I just shared a post from another cyclist I really admire, Matt Jarrett. He and I rode together in one Gravel Metric, and I’ve seen him at a few other events–if life had conspired to place us in closer geographic proximity, I’m confident we’d be good friends.
Matt wrote a post acknowledging change in his life–change caused by career, by growing older, by reexamining his priorities (and where cycling falls into them), and by changes in his affiliation with cycling shops. It rings true for me as well. I haven’t posted on here in six months, and candidly, I haven’t missed it.
This isn’t going to be a long or melodramatic post. There was a time when I really enjoyed writing on here…when I valued developing a readership and enjoyed seeing the web statistics tick upward. There was a time when a great deal of my self worth was determined by how much, how far, how hard I rode. There was a time when the quality of my cycling was determined in part by how new and cutting edge of gear I was using. Where each cycling discipline needed a different, special purpose bike. Where I followed cycling forums religiously and counted grams. Where I felt guilty if I missed a bike ride.
I’ve found freedom from those pressures. Really, freedom was forced upon me–life conspired to change, and I was pushed out of the confines I had been living in. It’s been great. Like Matt, I’ve refocused on family. Riding has become something I do when I have some time, for fun. I have a small group of bikes that are amazing, that I love, that do everything. I have a group of friends that I no longer see for rides 3x a week, but when we do ride, we have fun. We love and support each other. We peloton through life challenges, and pull through for each other to face proverbial headwinds rather than actual ones.
It’s been great. It’s been a lot of change, but it’s been great.
There were people that started taking what I wrote on here as gospel–when I was writing at a time where I really had no business having an opinion. Now having ridden for long enough to have informed opinions, I’ve lost the interest to share them. If I have time to do things with bikes, I’d rather be riding than writing. I had thought about letting this blog slide gently into the night, but Matt’s post, and gentle prod at the end, pushed me to write this.
To those who have shared their stories, products and adventures with me, thank you. You’ve made my life more diverse, more interesting, more fun. I appreciate every moment I spent on this project, and everything that people shared with me–that I could share with others.
To those who spend a lot of time reading cycling blogs, I’d urge you to reconsider. Those who can, do. In many instances, those who can’t…blog. It’s rare to find someone like Matt who is a real, genuine cyclist and a blogger. Much of the time, the keyboard commandos on MTBR and RBR, among other sites, are people who spend more time pushing keyboards than pushing pedals. Gain some perspective. Ride up grades.
To my friends in the cycling industry, keep the vision. The industry will rebound, and you will be the leaders of it when it does.
Thanks for sharing some of your time with me here. Go out and get some saddle time.