Riding as family time
There are always more stories to tell about cycling – and a range of ways in which to share them. As we work through the production of another magazine, there are also opportunities to reflect on what cycling means to us now…
“I ride. You ride. We all ride. It’s that simple.
“If it was any more complicated, I guess cycling wouldn’t be one of the biggest activities on the planet. But let’s face it, most of us, at one stage or another have spent some time on a bike: pedalling, rolling, racing, travelling… as free as could be. It’s not complicated.
“And with this in mind, I say: welcome to RIDE Cycling Review – a celebration of cycling!”
– Editorial: #RIDE01, July 1998
The words above are the first published by RIDE Media. They were written around the time I turned 28, at the end of June 1998. Obviously a lot has changed since then but the original sentiment of the introduction remains.
I’ve seen a lot of cycling since – and done a lot as well.
And the fundamentals remain: I continue to celebrate cycling.
The way that we present things has changed dramatically and, in recent months, those who have subscribed to RIDE Media’s YouTube channel will have seen several posts of me riding with my kids. (Of course there are other video items including the ‘Talking Cycling’ series which I’m particularly proud of but we’ve referenced these often over the past six months and hopefully you’ve watched a few of these interviews.)
We continue to refine the presentation and will respond to market demand accordingly. But the adventures on the bike with my family have allowed me an opportunity to share some fabulous cycling adventures. The clips are personal and may not appeal to everyone but, at the moment, it’s part of what makes cycling special for me.
Over the Easter weekend, we did a lot of riding. We drove to Canberra with our bikes and took advantage of ideal cycling conditions: blue skies, no wind, mild temperatures, great trails, minimal traffic and good companionship. What more could you ask for?
It was logical to record some of the moments, practice some editing, and share a few clips of my rides with the kids.
Riding up climbs with an 11-year-old is far from the hardcore race coverage that has long been part of RIDE Media’s content and yet it remains true to the ideals that were in mind when I established the company almost 20 years ago.
The aim is to inspire people to ride a bike.
Cycling is not a complicated concept but it can seem daunting to those who are new to it. My hope is that my magazine (and the myriad other media we create) prompts people to try all kinds of riding with all manner of company: colleagues, friends and, of course, family.
There are the obvious concerns about traffic or cycling skills or fitness, and yet a little bit of planning will allow keen cyclists to spend time on the bike with a minimum of fuss. The weekend in Canberra allowed me to, once again, experience of the simple pleasures that this activity can provide us with.
The YouTube clips of me riding with my children put a smile on my face and remind me that there’s genuine merit in the art of cycling. We visited some fantastic places, saw some brilliant sights, experienced a range of emotions, got some exercise and, most importantly, had some quality family time along the way.
Riding with the kids is a huge part of my current cycling repertoire but there’s always more to this bike riding caper – and it’s great to have the options to share the stories of our adventures.
Of course, we’ll resume with our usual programming as we race towards the 100th Giro d’Italia and another edition of the Tour de France, but the Easter weekend prompted me to consider the reason I began RIDE Media all those years ago.
As I said at the end of my editorial in issue number-one back in 1998:
“Cycling has done of lot of good in my life. It helps keep me sane in a world with too much traffic. It has given me a passion, some direction and a load of enthusiasm…”
Long may that continue…
– By Rob Arnold