“Joey! Watch out for the hill!” Bryce yells out behind me.
It was just in time as I take the hill and manage to make a front flip in the air. The thrill of the air wrapping around my entire body, as I feel the chilly fall air get taken in by my lungs. The world spins for a moment and then I land my bike with a thud on the trail. A new surge of adrenaline shoots through me as I jump off and lay there with my face upward and my arms stretched across the ground, grinning as I realize the aftermath of what I had just done. I knew I had to jump off the bike as soon as I landed, otherwise the bike would have taken me farther into the woods, and that’s a dangerous thing to do.
“That was AWESOME!” I exclaim as Bryce runs to me, wondering if I am okay, since I am laying here in the midst of all the gold and red leaves.
“Dude, you’re so hardcore. How’d you learn to do that?” he says.
“I don’t know,” I say. “It kind of came naturally.”
Bryce shakes his head in disbelief, with a distinct smirk on his face. I can tell he was proud of me, yet wondering how a flip like that is possible, logistically.
He said, “C’mon, man, let’s go home. I still can’t believe you managed to pull that off without hurting yourself. That was rad.”
Bryce stretches out his hand for me to take, and we begin walking with our bikes through the woods back home, too electrified to ride.
Five minutes later, I said, “Race you!”
We speed off, the dirt spraying the trees behind us. Now, if you don’t know much about riding a bike, then you wouldn’t know that sometimes it’s hard to make a quick start. The best way to start, though, is by running then jumping on your bike to get a grip on the terrain beneath you. In our case, it was dirt. As I swing my right leg around the top tube, which is that long metal bar just underneath the seat, of my red Diamondback, I see Bryce zipping by as he began to approach the curve that leads us to our house. I force my muscles to work my legs, which cause the pedals to spin like a whirl. I don’t know how I was able to bike so fast; I’ve never ridden so quickly in my life. I zip by him and make a half-circle with my bike while braking. Bryce comes up to the driveway behind me and throws his hands up in the air. I just stand there and shrug, with a huge grin on my face as I walk into the garage door and into the hallway of our house. Bryce trails after me, shoulders sunken.
Just as we walked in, I could smell dinner being prepared.
Our mother, Katherine, stood at the island of the kitchen to the left of the hallway. She is wearing her black and white checkered apron, as usual. That apron was a gift from me when I was seven. We had a school project for Mother’s Day, where they had given us a blank apron and I don’t know why I thought putting checkers all over the apron was a good idea, but my mother loves it, and wears it every time she cooks.
“Hey, Mom,” Bryce and I say in unison.
“Hey, boys,” she replies. “How was it out there?”
Bryce gestures his arm forward to allow me to continue.
“It was so awesome, Mom, I made a flip!” I say, with my hands moving in vertical motion, signaling a front flip.
“Well, at least you’re safe,” she said, sighing.
My mother always something along these lines whenever Bryce or I would tell her a new trick that we had just achieved. It sometimes bothers me because I don’t know if it’s because she’s against us going, but doesn’t want to say, or if it’s something completely different.
Anyhow, this was my life during the weekend, and when I didn’t have school: go at the base of the mountains of Colorado and ride my bike in the woods, a ten-minute ride from my suburban neighborhood of Aspen with my brother, Bryce. I am Joey Owens, twelve years old. I love hanging out with my older brother, Bryce Owens, sixteen years old. We are more than just brothers; we are best friends. Although Bryce is older than me by four years, he takes care of me in ways that my parents sometimes aren’t able to. I’m not even sure if that makes sense, but I learn more from hanging out with Bryce more than I do with my parents. This contributed a lot to the friendship we’ve developed over the years, and while I try to model him with my sibling relationship with Maria, I can’t quite do it like he does. I find that Maria still annoys me like a little sister does. Bryce and I even look similar with our blonde hair with dark chocolate colored eyes, that have a hint of gold in them. Along with us two, we have a younger sister, as I have mentioned earlier, Maria, who’s eight. She always wanted to join our trips, but honestly, she’s too young, and a girl. Besides, she has other interests that keep her occupied when Bryce and I go riding. Still, she tries to join us sometimes.
She would beg, “Can I go with you today, please, please, PLEASE?”
“No, you’re too young, and you’re a girl,” Bryce would voice my exact thoughts.
“But...” she would pout.
“Mom, tell Maria that she can’t go!” Bryce would say, pointing at Maria with his right index finger.
“Maria, honey, let’s wait a little bit longer before you go out with your brothers,” our mother would say with a voice that sounded like smooth silk. She would continue with something like, “They are probably too fast for you, anyway.”
“But, how am I going to get any practice if I don’t ever start?” Maria would force tears to come out of her eyes, which annoyed Bryce and I the most because we knew she was faking it.
“You will, honey, you will, don’t worry,” our mother would assure her.
Yeah, right. Like I said, that will never happen.
