It’s been a few days since I’ve posted.  Life gets in the way, ya know?

I’ve had a couple people forward to me some blogs that appear to be styled after this blog, with similar reviews and such.  That’s fantastic–getting more info out in the world is a great idea.  RATG is continuing to grow at an exponential rate and get far more views than I had ever anticipated.  Hopefully, we’re encouraging people to get out there and ride.

As for my personal riding, I’m still doing so–a lot.  I’ve been spending a lot of time on the Carbon Beargrease, and my is it amazing.  I ended up selling my single speed bike, as I essentially stopped riding it once the Beargrease came in.  It’s so much fun–so ridiculously much fun–that if I’m riding rigid, I’m riding the Beargrease.

Last Wednesday featured the third annual Thanksgiving Eve ride.  Bikes were ridden, fields were crossed, drinks were consumed, sausage was eaten.  Fun was had.  It was a great night with great friends–the kind of easy ride that you need to refresh the soul.  Overall, the past month or so has been refreshing.  I’ve been taking it a bit easier on myself, and having a ton of fun.  Saturday, we did a brief gravel ride in the AM, and came back to the shop for coffee afterwards.  It’s great to ride and not have to prove anything.  It’s great to ride with friends.  It’s great to ride.

One parting thought for today, and that relates to Celiac’s Disease.  One of the great ironies of this disease is that it shows you who your friends are.  I sometimes go to parties, and worry about the food.  It’s so easy to screw up food…cross-contaminate a spoon used for mixing.  Accidentally forget and use some butter to lube a pan.  Neglect to check that one ingredient list.  I find myself nerve-wrackingly looking at tables of food, contemplating what is and isn’t safe.  Some people are so laissez faire that it’s easy to worry about the issues.  But here’s the amazing thing–my friends.  They know the issues reflexively.  They care enough to accommodate my nuances.  They silently support me.  This isn’t a guilt-trip–my friends who read this don’t have to undertake new efforts to be sensitive to my needs.  They do it already, far more than I have any right to expect, and far more than I’d have ever thought possible.

This blog is about riding bikes, and living with a pretty icky disease.  The funny thing, two years into it, is that I’m a totally different person than I was when I penned my first blog post.  I like to think that I’m a faster cyclist and a better person, but don’t we all?  At the very least, I’m recognizing more and more how lucky I am–lucky with my wife and daughter, lucky with my friends, lucky with my life.  That, in and of itself, is a blessing.  And my friends, with their support, have given me the courage and conviction to not subject myself to possible poisonings (that sounds weird, right?).  They’ve given me the courage to expect those who want to spend time with me to accommodate my needs.  This disease isn’t something I picked, and isn’t something I can change.  It still eats away at me, and makes me scrawnier and slower than I’d like to be.  It still gives me anemia, and gives me a host of conditions that would justify the use of a long list of prescription performance-enhancing drugs.  And I’m still saying no to those things, and accepting who I am.

That’s a change–acceptance.  It’s only taken me the better part of 35 years to get there.


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