What I’m Reading: Just Ride by Grant Petersen
Cyclists are bombarded with information: advertising, in-ride chats, blogs, tweets. Sometimes we spend so much time making sure our kit looks good, our bikes look good and our pre-ride stretching was done that we forget we’re here to Just Ride the bike! Sure, there is a certain amount of fun toting up the miles on the mileage chart, planning the details of what variety of Gu® is going in the jersey pockets, making sure we look like “real” cyclists and not getting dropped on the first hill. But the bike is such a darn simple machine. Quiet, unassuming, but always ready to take us on an adventure.
Grant Petersen, founder of Rivendell Bicycle Works and former U.S. marketing director for Bridgestone Bikes, turns off the marketing blather, gives us a shake of the shoulders, looks us in the eye and says, “Let it go. Get back to basics.”
If just one image comes to mind after reading his book, this is it:
Grant’s book is a collection of short essays. Flip it open to any one of them and start reading. You’ll agree (although sometimes begrudgingly) or disagree with just about everything he says. What do I mean? Here’s a selection of chapters:
The weight ruse
Racing ruins the breed
Bags, not armloads or sweaty backs
Pumps, not greenhouse gas
Drink when you’re thirsty, not before
Surprise: fabric doesn’t breathe
I had a ball reading this book. Grant is so … down to earth. He takes us back to a kinder, gentler world of bicycling — one that’s pretty much been lost in today’s whirlwind of faster, lighter, stiffer. Every cyclist will relate to this book — love it or hate it, but you won’t be able to put it down.
Just Ride by Grant Petersen