I have always been an active, outdoors person. It wasn't until I had a family and kids that I started spending more hours indoors than outdoors on any given day. I have had 19 years now where I have been a parent and have had to juggle my personal health as well as the responsibilities of being a father, a husband and a business owner. Let me tell you, it's not easy sometimes.
I have spent nearly 50 years on this planet and most of those years I have been involved in some sort of physical activity, whether it be playing basketball as a kid or skateboarding as a teenager, just being outside has always been and hopefully always will be, a major part of my life. That's why when I retired from my career as a pro skateboarder, I wanted to pick a sport or recreation that I could do for the rest of my life. I wanted to pick something I could do with my friends and family and I wanted something that would be constantly satisfying and stimulating.
So I spent hours and days and even weeks meditating and thinking about different sports and activities I could do that would meet all of my criteria. The more I thought about this the more sports fell off of the possible list. Until I had a memory of when I first road a bicycle.
Remembering the time I first wobbled away from my brother on two wheels in our neighborhood, I was struck with the feeling of independence and freedom that I had never experienced in my life. That feeling represented something important to me then and the need for that feeling persisted with me even today. Suddenly the choice was so clear, I needed bikes in my life again. I can get my family into riding, I can ride with my friends or I can just ride by myself if I want to. I could escape the responsibilities and pressures of the world and experience that sense of freedom and independence that I needed so many years ago as a child.
Since that realization 19 years ago, bicycling has become a deeply held passion of mine. It represents the promise of the open road, the enthralling sense of speed and movement, the quiet places in my community and the challenge of the back country single track trails I find myself pushing my physical, mental and emotional limits on. It has brought the challenge of racing, the joy of exploring new places and has been a tool for unlocking deep truths about myself. It does all of this with the pleasure of family, friends and new people I may have met on the ride.
Cycling celebrates a unique interaction between myself and machine. It has captured my imagination and has opened my life to people of all ages and cultures around the world. When I look at bikes themselves, I see that bikes have had an impact on culture as a tool in the workplace, as an inspiration for artists and as a vessel of pure joy and escape. Bikes can take us on wild adventures and they can take us to the store to pick up next weeks groceries.
When I think about how much bikes have given me and my family I feel indebted to the worlds most noble invention and I just want to share the good news about bikes with anyone that will listen.