The other day I posted a meme about bikes replacing antidepressants and it got more engagement than anything I’ve posted in months. Every time an esteemed pro (or better yet, “former pro”) posts a heartfelt caption about mental health and riding for fun, it seems to break the internet all over again.
Then some time passes and the world returns to normal. The latest bike that’s stiffer and lighter and more aero and more expensive than the last version. Bills to pay. Laundry to wash. A brand to re-launch. Bike rides become something of a chore, even if it winds up being the best hour of your day. Over the course of a season, a year, a life, it’s hard to stick with whatever motivation we have for getting after it. And yet, we do. It ebbs and flows, but we ride. If that many people in my tiny slice of the internet world relate to a meme about bikes keeping us as sane as SSRIs, then surely there are lots more people who feel the same way.
Candidly, the process of bringing the Athletic back from the ashes has eaten into my bike ride time and made me need those rides more than ever. It’s so stressful putting resources into something before we get to share it with the world, ordering the goods and then waiting longer, hoping that eventually they’ll be on the shelves and we can share it all with the world.
And then I get out for a ride, and I remember why I believe in this brand, why I have given the better part of my soul and my life to bikes, why I strive to create something wild and beautiful, a slice of cycling culture and community that underlines that perfect blend of fun and pushing ourselves. Digging into experiential discomfort so we can practice handling the curveballs life throws our way, shredding a bit of delicious singletrack to feel that childlike joy that eludes us in the post-modern grind.
This is a space for lighthearted fun and passionate dialogue about esoteric bike stuff. Above all, it’s a space to remind us all to keep going. Whether you’re riding around the block or across the country, whether you need a new pair of socks or just some words and photos that aim to encourage without being unrelatable. I know how grim social media can feel, even when every individual post is seemingly pretty or well-intended.
Bikes bring us together. They’re the glue for new friendships, a reason to get up early or to stay out in the woods late. Cycling is a sport that lets us tap into that euphoric feeling of learning to balance on a bicycle for the first time, that opens up the world of fun socks and stickers on everything and coffee shop hangs. Riding a bike keeps us young. It allows us to move through the world at the perfect pace, seeing more miles than we might by foot, yet intimate enough that we notice the sights and smells and sounds of the road and the trail. Access to a dirt road has revolutionized how we define quality of life; what once was a dusty inconvenience is now an enviable amenity.
I hope to ride with many of y’all, to find a grassroots event or a random invite near and far and gather groups of people who simply want to share time outside. By bike or by foot, this world is so beautiful. That doesn’t mean life is always easy or fun, but with healthy movement we can find the little joys in it all.
You can expect a bit of everything here--designs and colors from the forgotten slices of the world, forward-thinking visions of what it means to ride and run for fun, earnest conversation about mental health and dark places and light-soaked rides. We listen to you: already, I’ve commissioned patches based on community input, and there are plenty more goodies coming because of your brilliant ideas.
Want to write or share some photos here? Get in touch! Want to chat or get out for an adventure? You know where to find me!
See you out there.