Athletes of Kingston: Patrick Lynch

By Ian MacAlpine

Cycling for 73-year-old Patrick Lynch has been a life-long pursuit of happiness.

The retired Kingston psychologist has been cycling for much of his life and now into his seventh decade shows no signs of slowing down on his bicycle or anywhere else.

In September, Lynch took a solo ride from Kingston to Charleston, South Carolina, a distance of just over 2,000 kilometres over 35 days during some record autumn heat. In the ride, he also climbed and descended over 10,000 feet through seven states.

He’s done many solo rides in the past and enjoys them.

“I loaded up my bike and away I went,” he said. “I’ve been doing solo bike trips since about 1987,” he said. “I found it was a neat thing to do.”

Lynch who cycled four to five hours per day on the trip said a cyclist just has to be in good shape to accomplish the one-way trip.


“You just have to be used to a little regular exercise,” he said.

Lynch enjoys the solitude of a solo ride.

“You’re kind of getting into a meditative state and it’s really nice and relaxing,” he said. “And of course you never have any disagreements with your travel mates.”

The only problem is the discomfort from his bike seat. ”There’s no such thing as a great saddle.”

Lynch learned to cycle at the age of 10 in his native Ireland and after arriving in Canada at age 20 he gave up cycling for a while.

“When I first came to Canada I hardly cycled at all for 10 years because I was just too busy scrambling to get established and then afterwards I took it up again and got into it pretty thoroughly.”

He lived in Vancouver for 11 years, spent a year travelling when he married his wife Ann and then lived in New Brunswick for his Masters degree then to Queen’s for six years while earning his PhD.

He worked for the Limestone District School Board for 15 years until 2000 then another 15 years in private practice.

He and Ann have taken cycling trips together around Ireland and Florida among other places. Lynch said his wife prefers to stay in motels at night on cycling trips while he prefers camping.


Closer to home Lynch is an avid member of the local cycling club.

“The (Kingston) Velo Club is a tremendous organization, really encouraging people to join and has all kinds of levels for people to feel at home and not too intimidated, not feeling like they’re holding the group back,” he said. “The social aspect of the club is pretty good too.”

The club supports local cyclists and among other services provides maps for cycling trips around Kingston and the surrounding countryside as well as arranges group rides for people of various skill and endurance levels.


Lynch said the City of Kingston supports cycling but could do more.

“Many places in the city if you want to get there you pretty much have to take your life in your own hands.”

He said a cycling trip along outer Princess Street is quite dangerous due to no designated bike lanes.

“You’re depending on every single motorist passing you to notice and take appropriate action,” he said. “Those places that have a hard shoulder marked off by a white line are gold.”

Lynch joked that he could cycle for another 73 years.

‘Things are more conducive now for good health in older adulthood so I think I have another 30 years in me.”

One of the greatest benefits of cycling is working off your tensions, he said. “Where ever you go you can work out your aggravations on the pedals and everything you encounter then is good.”

For more information on Lynch’s trip or the Kingston Velo Club go to then go to Cycling News, KVC Blog and My Riding Tours.