Arizona Roadside Pictures

By March 29, 2014 Uncategorized

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Remembering FG

By March 19, 2014 Uncategorized
Every year around this time I think of him.
He was a bright, young, good-hearted kid who was gone far too soon.  A little over a decade later I’ve had the time to distill my feelings into these few words.
To be fair to those close to him, we weren’t best friends.  Friends sure, as he’d gotten drunk at my house while underage so I hoped for some cool upperclassman cred.  We’d ridden and raced together for a few seasons, but I don’t want to overstate our connection.
After college I’d drifted away from my younger friends who were still in school, mostly because I felt like I hadn’t done enough with my life.  The word that haunts me in my 30′s was crushing in my 20′s–”potential”, and after graduation what was meant to be a compliment became my undoing.  Broke, sick and living hand to mouth painting houses I was ashamed that I’d achieved so little with all of the advantages I’d had up to that point.
While I was struggling with my own evolution, he’d injured his knee in a skiing accident and pulled out of college for a semester.  The reasoning for pulling out–or my recollection of it anyway–doesn’t matter.  I can recall the last email I saw from him where he talked about peering into a crystal ball and seeing a skinny kid on a Merlin kicking ass on the road the upcoming spring.
Like all of us he had his demons, and while I consider my struggles under the seemingly relentless grip of Northern New England winter, I imagine him fighting his own battles in that same context.  It feels like winter will never give up and summer will never come.  What we can never see or know is how far off it is and for those waiting to ride, it is never soon enough.
A few months after he died I reached out to his mother through the alumni association.  To respect her privacy they passed along my condolences and left any further contact up to her.  After some vetting to make sure I really knew her son, she called me.  We talked for a while about college and the memories I had of her son.  Even then she talked about him like he had gone away on a long trip and would be back home soon.
He was a friend, I miss him, and his loss had a profound effect on me.  I don’t write this to garner sympathy for my own feelings, but rather to create awareness and hopefully prevent things like this from happening.  If people matter to you, tell them in a way they understand.  Make sure they know they’re important to you, and if you think they need help don’t ask what you can do–just fucking do something.  Show up after work with a six pack and don’t leave until it’s gone.  Drag them out of the house on Saturday morning to run to the hardware store. Be relentless.  Be a pain in the ass if need be, but don’t let them slip away.
If I had the chance I’d have said hang in there, buddy.  The snow banks are going to melt, the sun is going to come out and we’ll be riding again soon.

Retro Raleigh

By March 18, 2014 Uncategorized

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Raleigh has a long and fruitful history in the sport of cycling.  This team picture from the late ’70′s features several legit riders- Jan Raas, Hennie Kuiper, and Henk Lubberding  among them and two time ‘cross world champion Klaus Peter Thaler.  Their new team kit features a very similar design, and their inspiration for their team photo is unmistakable even if they don’t feature the same cadre of Dutch and German superstars (kudos to Cycling Tips blog for pointing this out).

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Steve Tilford rode for Levi’s Raleigh in the early 80′s and still uses his team issue bike travel bag.

And everybody should know what I think of Steve Tilford…