rides, Padraig said it well:
As the day-in-day-out social nexus of the riding community anywhere I’ve ever lived, group rides do more for cyclists than provide a great way to train. They offer the community a valuable way for riders to get to know each other and form bonds beyond the sweat that drips off them. I could never live some place that had no group rides.
If you’re a regular on a Group Ride, of course you already know this to be true. If you’re not a regular on a ride, you should seriously consider getting out there and finding a ride that suits your aspirations. You’ll be happy you did – not only for the training but also for the benefits listed in the RKP post: community, insight, motivation, and inspiration.
Head over to RKP now to read Friday Group Ride #58 and follow the comment thread as people weigh in on their local Group Rides from around the world. And subscribe.
It’s late right now as I type. Gotta get to bed. Group Ride in the morning.