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Copyright 2019 - Bishop Guilfoyle

They say to write what you know, and John Frederick did just that. Well, first he fell in love with writing as a student at Bishop Guilfoyle, then embraced his passion for geography and environmentalism at Penn State, took up cycling, then wrote from a unique perspective only he could know. The end result is Winding Roads, the view from the sometimes-uncomfortable saddle of a bicycle, offering intimate insight into the people cyclists meet, the geography surrounding us, the roads we travel on and the mechanism by which we move about.


We caught up with John to hear more about Winding Roads, and how BG influenced his journey. Read on!


BG: What led you to start writing?

John: My interests in writing actually go back to my days at Keith Junior High and Bishop Guilfoyle. I was inspired by student teacher John Bravin (just before he began his full-time teaching at BG) and his supervising teacher, Sister Mary Rita, in Journalism class in 1973-74. I ended up majoring in Geography at Penn State, but wandered back to writing as part of my work with the Professional Recyclers of Pennsylvania. I had always hoped to write about my cycling adventures and finally began in earnest after my older son Jared '06 urged me to start the book more than a dozen years ago.


BG: Tell us a little more about your book.

John: Winding Roads is not just a story about the rides, but it’s also about transformation. I was a shy, nonathletic kid until I began hiking and cycling. A cross-country bicycling trek after college graduation might have been my rite of passage, but the things that lead up to that trip make for a series of fascinating stories unto themselves.


BG: Looking at your time at BG, what do you remember as being most impactful?

John: Beyond my student experiences, my thirteen years teaching Earth and Environmental Science and coaching the girls' basketball team were incredibly valuable experiences. Old students frequently recall Earth Science moments and lessons when I see them, even three decades after they had the class. Besides being fulfilling unto themselves, they laid a foundation for a rewarding career as an environmental professional.


BG: Where can we find Winding Roads?

John: My son Mark '13 designed a great website where you can learn more about the book, and how to buy a copy. It's johnjfrederick.com. My facebook page  is facebook.com/AuthorJohnFrederick.