I am always happy to find a new post on Kent Peterson’s blog. Kent is a family man, a professional bicycle advocate, a good writer, and, of course, a bicyclist — but not just a bicyclist, he’s one of that rare breed: the randonneur. These are cyclists who go on very, very (very) long, uninterrupted rides called brevets. I am sure there is a more elegant way to put that, but as someone who is still wondering what it’d be like to ride a century, that description works well for me. Best of all, Kent is a car-free randonneur, meaning that he also cycles the (sometimes numerous) miles to the starting point of these events.
Kent is something of a role model for me, in that up until very recently he rode a fixed gear bicycle on his brevets. While I have not ridden 200 or 300 or 600K at a sitting, I can relate to Kent’s pleasure at riding a fixed gear bicycle in situations that would seem, to an outside observer, to warrant the use of newfangled doodads like freewheels and gears.
Anyway. You should read Kent’s blog. He is a good writer and a good person. And then, if you are ever listening to a conversation between me and Holly, and you hear me say, “But Holly, Kent Peterson . . . ” you will know just what I am saying.
I was inspired to write this post upon reading a particularly evocative paragraph from one of his recent stories:
“I wake and pack up in the morning before the Kingston coffee shops are open. Shore birds are wading in the lightly clouded morning light while gray gulls and dark crows drift on the gentle morning breeze. The AM/PM gas station has both biscotti and the machine that makes cheap caramel lattes. I am blessed with a rather unrefined palate and am still dazzled and delighted to awaken in a world that holds such wonders.”