For a Friend

I got an email today from a friend I hadn’t heard from in quite some time. The pandemic has been rough on her. Already battling with anxiety, the stress and constant barrage of suffering online led her to drop off the internet entirely and shutter all her social media accounts. She lost a family member and then there was the ensuing familial strife that sometimes follows these events. She had a falling out with a dear and trusted friend. She was in a dark place. Having had an injury some years back, she hadn’t been on a bike in many years, but one day she got back on. She completely struggled at first due to lack of fitness, but gradually built up to longer and longer loops. Reflecting on it she said, “It was the only thing that cut through my despair.” I went out this afternoon and rode my bike like I have so many times, but this time it was different knowing what a bike ride had done for her, and the crystallization of what it has so often done for me. Her email subject line read, “I think my bike saved my life…” – I hope it keeps doing that for her – I have faith that it will, and I know – because it saved mine some years ago and still does almost every day. I don’t have to tell this to you guys though, you already know this. Perhaps though, maybe someone you know could use some saving. Or maybe it’s you – and that’s ok too.

Dog Bite

Sunday morning Dirt Church solo ride. Early morning a small black bear jumped out and ran in front of me on the trail for about 100 metres before jumping in the bushes. I thought it was a cub, and waited for others or Mama to pass, but after I stopped, made a ridiculous amount of noise talking to them, no one else materialized, so maybe he was actually a young bachelor bear returning from a rough night and wasn’t sure which way home was. Well, we’ve all been there. It was a tough day for handlebar accessories. First my @quadlockcycle mount stripped (probably due to my OCD over tightening) then, on a particularly bumpy and rocky downhill section, the silencing arm of my Incredibell Trail Bell that was Death Star customized, seems to have flown off. I didn’t notice at first as I had the Beastie Boys’ ‘Check Your Head’ bumping in the Air Pods. After going back and searching for like 15 minutes, I couldn’t find it and gave up. It was a long downhill. So much carnage in one ride.