Friday Group Ride #172


The email came in from Coach Peter, a digital ray of sunshine at the end of a rainy spring. The final baseball game of the season, the one they added as a “fun” add-on for the boys after a relentless stretch of games that had us slumped in our fold up chairs, swatting mosquitoes in the grassy verge off the 3rd baseline.

I love to watch my boys play baseball, but I am extremely excited that baseball is over. Maybe I’ll see what bike riding is like.

I am excited, mutedly, for the Tour de France. Is it possible to be mutedly excited? Maybe not. I’ll tell you, I could care less who wins this Tour. I don’t care about Team Sky’s internal dynamic. I don’t care what Alberto Contador thinks about anything. But I am excited for the sound of the Tour in the background, the site of the peloton snaking its way around France, the rhythm of it, day-after-day. It defines my July and suggests a vacation is in the offing. I am excited for a vacation.

I’m building myself a new bike, a sort of burly road, gravel-grinding, winter commuter bike, custom paint, maximal nerdery. What is more exciting than a new bike? It’s a rhetorical question. Nothing. Nothing is more exciting. Stop even thinking about the birth of your children. Lighten up. This is a bike blog.

I’m also excited about RKP. This will sound silly and perhaps a little immodest, but the work of the last few months, especially on Padraig’s forthcoming book, has me feeling bullish about what we’re doing here. We have always understood the mandate to write about cycling, but events of the past year have broadened that mandate. It feels like we have a better sense of what we’re doing now than we ever have before. Sometimes I get bogged down in writing and rewriting individual pieces, and I lose sight of the larger project, but I’m excited that I see it now and am happy to be a small part of it.

This week’s Group Ride, not mysteriously, asks what YOU are excited about. Doesn’t have to be bike-related. Can be, but doesn’t have to be. Sometimes we have to look outside our small lives and narrow focuses for the inspiration to continue on, to try to do what we do better. What’s going on that we ought to be excited about?

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  1. Tom in albany

    My kids’ last day of school is today. I am excited for SUMMER!!!!!!!

    Camping. Biking. Beach vacation. More camping. More biking. Late, bright evenings. Star-gazing without freezing my @$$ off. Biking with minimal layers. Bike-commuting with no headlight. Eating veggies right out of my garden. Biking up the local hills and finding it (slightly) cooler then the valleys. Thunderstorms. My wife in her fun, summery dresses and skirts. The kids running around the yard with nothing on and splashing in the hose/sprinkler/kiddie-pool…

    I LOVE SUMMER!!!!!

  2. Steep End Down

    I get excited about the way things change. Sometimes it’s slow, deliberate, planned and well executed with all of the consequences mapped, detailed and contained. Just as often it can be sudden and unexpected, wild and unplanned and with unexpected consequences that cause further changes to accommodate the imbalance that has been created.

    I wouldn’t claim the following to be an earth shattering experience, but recently my 14 yr old son has started listening to a band that I have been on the record as detesting. Boy, was I wrong. I have listened “without prejudice” as i trust my boy’s taste. To my delight I have fallen in love with the music and I am truly excited that my son has breathed new life into my opinions.

    That’s the kind of thing that makes me excited

  3. keith

    My team is thinking about switching clothing vendors. I contacted Panache about sample kits to test. Yesterday, a RKP kit arrived in the mail.

    I wore it on my commute this morning. I wish I didn’t have to give it back.

  4. mazzok

    Currently excited for a big move to Sydney,Australia!

    I share your exact feelings regarding the Tour.. Thanks for the perfect sentiment, pure cycling senza drama.

  5. Margaret Smiddy

    Some things that I’m excited to see are:

    Half the Road, a film about women’s pro cycling that is in the process of being made. It looks like it will be good.

    That there is a candidate for the presidency of the UCI who seems interested in further developing women’s cycling.

    That my local tri club will be developing a women’s team and the first ride is this Saturday.

    Doing my first half iron man. The 56 mile ride which used to seem really long, will now be fun and probably my strongest leg of the three.

  6. Running Cyclist

    Anticipation is the best part. July is the month where I get to do most of my long rides in the southern Appalachian mountains. July is the Tour, which, like Robot, is a great feeling, esoecually when it matters not who wins. July is warm days, long days, quiet days when my family is out of town. There will be a vacation in July and there will be adventure in July. July is the biggest reason for the motivation I find to stay fit throughout the winter. But, it’s the anticipation of all of this that is truly the best part. Right now is about as good as it gets.

  7. Andy

    My own riding is restorative & fills up the empty places, but it can’t compare with getting all three of the grandkids who live with us out at the Rodale Park at the same time. Ages 9, 7 & 6 – what a great feeling! The 9-year old has physical challenges from his brain tumor, so has a custom trike and the pride & accomplishment he feels from an hour on the road are an easy match for a week of my own riding. The others are new enough that just going “fast” makes them laugh out loud. So, I’m looking forward to a summer of not being in control of my own riding time. When their house is finished, I’ll lose this opportunity and I’ll have my time back.

  8. armybikerider

    I’m teaching myself to play the guitar. The sense of accomplishment that resonates when I finally hit that hard to reach chord has me excited and is pushing me forward.

    Oh yeah….and there’s the TdF.

  9. gmknobl

    Vacation, Summer, hot weather and rides in the sun, my youngest wanting to ride “two wheels” now, riding the wildlife loop on Assateague Island as my own personal ITT perhaps inappropriately, and beers while watching tour stages. All of these are in no particular order except that wildlife loop in August and my son, hopefully, learning to ride a bike.

    See – I can write a short post!

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