Answers from a Bottle

Here we are with another installment of your favorite and most useful advice column.

Stevil, is the UCI going to ruin gravel racing like they’ve ruined everything else?

Likely, yes. However, as I say with anything that enjoyed an initial existence under the radar, and away from the grabby, stupid hands of The Man, there will always be an underground. Music, art, cycling, whatever. There will always be people doing the thing for no other reason but because they love it. Stick with those people, and those events, and you’ll never have to waste a single second dealing with corporate music, art, or cycling events, etc.

Stevil, my wife likes to fly whimsical, seasonal flags from the pole by our front door. I find this mildly embarrassing, but she really seems to enjoy it. Do I talk to her about it, or just embrace it?

Mildly embarrassing seems totally sustainable. Now, if they were flags saying something like ‘All Lives Matter’, I’d suggest having a talk with her, but otherwise if she loves them, they are her freak flags, and you should let her fly them.

Stevil, I started skateboarding again, partly because you do it. But I keep falling. I’m not as good as I used to be. I wrecked my ankle trying to do a kick-flip and now I can’t ride. Is skateboarding worth it if it keeps me from riding?

We were all young once.

The worst series of injuries I’ve ever had were all cycling related, and as I was laid up on the sofa for weeks and weeks, and weeks, I could have asked the same question. Is riding worth it if it keeps me from riding? Of course it is. Only you and you alone know how important skating is to you, and once you have that conversation with yourself, you’ll go forward accordingly. Every session I have I try and channel Lance Mountain’s opener in the first Bones Brigade video show.

I’ve said many times, I’ve been a 50 year old skateboarder since I was 13. I’ve always loved curbs, and ditches, and the weird bank behind the laundromat, and because skaters like Lance, GSD, and Ricky Winsor loved those things too, I loved them in turn, and around and around it went. I hate being injured, so I try to keep my activities as low impact as I can, but progression is the spice of life. At some point, I might learn a new trick, or get a grind in the deep end of the pool, but until then, I’ll just keep cruising. I’m a far worse skateboarder than I used to be, but I love it more than I ever have, and that’s the thing that keeps me motivated.

Once your ankle heals up, the only one who can define where in that relationship you sit is you.

Got a question for Stevil? Hit him up at

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