Aspen, Colorado, the town that we live in is relatively small, with only six thousand residents. In downtown, we have one strip of buildings on the corner of Main and Hunter Street. This is where the tavern is, as well as the basic grocery store, where everyone buys their food. If you don't buy food regularly, that means you're a hunter. Bison is something that is really common here in Colorado. From time to time, my father, Alex, goes on three day trips with the other men in town, and usually comes back with a pretty decent size bison. Anyway, our town is completely safe for children, as Bryce, Maria, and I always go on errands for our mother. Behind the strip, there's a mountain standing tall and strong, capped with snow. This mountain is where Bryce and I have a goal of riding in the preliminary race next spring. It’s especially beautiful now, in the fall, because the lights are hung on the buildings, and wrapped around bushes and trees. They twinkle like stars, and provide just enough light at night, that we don't really need streetlights. These lights begin to get reflected off the mountain, because of the snow, which is something that comes fairly early in the fall, and causes the town to look bigger than it really is from far away.
We are just a family living in a small-town world, dreaming big dreams.
Later that night, Bryce, Maria, and I are all watching television. It is championship season, and Justin Carter is a three-time mountain bike champion. All the women always invade his space and take up the camera’s view on TV. It was annoying to watch. Anyways, with a standing height of five feet, ten inches, a straight shag of brown with streaks of honey on the sides, and dashing green eyes, who wouldn’t want to be like him? At thirty-two, he’s famous, he’s rich; he has everything one could ever ask for. Bryce and I have a goal to be as good as him, and after my flip that I did earlier today, I feel like I was one step closer to that goal.
“Justin! Justin! Over here! Can you sign my shirt?” People yell on the screen as Justin walks through the spectators to receive yet another medal.
Justin ignores them, waving his hand as if he’s trying to brush the crowd away.
He turns to his sponsor, “Can you please make them back off?”
Just then, he’s awarded his medal, and a “thank you, everybody!” as he lifts up his medal in the beautiful blue, cloudless sky. It was a perfect win. The TV replayed the bank ride that Justin did throughout the race, which is when the rider takes on a bank that’s higher than the actual trail. This really hard to do, especially since you have to keep your momentum as you’re riding essentially sideways. Of course, they also replayed Justin’s iconic move of the wall blunt, which is when both wheels touch the bank of a trail, and the rider is perpendicular to the ground. However, Justin combines this move with a back flip when he’s able to gain a lot of momentum after doing a wall blunt. This move seems nearly impossible, and I internally get scared for him every time I see him do it, since it can also be fatal if done wrong. However, whenever I see him land it with both wheels of his bike firmly planted on the ground, I have this huge sense of pride swelling within me. It’s almost as if it’s more than Bryce’s typical pride that people have for celebrities. I can’t quite put a name to this feeling.
Sometimes I wonder, though, what if I had different parents? What if my parents were famous, say, like Justin Carter? I enter this world of being the son of a famous mountain biker, learning his tricks out in the mountains of the Pisgah National Forest in the Carolinas. He would be patient with me, but then again, I’d be a quick learner. Afterward, I can see us just going out to a really fancy restaurant, that uses cloths for napkins. The tablecloths would be lined with gold embroidery, and shiny, clean, crystal glasses and plates. My dad’s plate of steak juicing with sauce, and my mom’s plate divvied into sections of steaming white rice, with a side of cooked vegetables, along with a marinated piece of chicken with cooked onions. The onions would be so cooked, that they have a golden brown color to them. I have a plate of long spaghetti with perfectly rounded meatballs as the marinara sauce would work its way into the middle of my plate. Strangers coming up to my dad and asking for an autograph, as the boys scowl in indignation because they also wish to have a famous father like me. I would be so proud to have a life like that. I’m not saying I don’t like my life now, I just ponder on a life I could have with Justin Carter and his wife, Jenny.
“Hello?” I see a hand waving frantically back and forth as my eyes readjust focus to my reality.
“Oh, sorry, Maria. I guess I was daydreaming again,” I say.
“Mom said dinner’s ready like two minutes ago,” she mentioned.
“Alright, I’m coming,” I say.
Everyone had already left the couch we were sitting on when the TV was on for the showing of yet another win for Justin Carter. The table had been set up and my family was waiting for me to join them. You see, in our family, we don’t start eating until everyone is at the table. It’s just a thing we do, but I could tell my mom was getting irritated as I noticed her fingers were tapping from pinky finger to index finger, with her lips pursed and her squared eyes staring right at me. I apologized and sat down, while my face was starting to feel flushed.
I’ve got to stop doing that.
Two weeks later, I came home from school, and both my parents were sitting with straight faces on the couch in the living room. It was as if someone had died, dispersing an eerie mood into the room.
Well, that’s unusual, Dad’s never home this early.
I pace my steps and slowly make my way into the room, sensing my muscles becoming tight and rigid as I make my way to the recliner adjacent to their couch. My father’s hands are in a folded position as his index fingers rested on his chin. My mother, sitting next to him, sat with her lips tight and sad eyes.
