Any Normal Person (updated)


Any normal person wouldn’t be sitting at a computer while his wife struggles to find comfort on the couch in her final hours of pregnancy. Any normal person would have taken a couple of weeks off. Any normal person would keep the personal personal. Any normal person would keep a cycling blog strictly about cycling.

But as has been observed ’round these parts, I’m not any normal person.

Any normal person would admit they’re overwhelmed and at least this much I can claim to share with other, more normal, folks. I’m definitely overwhelmed.

My plan for this week, at least what I scheduled several months ago, was to ride and post in the early part of the week then climb on a flight for Denver. I was to serve as the chief judge for the North American Handmade Bicycle Show. After the show I was to return home and then a week or two later my wife was likely to give birth to our second child.

All that changed Monday. An ultrasound was performed that revealed a problem with our baby. It might not turn out to be a big deal, but it could turn out to be an indicator of a profound disability. The doctors scheduled her labor to be induced Thursday night with an anticipated delivery on Friday, when all the specialists would be easily at hand.

I’ve been working on four different posts and can’t bring a single one of them in the barn. I can’t concentrate. And I won’t be at NAHBS, though we’ve made provisions for me to assist the judges remotely.

Like I said, any normal person would take a few weeks off. However, we’re a tiny operation and our advertisers pay for us to deliver eyeballs. And I write roughly half our content. There may come a day when I can take a vacation or even a sabbatical, but right now, we’ve doing nothing so much as failing to deliver on our promise of at least five posts per week.

I’ll post as I’m able. Writing is how I process my world and without writing, I don’t understand much. And I respect that, even with writing, this may come to an outcome I simply won’t understand.

I’m reminded of what a friend once noted prior to a team time trial: “There will be chaos. Keep pedaling.”

Update: Respecting Padraig’s family privacy, I will just say to all well-wishers that a baby boy was born. Father, mother and child are tired.



  1. Albert

    Prayers are with you and your family! It’s great to see that you place family as priority. Just happened on your site a few weeks ago, love your blog and your ability to keep it real!

  2. Hautacam

    My heart goes out to you, Padraig. Wish to hell there was something I could do to help.

    Don’t sweat the blog, NAHBS and the other stuff. Let Robot and the boys pull the pace for awhile.

    We’ll be here when you get back.

  3. Rod

    Best wishes for you and your family, Padraig. In times of stress I also tend to revert to the small comforts of routine. Keep pedaling.


  4. Maremma Mark

    Here’s hoping the ultrasound proves to be inaccurate. I really feel for both of you, especially your wife. This kind of stress and anxiety is almost unbearable.

    I agree with Hautacam’s sentiments, don’t worry about anything except your family. Your readers will be here waiting to hear the news when you’re able to write.

    And we’re praying it’s good news.

  5. owl

    Just thought I’d swing by RKP before heading off to bed and saw your post. Feels like I got punched in the gut. Really, really hoping it’s the not a big deal side of the equation. Fingers and everything else I have are crossed for you and family.

  6. Alain dM

    Long time lurker, first time poster. Best of luck Mate. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you all.

    I will make a point of logging in each day, reading some older articles and will even check out a few of your advertisers and I’m sure I won’t be alone. It’s the least we can do for you.

  7. Paul M.

    Here’s hoping that the “abnormalities” turn out to be pre-attached cycling shoes. As others have said, don’t sweat the blog – your readers will still be here when you return.

  8. Full Monte

    Aw, you have been through quite a rough patch lately, physically, emotionally. The hits keep coming. You’ll crest that mountaintop soon, and catch relief in a freewheeling descent. Until then, as a fan and reader in this site, I’ll be contributing my daily hit, regardless of the number of posts you can muster in the days ahead. Peace to you and your family, Padraig.

  9. Geoffrey

    First off, I am praying. Now.

    Secondly, I know there’s another solution than keeping you from your family. Two ideas:

    Have a post asking us to visit on your off days. We understand why.
    Everyone email the sponsors, thanking their support, especially in this time when the blog traffic may be lower due to fewer posts.

    Just some thoughts. Off to email Sachs, Panache, etc.

  10. thrash

    Best wishes and all the good thoughts my family can send your way buddy. See you at County Line soon.

    There is nothing funny about Peace, Love and Understanding,

    1. Author

      Everyone: Thank you for all your comments and notes. I’m profoundly touched by the outreach of support. What you’ve offered in heart I would never have dreamt would come my way.

      Thank you on behalf of my entire family.

      And just know, I love writing for you, even when you disagree, and look forward to banging keys again soon.

      (I think I’m having a Jerry Maguire moment.)

  11. James

    Blessings and Prayers. All we can do is pedal the best circles we can muster! Every members has to put their nose in the wind at some point, and every members can recover on the back! This is no drop ride!

  12. Kelly

    You can count on your readers to give the site sponsors plenty of traffic while you take some time to be with your wife and new kiddo–confident that all will go well.

  13. jorgensen

    May all turn out fine.

    Not planning a C section gives me a bit of an indication that the urgency a bit less than it might be.

