So, I had the opportunity to meet writer, author, blogger, cyclist (not necessarily in that order) Patrick Brady, last night at our local REI in Rancho Cucamonga. Not only that, but I had my yearly REI dividend notice in my pocket, and actually had some money to spend. I was expecting to find a simple book signing - you know the kind, author sitting behind a table with a slowly moving line of people waiting for a quick greeting, flash of the pen across the title page, and head home.
Instead, the book signing was preceded by a short talk and Q & A session. I arrived a little late but listened with interest to some of the questions being raised, and Patrick's responses. We have both been riding for many years and so I was not surprised to find myself nodding in agreement with much of what he was saying. If you ride long enough your experiences tend to become shared ones; even if meeting someone for the first time, commonalities quickly become evident. It seemed as if the others in the audience were mostly newer riders, or maybe people who had come back to cycling as adults, and it was informative to hear their questions and concerns. I figure I have been turning the cranks long enough, that I have seen and heard it all, so it was good to be reminded of that different perspective.
If you are not familiar with Patrick Brady, he has been writing about cycling for considerable time, and after years of riding and racing across the States and Europe, has acquired a considerable wealth of cycling knowledge. He has written and edited for numerous cycling magazines, written a bicycling guide for Los Angeles County, and still finds time for his top rate blog, Red Kite Prayer. If you have the opportunity to hear Patrick speak, take it (he will be a the Arcadia REI tonight at 7:00), it is worthwhile.
As for the book, since I just picked it up at the signing, I can't give a qualified review, but I took a quick overview when I got back home, and can say that I wish there had been something like this when I was starting out. If you are a newer rider, I suggest that checking this book out may be worth your while, it will likely provide some answers, or guidance concerning equipment, nutrition or riding, saving money and aggravation.