What an appropriate post title.
I’m here with little to no idea about what I’m doing, and you are there, presumably with no idea of the same?
Or maybe it’s the other way around. One thing I know for certain is that I’m just headed forward, and anything else is just a gamble.
One thing I know for certain is that despite our every effort, none of us are immune to life’s cycle. It was just a year ago that I paid tribute to the passing of one of the bike world’s funniest character’s, Jeff Thrasher;
I spent the day thinking about him (as well as reflecting on the fact that I was unable to afford to attend the memorial his mom hosted over the weekend), and as I walked back into my house Sunday night, received the news that we’ve lost yet another one of the greats, Mr. Mark Savery;
Not only was he an absolute honch on a bike, but he was a fantastically fantastic human being as well;
He was a fixture in Lincoln, and a solid contender in the model building nerd-off I used to host;
I’d known he had been battling colon cancer for a spell, but he was the sort of person who I just simply never questioned wouldn’t make it through. He was tough as nails, and a particularly strong sort of human.
I suppose we all say that about our friends when they are in a fight for their lives, but somewhere in the front of my brain I never questioned that he wouldn’t make it.
But alas, came to find that he hadn’t.
It’s just such a strange sensation to know you shared the world one minute, and aren’t the next.
Our friend Kevin Wilkins wrote a few words about the topic, and Mark specifically, that I want to share with you here, because not only does he have a way with them, but because it’s exactly what I would write if I could;
Every reader of this essay, every friend of every reader of this essay, and everyone in this world is at an age where we’re no longer observing from the sidelines as our grandparents’ friends, our parents’ friends, or our older siblings’ friends pass away.
We are here, watching as our friends expire.
It doesn’t seem right, but it happens, and it’s very bad and very stupid and it’s going to happen again.
But weren’t we untouchable?
Weren’t we below the radar enough, behind the scenes enough, unexplainable enough? Didn’t we adequately sidestep concerns over real jobs, real responsibilities, and real life so convincingly that we earned ourselves a Passover when it came to a disadvantage of this nature?
I know the answer. But in hearing the deep, guttural negative, I’m still looking for a way out of the inevitable, knowing that something as real as death doesn’t apply — shouldn’t apply — to anyone in my circles.
Didn’t I just talk to him the other day? Weren’t we just shredding together a few hours ago, weeks ago, months ago, sharing the silent stupidity of the verb “shredding”? Didn’t we just try some dull-witted handshake and laugh it off as our knuckles cracked ineptly? Didn’t he just let me know of his admiration of our mammalian brotherhood, or of my pointless joke, or our history? Didn’t I just tell him yesterday that he’s one of my favorite people of all time? Didn’t I just tell him?
I haven’t talked to him in a while. I mean, I hadn’t talked to him in while. I mean … you know what I mean.
I just really liked having him around. By around, I mean alive. Knowing that he’s no longer in the area, no longer a couple towns over, no longer in contact with those other friends of mine, who I know are taking care of him, is like suddenly knowing nothing. And by nothing, I mean nothing.
I’m here, we’re all here, and he’s not.
I don’t think I’ll write his name on my shoes. I won’t wear a black armband. I’m just gonna be sad for a while. After that, I’ll go places where we rode together, where we worked together, where we learned together, and I’ll smile. Because I think now he’s not only in my thoughts, but he knows my thoughts — he knows your thoughts — and that’s gotta be pretty damn sweet.
But really, though. It’s kind of like, here we are, and then here we’re not.
Maybe as we dodge the bullets between now and then, we shouldn’t only try to remember how things were, but also push deliberately, fall on our hips and taste the bruising, devour that quarter second, not care about it, and live life the way things are immediately.
And by immediately, I mean … you know what I mean.
I thank Kevin for sharing his thoughts, and I thank Mark for never not being one of the best dudes;
I’ll tell you one thing- I’m always happy to use this medium to pay tribute to my friends who’ve died, but at this point, I’m really fucking tired of it.
In some not totally crazy-making news of a world gone upside down, Roger from Hup United reached out with some info on them spreading a little bit of light in the world;
As a team, the anti-transgender legislation in Arkansas really made us take a look at where we stood as a team and what we could do to make a difference. It has been great to see teams speak up and race promoter’s taking inclusion and safety into consideration with their events;
So we’re releasing some socks as a small way for us to make sure trans athletes can feel a little more welcome and safe at races.
Additionally all profits from the team and public sock order go to help a local racer get life affirming surgery. Socks should start to ship out the 2nd week of December.
Roger, and Hup United
Like the Margaret Mead quote that I always refers to directs- “never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
You know, maybe some stylish Hup United socks won’t change the world, but then again, maybe they will.
Finally, I would like to close today’s post by mentioning I finally got the new batch of many-colored key leashes in stock;
As I mentioned in this post, after many repeated uses, sometimes the band breaks at the metal binder thing. To remedy this, I fixed it up with some hot glue;
It’s not real pretty, but it does the trick.
If you have heat wrap, you can do like Pilder and get after it that way;
On further thought, do as Pilder does, and not as I do, because that would most definitely be a case of you following the blind.