There was a moment, late in Saturday’s ride, as my legs were feeling the shakiness that comes with an end-of-ride near-bonk, when I realized I was happy. Not just pleased or excited, but happy. I was ripping through the final hundred yards of singletrack and rolled up on a log that stymied me for years.

I hit it fast, pulled up hard just as my tires touched and felt my body compress as the bike continued to rise. There are those moments when we feel our competence and perhaps secretly wish for a hidden camera that will capture us in the midst of badass-ness.

As I touched down, what I registered was happiness—happiness that I was out on a reasonably warm and sunny fall day, that I was continuing to stretch my abilities in a way that electrifies my brain.

For all that 2020 has not been, and I, like you, have a list of grievances long enough to be confused with a list of diagnoses in the DSM-5, if ever there was a time to sit up and take stock of life, this is as apt an occasion as we might encounter.

But really, and try not to choke when you read my next line: seriously, things could be much worse.

Speaking for myself, my health is good, in all the ways. The personal work I began in 2019 has kept my head above water as I swim in the incessant riptide of 2020 that threatens to pull us all under.

Last summer, at a time when hope seemed naive, I concocted an idea for a new site, one dedicated to the reader experience, a site committed to many voices, and one that might be able to survive without relying on the bicycle industry for advertising.

Believe me, I asked myself if I was delusional.

But like that log I launched myself from, I took the leap, held faith that my skills and my relationships—in the case of the bike, to gravity, but with TCI, to people—would see me through. I’m thankful for Cush, Robot, Stevil, Brian, Heather, George, Yuri and Ms. Manners, not to mention the many voices yet to come.

Cycling taught me the value of community in a way nothing else could. I’m gratified to build that for others.

The best sort of ‘independence’ is independent wealth. Since we don’t have that, in order to maintain our independence from the undue influence of advertisers and would-be ‘influencers,’ we need you to subscribe. For the price of a latte per month, you can keep us rolling.

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  1. khal spencer says

    Happy Thanksgiving, Padraig. And also to Cush, Robot, Stevil, Brian, Heather, George, Yuri and Ms. Manners, and all the many voices yet to come. Its been a hard year. The positive voices reaching out on the WWW, including those here and on sites such as Patrick O’Grady’s Maddogmedia are not an entirely good substitute to being with each other in person, but a whole lot better than living entirely alone and losing one’s composure, if not one’s sanity.

  2. TominAlbany says

    Happy Thanksgiving, Padraig! I hope this leap of faith has been fruitful enough to keep all of you going and put food on the table, as it were!

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