  14. Kevin McD

    Best wishes to you and your family. Please let us know what we can do to help, even if it’s only clicking on advertisers’ banners. I love James’ idea that this is a no drop ride and that we, as a community, are here for each other. You provide us with a great deal, and we are eager to give back.

    1. Author

      Geoffrey and Kevin McD: That some readers would even consider showing some measure of support for RKP’s advertisers as a means of showing support for RKP and me is something I’m unable to adequately express my gratitude for. Just suggesting it is pretty stinkin’ amazing. Our advertisers have done a lot for us and any love you show them in return always gets noticed. To me, that’s the most generous example of community that RKP might ever provide.

  15. Polyhistoric

    As the father of a special needs child, don’t let anything block the rays of sunshine your child will bring to your life.

    There are many years to write and share bike-stories, but only one chance to be an active parent.

    “See you when we see you” and good luck

  16. Tom in albany

    Hope it all goes well. One of mine showed up two months early. Scary. It worked out well. I truely hope yours does to but, either way, take the time and give the love!

  17. scaredskinnydog

    Sending some positive vibes your way, you deserve it! RKP has become one of my favorite sites. I visit it pretty regularly and always enjoy the reads. I have renewed enthusiasm for the sport and its largely in part because of you, Padraig, so thanks for that and Best Wishes to you and your family.

  18. @PasadenaCyclist

    My wife and I had a somewhat similar experience with our second child just a few months ago. Amazingly, our little guy proved the head of various departments at UCLA, Childrens, and other hospitals wrong. Sometimes, I still can’t believe he is with us today.

    So, while I would not pretend to understand your situation, I know ours was agonizing. I feel very deeply for you. Really, the only things that saw me through was the love of my family, support from wherever I could find it, and my bike.

    I had to accept — and it sounds like you do too — that I could not get as much work done. Eventually, I was most fortunate to realize that my colleagues and clients empathized with my plight and cut me as much slack as possible. It made things much easier. I’m sure your colleagues and clients will do the same. This is tough stuff, and most people will realize that.

    Wishing you all the best.

  19. TomC

    Congrats! Fingers crossed all will go to plan and all will be well. If you need eyeballs then just post a few quick updates or even the odd ‘click here’ post to get the page views! After this post we will all understand and we all want to support you.

  20. Walter

    My thoughts are with you — don’t worry about your readership, we’ll all keep visiting and clicking through while you deal with these things. Hoping for the best!

  21. RPD

    From my own experience, Dr.s frequently prepare you for the worst. We were terrified about our now 3 y/o being born with Tay-Sachs. After tests proved negative, there were all sorts of other things. Listen to what they’re saying, but take everything with a grain of salt… especially my advice!

  22. C

    Keep calm and pedal on. Your cycling fraternity is here, in the background, letting you draft for a while. Take care of your family

  23. randomactsofcycling

    I wish you and your family all the best during this time Padraig. I hope everything turns out for the best.

    To the rest of the ‘commentators’: I love this place.

  24. Paul

    Hang in there man. We had an ultrasound scare for our second one too – it was nerve wracking but he turned out to be fine. Here’s hoping the same goes for you.

  25. BumbleBeeDave

    Another long-time lurker here . . . There’s only ONE place you need to be right now and it’s NOT keeping us bike geeks entertained. If anything, I will check in here MORE often now because I hope so hard for word that everything has turned out OK! I’m not normally a praying guy but I will start right now for you and your family! . . . Dave

  26. Trudy Eichen

    Cycling lets us forget our troubles, but family is first! An ultrasound 18 years ago showed my son to have a tragic problem, which turned out to be nothing. I hope the same for you. But in any case, your wife needs your strength! Hang in there.

  27. velocodger

    I’m keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.
    And if I may, a little wordplay;
    1. “Normal” is a setting on the dryer, nothing more.
    2. A better word would be “average”. I will testify you are ‘way too excellent to ever be average!
    To be in a very small way a member of your extended family has been a real pleasure for me, thanks.
    Keep the faith and keep up the good work.

  28. Full Monte

    I’m back, contributing my daily visit, and noting that it is Friday and you’re at the hospital probably this very minute, witnessing the birth of your child. May you all be well, and prayers be answered. Peace, Padraig.

  29. papogi

    Haven’t posted much at all here, but I look forward to checking the blog every day. It’s one of the highlights of my day. And I have to say that I love my several RKP Panache bib shorts. Panache does it right.

    I’m also a parent of a child with special needs. While the issues are not as severe as many others deal with, they are more than we would have desired for ourselves or our daughter. But we always desire only the best for our kids, right? Even years later, while I am sometimes frustrated that my child has to continually deal with these issues for a lifetime, she and our whole family have learned valuable and important things that we simply would not have learned had things gone completely as desired. Would I remove my child’s disabilities if I could? Yes, I admit I would. But not at the expense of the character and wisdom that we all have gained as a result of these disabilities. Like all of us, we just do the best we can do.

    All the best to you and your family, Padraig.

    1. Author

      Thanks everyone. We aren’t quite there yet, but we are close and everything is going well. I’m guessing two, three hours, tops.

  30. Patrick

    The anticipation is killing me, any news? I can’t think about a bike ride at a time like this.

    We’re all pulling for you!

    -Another Patrick

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