25 May 2006 was the start of the finishing quote “Look forward to seeing you on the road soon God willing” that has become synonymous with Cycling with Eddie and there have been some 200 odd articles since.
There is not a week goes by that I pray and ask “what is the story going to be about this week Lord!” Inevitably there is something that comes from meeting some member of the cycling community on the road that sows the seed for the weekly message. It has been the working principle on the faith and belief that each message is written for one in the hope that the right person reading will gain encouragement, insight, or possibly inspiration that supports and influences their cycling life and beyond.
It is most humbling as well as encouraging to have people relate back what they have read in the weekly article and how they have interrupted and used the information to make a change that increases their freedom. I must add that many are not cyclists but people interested for many and varied reasons that take the time to scan the inside of the back cover of the paper to peek at what more of cycling could possibly be shared.
What a four years it has been, and the cycling community would be grateful that the Bendigo Weekly has been open for the column to continue and support Bendigo as the cycling capital of Australia. There have been some rules we have tried to maintain since we started: to remain impartial as possible; to avoid commercialism of any particular brands makes or models but give an even handed look at what is happening on the cycling scene. We have tried to be safety conscience with messages pertaining to road use that balances between motorists and cyclists and in the opening article back four years ago, it was written “cyclists must think like motorists and motorist to think like cyclists” a basis my parents instilled in my life, “do unto others as you would have them do to you”.
If this has been seen as an advocacy role then this has certainly been by default as it was never the intent to be a advocate as such, more a offer of a balanced view that we can share the same space when we understand better the manner in which we need to represent ourselves in the space and time provided. Ignorance is a shaky ground to build on and I would apologise for any time this column has been a provider of such a shaky foundation. The familiar sight of four years ago has not changed all that much except the hair is greyer and my hearing is still poor and my eye sight is starting to be a challenge to read the phone book and still in employment at Powercor Australia.
The bulging panniers are still strapped to the same bike albeit having to replace a few chains, rear sprockets, tyres and seat and a new rear wheel a couple of years ago. The challenge these days is remembering the riders name that is coming the other way and it is usually 200 metres past that the mind jells and that was so and so as not many passing cyclist don’t call G’day Eddie which is a blessing to my day.
Yes there are still a few that pass me going the same way that are less likely these days to be chased like I used to, must be I am maturing in my ego. The 300 people that four years ago were part of the email network across Bendigo has now increased to in excess of 760 members and we know is being networked much wider again by many recipients.
The nick name the “Cycling Chaplin” that was mentioned back at the beginning of the weekly column has become more of a reality after being ordained into the Anglican Church as a Pioneer Minister late in 2009.
It may well be my hope that we share the road safely but sense that this is being more the norm with less reported incidents of road rage between either groups and as a community this must be congratulated. Cycling is a well represented pastime for Bendigo across all age groups and disciplines of the sport and thank you to the early work of Mark Slater and Helen Cronin on getting this kicked off as a column supporting the interest for the community. A big thank you to the rich heritage of past and present racing cyclists that makes Bendigo a city of renown across the globe,
Look forward to seeing you on the road soon, God willing.