The last post

The Sabbath Year — When Moses was on Mount Sinai, the LORD told him to say to the community of Israel: After you enter the land that I am giving you, it must be allowed to rest one year out of every seven. You may raise grain and grapes for six years, but the seventh year you must let your fields and vineyards rest in honour of me, your LORD.   Leviticus 25:1-4

Eddie seated on a bench reading the Bendigo Weekly with his bike leaning against the bench

Signing off: after six years, Eddie is taking a break from his cycling column.

26th May 2006, Helen Cronin introduced the Bendigo Weekly reading public to Eddie Barkla and the sign off phrase “Looking forward to seeing you on the road soon God willing”. For the past six years there has not been a week where the paper has not had a “Cycling with Eddie” article on many and varied aspects of cycling and cyclists and the freedom cycling brings and links to improved mental and physical health and well being.

It has been a privilege to be given such an opportunity to meet such a broad cross section of the cycling community and share their stories of courage and perseverance. Like all stories there is more than meets the eye and a greater depth than can be published some humorous, some inspiring and some that pull the most hardened heart strings.

I recently met at the Madison with a well known long term sports writer, who was amazed when I had revealed that I don’t read any newspapers. Their comment was newspapers are to influence your thinking what influences yours?

Every cyclist I meet on the road and every shared road user influences my thinking about what is to be shared each week.  I am truly grateful for the many Bendigo Weekly readers that have made a passing comment that has turned into an article. If we were to have had an influence would hope it to be three fold.

  • The first would be that we all share the same space when on the road and need to respect that in the manner of how we see each other motorists and cyclist alike. A coined phrase in the first article “as cyclists we need to think as motorists, and motorists need to think like cyclists.”
  • The second: relationships in families and community, increased health and wellbeing.
  • The third, the sign off phrase, is very much part of faith in my Lord and that I can boast of nothing even seeing you on the road, that my Lord has ordained for His purpose. Every article written has been based on prayers of faith, hope and trust in my Lord, in His amazing grace and salvation.

The real supporters of the cycling column has been my wife Maree and family that have allowed me to hide at the computer for the hours in producing what you see and read each week as they have made the real sacrifices to allow the labour of love.

Thank you to the people that have freely given their time in telling their story to enjoy and learn from. As the opening scripture has made reference it seems that it is appropriate time to have a Sabbath rest. There are many stories yet to be told and many more people to be influenced either way, this is not the end just waiting for a new beginning.

Looking forward to seeing you on the road soon God willing

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