'Theoria'

Introducing: Tekné Cycling

Many of you will know many of us from before. Some of us came together around Tall Tree Cycles. We grew our team, we forged a path. Then we decided to create something altogether new and see where it took us. It is now, we are here, Tekné Cycle Club. We ride on.

Sometimes it takes a lot of work to figure out the simplest things. When trying to reduce all that we are, as a collective of personalities, the resounding question was basic: why do we ride?

Those who have followed my ramblings over the years will know that I like to think and perhaps over-think all the aspects of cycling that make up my world. To this topic I bring a particular lens – philosophy – that colours everything I see and do. We all see in our own way. But more than seeing, I look for certain attributes in others, both qualities I manifest, and those I wish to manifest.

Over the years, my path has taken me in directions I never imagined. Old friends fell away, and new friends came into my life. As the years progressed, the uniting, or organizing principle drawing me to others, and vice versa, was passion. It always was. From when I spent all my time on mountain bikes with fantastic people through today, passion was the common denominator.

In a milieu that is profoundly competitive, and often inaccessible to the uninitiated, my path, shared by a number of our members, was circuitous. Adventure by bike became our focus, and as we pushed forward, and further out, we met others who shared our perspective, our passion, our way. It was simple: we loved riding. We loved riding together. We didn’t ride because we wanted to win something, somehow, but because we loved the challenges riding offered us.

In time some of that desire to be challenged morphed into racing, for some, a return to racing. But the drive didn’t change. It was the same. The drive was for growth, learning, improvement, experience, making memories, and sharing the joy of it all. That’s how I see the trajectory that has taken us here, to this point. Tekné Cycling and Tekné Cycle Club are the next phase.

Tekné Cycling is broader than the Cycle Club. It is a site about cycling foremost, and home to the club secondarily. It is where contributors and I share our passion for cycling in a myriad of ways, and provide resources to help others enrich their lives, both on and off the bike.

Our membership is composed of people that want to spend time together, to share the experience of cycling. It is constituted by people who love the process of learning, improving, and honing the craft of cycling, in whatever form: riding with friends, touring solo, commuting year-round, ‘racing for fun,’ ‘racing to win,’ riding into the unknown. Whatever the form, our focus is on the how, the means, the craft of cycling. If we race, winning isn’t the objective. Being our best is, and when that means we win, great.

We race to race.

What is Tekné?

Tekné is an ancient concept that is difficult to grasp or articulate. Like all residues form ancient civilizations, understanding teknē is a matter of interpretation and extrapolation. When I encountered the word years ago in Aristotle’s writing I immediately latched onto it, because it spoke to how I understood cycling as a practice. Tekné is the craft of embodied practice in harmony with technology. Our technology is the bicycle, and all the things we use to ride it. Teknē is how and the why.

Intention

Purpose

Process

Experience

Journey

We ride because it feels good, and it is deeply satisfying. Doing cycling well is a process. It takes time, patience, discipline, effort, sacrifice, motivation, resilience, and luck. But most of all, the teknē approach is about recognizing the role of others in the process, and appreciating what they contribute.

What is Tekné Cycle Club’s purpose?

The purpose of the Club is multifaceted. The core ‘organizing principle’ is that we are a group of people who want to have fun with cycling. Fun is defined differently for different people, but everyone is passionate about cycling. Many race, and find training really hard with others fun. Others don’t race, and find mellower rides fun. We all strive to improve ourselves, and to practice cycling together. Part of doing things together extends beyond our club, and into the community. So, we’re not about being insular, but contributing to the growth of cycling in the region – because it’s an amazing sport – and sharing some of the aspects of the practice that we feel are really enriching, like some of the routes we ride (see Ride of the Damned, Double Cross).

Membership

This is somewhat nuanced, and builds on the ideas above. The key requirement we have for membership is character. We only want to bring people into the club who are of character. Why? Because being a club member means everyone wants to spend time riding, traveling, and racing together. We have to respect and trust each other. Folks who are looking for a ‘race team’ in order to progress in their ‘career’ and then move along are not the sort of folks we are looking for. We invite in folks who we’ve come to know by doing the same sorts of riding, racing, and events we do. New members have to be nominated by an existing member, endorsed by two other members, then approved by our board of directors.
We have a ‘no ass-holes’ policy, which this process is intended to support. When we consider a new member, we always ask ourselves whether the prospective member would have people in the group at their ability level to ride with, whether others would want to ride with them, and whether they’d contribute to our events and the cycling community.

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