Two Years

There’s an arc to birthdays. When you’re young, they’re a sign of progress and increasing freedom. In your twenties and thirties they are a time of benchmarks, milestones reached. When your my age, they are a sign that the body is in retreat and that, provided you’re not an athlete—and I’m not—your professional fortunes may still be on the rise. When you reach my parents’ age, birthdays are a reminder of the fleeting nature of life.

It’s this last function of birthdays that’s on my mind. These days, commercial ventures wink in and out of existence with the speed of fruit flies. Commitment seems no more than a pledge to stick around for as long as the sticking’s good, so for a blog to reach the mark of two years of consistent publication, it’s practically like reaching old age.

In the two years that RKP has published my life has undergone a transformation. My son was born and celebrated his first birthday. My wife let me start sleeping in the bedroom again. Last year, as RKP celebrated its first anniversary I turned in the manuscript for my second book, the recently published The No-Drop Zone: Everything You Need to Know About the Peloton, Your Gear and Riding Strong.

Behind the scenes, I’ve gained not just a friend, but a virtual brother in Robot. He’s inspired me and my work and brought a fresh outlook and helped RKP to fulfill my pledge to give you something different, something worthwhile. Without him and his contributions, this would be a duller site.

The comments you write in response to our posts—both positive and negative—have been an important form of guidance. That interplay is a key part of what makes RKP a special site. You’re a bright, experienced and informed readership. It’s not something you can buy. That your numbers have grown to some 40,000 each month is the best confirmation that we must be doing something worthwhile.

The industry has taken note as well. From peloton magazine to the pages of the Giro catalog, our work has been in demand. Yes, the Giro catalog. You’ll find pieces by both yours truly and Robot in the upcoming Giro catalog. Robot also recently penned (keyboarded?) an item for Pavé. I’m sure you’ll be seeing his byline around more and more. It’s a crime to hide talent.

That cycling has changed each of our lives is beyond question. That we can find the opportunity to put into words those ineffable experiences and explore the reasons why the sport can inspire us in ways that aren’t just athletic but are often spiritual is perhaps more than we have a right to expect. On behalf of each of RKP‘s contributors, thanks for reading.

Image: John Pierce, Photosport International

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  1. P Poppenjay

    Thrilled and proud for you, Padraig!
    Salutes to your talents–left and right brained–
    are unequivocably deserved.

    1. Author

      Thanks everyone. Also, something I meant to mention in the post is the new header on the home page. I’ve decided to adopt “to suffer is to learn” as our tag line. I tweeted it one evening last winter after a particularly brutal ride. You’ll find the phrase under the bill of our new cycling cap which will (in theory) arrive here at the RKP World HQ some time next week.

  2. Tronix

    Thanks and congrats on putting up such a great blog. I am new to road riding this year and I can say without hesitation that RKP has both improved and accelerated my appreciation and understanding of the sport. From the racing articles to the group rides to the truly independent bike reviews (my purchase of a Specialized Tarmac was heaviliy influenced by RKP)the writing is top quality. A tip o’ the hat to a job well done.

  3. Big Mikey

    I echo the congratulations. Your work puts this site in the very top tier of cycling websites. Thanks for putting in the effort and sharing it with us.

    You’ve also got some of the best contributors in the comments, which also speaks to your quality, attracting intelligent, well-spoken readers.


  4. Steve

    Happy second b-day. Came across RKP about six months ago and have loved it ever since. Led me to ‘peloton magazine’, to a more concerted search for supplesse on the bike, and much more. Thanks for the angle you guys take–your writing is fantastic and your insight unique. Here’s to many more years of RKP.

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