Something awesome happened after I started riding that doesn’t even have to do with pedalling a bike. I found a community. MY community. I call them Team Colin, but they are far from mine. They are Team Colin because I NEED THEM.
I need their advice, and inspiration, I need their encouragement and support, and I need for them to be in on the fun with me, because really, Team Colin is just an awesome joke that happened to get a lot of traction.
And so, for my tenth blog, I wanted to pay homage to my riding family. And, like every other post, the content smacked me in the face while riding with one of my heroes, Mark Summers, last Saturday at the DMBA Pancakes In the Forest Mountain Bike Festival.
I not only got to ride with Mark, but I rode with his wife, Leslie Summers too. Awesome.
But then the universe took over, and the blog wrote itself. The seed that was planted on Saturday grew into something different. Originally, I wanted to talk about MY close community–MY bike shop, MY riding buddy, and MY family and friends–who give me invaluable and endless support, but then, later in the week, a woman named Sarah Rosen died while riding her bike at Kelso.
My heart goes out to her family and friends. I don’t want to imagine their loss, and I hope they somehow find comfort in their grieving.
Sarah Rosen is a rider who I’ve never met, but is still a member of MY community—the community of everyone who rides a bike, and more specifically anyone who rides an XC mountain bike. After reading about her on so many friend’s Facebook pages, I realized how connected WE are: One of my friends was trying to make plans to ride with Sarah; another friend rides with her in their community of riders, the Lapdogs; Leslie from Joyride talked about seeing Sarah ride at the park; and the connections went on.
Someone from the community that I joined a few years, died while riding on the trails at Kelso–a place where many of US ride–doing something that I love. That WE love. The connections are profound.
A few weeks ago, I wrote how I feel connected to the trails when riding my single speed. I loved how the bike made me feel like part of the trail. I now feel that same connection to OUR community though an event that won’t touch my life in any way other than in a periphery sense.
I’m going to ride at Kelso again. Maybe I’ll be more cautious on the trails because of Sarah, or maybe I’ll ride a bit harder because of her. But I’ll ride, and I’ll do so with a deeper sense of connection to the community.