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By Karen Kefauver
November 21, 2014
Link to Sentinel Article

Patrick Brady will speak about his new book, “Why We Ride: A Celebration of Cycling with Patrick Brady” at the Spokesman Bicycles on Saturday. (Chris Tregillis — Contributed)

Patrick Brady will speak about his new book, “Why We Ride: A Celebration of Cycling with Patrick Brady” at the Spokesman Bicycles on Saturday. (Chris Tregillis — Contributed)

Author Patrick Brady recently published a collection of essays on why people love cycling. So, the question I had for him was obvious:

“Why do you love bicycling?” I asked.

“It’s the most exciting way I know of to see the world. I’ve toured all over the U.S. and Europe for almost 30 years. The Alps, the Pyrenees, Tuscany, Northern Spain,” said Brady, citing a few of his favorite spots during our phone interview.

The author, a resident of Redondo Beach, is also a longtime bicycling freelance journalist and publisher of the popular cycling website, Red Kite Prayer — the Soul of Cycling (redkiteprayer.com).

Brady, 50, has plenty to say in his collection of essays in his book, “Why We Ride.” On Saturday, he will talk about his book and passion for cycling at a free event at Spokesman Bicycles in downtown Santa Cruz.

Wade Hall, who co-owns Spokesman with Matt Potter, said Brady has a worldly view on the sport.

“Patrick is one of the most active bike-culture bloggers. He has a really large following,” Hall said. “He has a contemplative view of bicycling. Having ridden for 40 years, all those miles, over all those years, I find that many of the experiences he writes about are familiar. I can relate.”

Brady didn’t originally embark on writing a book. In fact, he seemed pleasantly surprised he had a book in him.

“Just one night, my first essay spilled out. All I wanted to do was say something true about cycling. It wasn’t to brag about anything. I just wanted to write something about the sport that would resonate with other riders. That was my goal,” he said.

The book unfolded over about seven years. Brady now has two other book projects in the works.

“That began a journey for me as an author,” Brady said. “This book is the most satisfying and fulfilling thing I have done as a writer. I’m proud that it’s not like anything else that’s out there.”

He says one thing that distinguishes his writing about cycling is that he holds a master of fine arts degree in creative writing, with a concentration in poetry. That’s a background that is “a little different in the cycling industry,” he noted.

“For the most part, my book trends toward the contemplative or meditative. For me, it was a way to connect with other cyclists and their love of cycling. I am not a chatty guy… It’s a way to find common ground with people I’ve come to call my cycling family.”

Before connecting with cyclists through his book, Brady wrote for national magazines like Bicycling, VeloNews and Outside. In 2009, he launched Red Kite Prayer, which spans a wide variety of cycling topics ranging from stories on mind, body and machine to travel and racing.

In addition to his book projects, Brady, who typically goes by the pen name “Padraig” has been busy helping Seven Cycles — a custom-bike builder based in Massachusetts — develop a new type of collapsible touring bike. He said it can be packed pack into a suitcase without incurring an oversize baggage fee.

Brady gets excited when he talks about this new bike, his connection to other cyclists through his writing and the prospect of bike touring again.

After all, that’s why he loves to ride.


Why We Ride: A Celebration of Cycling with Patrick Brady

When: Saturday, 7 p.m.

Where: Spokesman Bicycles, 231 Cathcart St., Santa Cruz

Cost: free

Details: 831-429-6062, spokesmanbicycles.com

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