Padraig and I will both be in Western Mass/Southern VT tomorrow for the Deerfield Dirt Road Randonee, better known as D2R2. Padraig will be riding a custom Seven all-terrain, travel bike, the Airheart, putting it through all the paces New England has to throw at it. I will, due to my gimp-handedness, just be along for support, heckling and tent food.
Any of you who will be there, we would love to meet you, shake your hand, and get a picture.
This D2R2 represents something of a dual milestone in my relationship with Padraig. When we met initially and first began discussing my contributing to RKP, neither of us envisaged a long partnership and friendship. I was working outside the bike industry then, and had only recently begun writing about bikes and riding. Fast forward nearly five years, and I count Padraig as one of my closest friends.
Now I work at Seven Cycles, here in Massachusetts, and through our friendship, as well as his long relationship with the folks here at Seven, a relationship that long predates my appearance on the scene, we have been able to build an RKP bike together. That the tentative contribution I made to the site those years ago would culminate in this, a bike that will become a model unto itself, a friendship that would see Padraig staying at my house over a period of time while we worked on the design of the bike, long RKP strategy sessions and rambling conversations about writing at my kitchen counter, even a first tilt at D2R2 for him, this is the magic life serves up.
Red Kite Prayer exists to celebrate bike riding. Our mission is to inspire people to throw a leg over, to ride and to love it. Along the way, we’ve found a lot of inspiration ourselves, inspiration that comes from our readers and from people throughout the industry who want to work with us on all manner of awesome projects. Sitting at my kitchen counter this week, I think we both began to feel overwhelmed by the enormity of the work and opportunity in front of us, simultaneously basking in gratitude for what we’ve been able to accomplish so far.
Unfortunately, not everyone who reads RKP will be at D2R2 this weekend, but we are both looking forward to sharing this moment with as many of you as possible. If you see us, please say hello.