Answers from a Bottle

Before we get into today’s questions, I have something I must confess. Until the head of January 2022, I have never once looked into my stevil@cyclingindependent inbox. My former editor at DirtRag Magazine, and current editor at Mountain Flyer Magazine, Mike Cushionbury always forwarded me the missives, and life was good.  Since he pulled up stakes at TCI, no one has been checking the inbox, and as such, no questions have been answered.

I figured just to clear out the cobwebs, I’d post a few, and put whatever spit shine on ’em I can, as late as it may be.


If you knew at the beginning of 2020 what 2020 would be like now, what would you have done differently?



To preface my answer, I’ll note that this was originally sent at the end of November in 2020.

I’ve spent a fair share of time these last two years thanking Chiva, the universe, Mother Nature and the good Lords Almighty that after twenty years of dragging my feet, I finally took a months-long cross country road trip through the spring, summer, and fall of 2019. So as to not get into too many details, upon my return home, if the pandemic hadn’t forced me to sit down and shut up for a year before beginning to reimagine what my life looked like without the partner and home I thought were my forevers, I would have done something drastic, and chances are better than good, not at all in my best interests. This isn’t to say I would have done away with myself, but I wasn’t thinking with a very clear head, and more than anything, like wounded animals naturally do, all I wanted to wanted was to run away from everything and hide.

As cliché as it sounds, everything happens for a reason, and the cosmos put me on the course I was supposed to be on. Some days that pill is easy to swallow, and others, not so much.

So to answer your question, of all the things I could have done differently, I don’t think any of them would have been good for me, so in a curious way, I’m happy the world fell apart if only to put the brakes on my own personal implosion.


I’m a lifelong straight white male liberal gun owning cyclist. How can I get more (any) of my straight white non liberal gun owning brethren to stop being such fucking assholes? 

Should I just ride faster and take more chances? 

Caveat; I understand that this is a stupid question. 

So many answers spring to mind, but really, has anyone’s efforts to get other people who they perceive to be assholes, to not be assholes ever been very successful? Secondly, I’m not sure in what way your friends are assholes. Do they feel as though who falls in love with who has any effect on their own lives in any way, shape, or form? Are they so worried about women’s bodies that they feel the need to control them? Do they insist on limiting people’s right to move through life safely without fear of getting murdered in order to maintain their God given right to own a gun? Or do they just do stuff like use handicap parking spots, or throw garbage in their neighbor’s yards?

I dunno, man. Life’s too short.

If it were me, I’d stick with riding faster and taking more chances. 


Leg warmers, over or under said spandex attire? Or who gives a fuck…



Back when I worked on the NORBA circuit sometime during the mid-‘90s, I met a fellow named Tim Horenstein (Editor’s Note: We have been contacted by a person claiming to be the real Tim Horenstein, who swears this was not him, so please read this story, but know that Tim would never wear his knee warmers outside his shorts. He’s not that kind of guy) who at the time was working for the Trek team. He is a tall, dark skinned goofball, who was a monster on a road bike, and had a penchant for all things ‘Smokey and The Bandit’. Together we did many long, and meandering rides together, and I trusted him, and his perspective on life implicitly. One day about twelve or thirteen years ago, we were on one of those rides together, and I noticed his knee warmers were on the outside of his shorts. “Maybe this would be a tactic that would help keep them up?” I thought. I made a mental note of it, and we continued on with our day. 

Eventually, reflecting back on it, and thinking this was kinda interesting, I tried it for a few times until one day Joe Parkin saw me and told me to knock it off.

So there is your answer.


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