J.P. Partland is a riding writer, or writing rider. Either way, cycling is his beat. And his favored way to commute. And run errands. And exercise. And it’s a hobby. And a passion. And, just perhaps, an obsession. He rides just about every day, whether he needs to or not. It’s the means, it’s the end.
J.P. is a native New Yorker. With or without his bikes, he loves these islands off the coast of America. It’s a great place to live, to work, to recreate, and to ride bicycles. If you come visit, and you should, don’t just stand on the corner staring at your map, waiting for the light to change; people here move. Start moving.
In addition to commuting and adventuring, J.P. likes to go fast. New York City is good for bike racing, with several racing venues, including a velodrome.
His work as an ink-stained wretch began by freelancing cycling articles. Shortly thereafter, he took the helm of the start-up mag Cycling Times, a regional cycling publication for the New York metropolitan area, and he has gone on to write three books and hundreds of articles on cycling and cycling-related themes and topics for just about every cycling mag and website, as well as plenty of mainstream publications like The New York Times, Outside, and Fitness. He’s also opined on the importance of cycling for The Huffington Post. Somewhere in there, he got in on the ground floor of the Internet boom and was present for its bust (oh, the stories).
J.P.’s books include this, Mountain Bike Madness, The World of BMX, and Tour Fever: The Armchair Cyclist’s Guide to the Tour de France (availbable both as an audiobook and ebook). He’s writing regularly at Just Riding Along.
He thought that, by this age, he would have graduated from writing about bikes to bigger subjects and work in genres like Serious Histories About Seemingly Insignificant Things that Actually Changed the World. J.P. laments that the bicycle is just a toy, after all, and not something heady like codfish. Bicycles, their makers, their users helped end the Victorian age, led the way in professional sports, propelled the need for paved roads which made cars possible, pioneered assembly-line manufacturing, developed insights and technology that were used for cars, motorcycles, and planes. A bike is a toy, sure, but one that can transform your life and society. It’s simple, sure, something a child uses, but that makes it no less profound, gives the user no less joy. Not that such quotidian matter should concern you, or anyone.
Everyone says they ought to exercise, that a bicycle looks like it could be fun, they remember riding one when they were a kid, the freedom, the adventure, the . . . but . . . Enough. Dust off that bike, pump up the tires, lube the chain, pick up Where to Bike New York City, and go for an adventure that’s great exercise, or exercise that’s a great adventure. You might get sweaty, you might get tired, you might get scared now and again, but it all adds up to an exhilaration you’ll want to come back to again and again. And your love of the Big Apple will only grow.
If you want to drop a line, talk bike, talk roads and rides, you can do so here.