Patrick Brady is a writer, and founder-owner of the Red Kite Prayer road cycling blog. (There aren't many cycling writers who started out as poets). Brady has created a Kickstarter project to fund a sumptously-printed collection of his finest blog and magazine pieces. The Kickstarter crowd-sourced funding campaign has so far raised half of his $20,000 total in just over a week. The writing and the letterpress printing are sweet but it's the cause that's the, well, kicker. Brady is raising funds to pay for the healthcare costs of his newborn son, nicknamed The Deuce.
Brady has health insurance but the US healthcare system is famously screwy and, what with deductibles and other such things we don't have to worry about in the UK, the hospital costs the Duece racked up while in paediatric intensive care are eye-wateringly enormous. When I told Brady there are some in the UK wishing to dismantle the UK's cradle-to-grave National Health Service, he said:
"I can't imagine that any rational person would look at the UK system and conclude, "You know what we really need to do is make ours more like what they have in the US."
There are fourteen days left in which to pledge support to Brady's 'Why We Ride' book.
"It’s a book that asks why we’re willing to get up early, to ride in the cold, the rain, even the cold rain, and somehow count that as a good time," explains Brady.
"Within the pages are a series of essays, meditations and prose poems on what makes cycling an indispensable part of our lives, and why it is that even the briefest ride has the power to make the gloomiest day better."
On a Kickstarter update Brady has uploaded examples of his written work.
Here's a taster:
"For those who’ve had the well run dry, you know the revulsion you feel for the big ring, a stomach-turning horror that makes overtraining seem like simple recovery between intervals. The dry well is the existential crisis that causes you to ask the unthinkable: “Why do I ride a bike?”
"And yet, the reprieve is always around the corner. Whether it’s the ’89 Tour, a rerun of Breaking Away or a warm day too beautiful not to ride, we all have our triggers. Thank heaven. And for all the heartache of the empty well, we can suddenly find ourselves seeing once again the natural order of the world. The bicycle is a thing of beauty, a potent antidote to the world’s ills, an eternal E-ticket ride.
"As if we were hawks riding thermals, one good ride begets another and another. We’re easier to live with, if utterly verbose about our exploits. We conduct our days more efficiently as we divide the day between riding and the activities that support it, and all the rest."