“Hey, Mom, Dad, what’s going on?” I ask.
“Son, there’s something we have decided to tell you,” says my father.
My mind immediately thought of the preliminary race that I wanted to register for. They had told me earlier that they would think about it, and let me know of their decision of whether or not I could actually do it. They know the deadline was coming up, since the race is next spring, so I had hopes that maybe this is it, despite my mother's reluctance.
I brace myself for the news of excitement, and said, “What is it?”
“Joey,” my mother said. “You know we love you very much, like our own, right?”
“Yeah,” I replied. “Of course I do.”
What’s this about? This can’t be about the race. They wouldn’t be this forlorn about it, even if they’re not letting me enter the race. Also, wouldn't Bryce be here? Where is he?
“Joey,” my father said, clearing his throat. “You are adopted, and we wanted to wait until you were a little older to tell you. We’ve decided that now is a good time, and we want you to know that we love you very much and will be here for you, whatever you need.”
My mind is racing.
What about all those times we spent together as a family? All the picnics, days off to the park, the mountains? No, it can’t be; Bryce and I even look similar. Do my siblings know? How is this happening? Why is this happening? Who are my real parents then?
I feel a touch to my knee as my mother questions, “Joey?"
I ignore her as I push my feet against the recliner and shut the footrest. “Leave me alone,” I say while still trying to process the information I had just received.
I leave my parents in the living room hurt and confused. I begin to see all the differences I had with these people, whoever they are. I notice that, while growing up, I was never like my father nor like my mother in any way, in terms of personality. I realize that deep inside me, I had always felt this way, but I brushed it off as nothing.
Just a phase, I would think.
Now, I couldn’t grasp the fact that my birth parents would just leave me like that. How could they? I am beginning to realize that my siblings aren’t actually my siblings, but just strangers that I’ve learned to love. No, I love these people; they really are my family. I mean, look at Bryce and I, I feel as if we have a unique relationship. And Maria – she and I have that sibling rivalry most siblings have. No, these have to be my people, my family. They’re lying, just trying to distract me.
Distract me from what, though?
That doesn’t make sense, it has to be true. I don’t even know who I am anymore.
Over the course of the next month, I made little to no contact with my family, and avoided them like the plague. I simply went to school, then the woods that were near my house. I made a realization that the woods near the mountain is the one place that I can actually rest my thoughts, and just ride. I went by myself. Bryce continually tried to join me, but I brushed him off and went on my own. Then, one day, after I had come home from the woods, I find Bryce and my father watching TV.
The news reporter was saying, “Justin Carter has just released some life changing news that may change the course of biking history. It has been reported that Carter will be taking a hiatus from his riding in search of his son. It turns out that the famous Justin Carter gave up a child for adoption. It seems to be that now he wants to make a connection with this child. We are waiting for further statement from Carter regarding his plans for the future.”
I stand there at the edge of the living room and the kitchen in shock.
Justin has a kid?
Just then, my father notices that I was standing there, and says, “Crazy, huh?”
I search his face, not sure of what I’m looking for.
I reply casually, “Yeah, pretty crazy.” Then, turning to Bryce, I say, “Want to go riding together, tomorrow?”
Right when I say that, I realize how much I actually missed him and how much I missed our friendship, despite everything that’s been happening.
The look on Bryce’s face is priceless, as he grins widely, eyes shining, and he says, “Yeah, man, let’s do it.”
Within myself, I know I am just as ecstatic to be with Bryce and hang out with him again. We have a lot of catching up to do, and I need someone to talk to. My father puts his hands on his knees to get up, and pats me on the shoulder as he walks into the kitchen. I vaguely notice the smile on his face and I feel a new surge of belonging, and quickly realize that I am beginning to accept the reality of my adoption. It’s kind of ironic, considering I had just seen that someone else was looking for a child that they had given up, but, seeing that kind of news gave me a comforting feeling that the family I am with now really are not horrible people.
The next day, Bryce and I get ready to go the woods together, just as I promised him. I can tell he wants to say something about the whole adoption thing, but doesn’t know how, so I say, “Hey, man, it’s okay. I’ll be fine.”
That seems to give him the consolation he needed because he replies, “You’re still my brother, whether you like it or not. Race you!”
Racing each other was a thing we did, especially after there has been an argument or dispute about something. It somehow takes it off our minds, and we come home having completely forgotten about the prior disagreement. It really doesn’t matter how big or small the argument was, but we cared more about riding than we did about wasting time, especially for a petty thing such as a disagreement. Sometimes we race just for fun, though. Bryce, being older, hates to lose, especially now that I beat him a while ago. It causes more tension in our races now. However, I will say that he’s been learning tricks faster than me, so I guess it balances out.
I begin pedaling before Bryce is ready and start for the opening that takes you into the woods. The wind blowing through my hair and the tightening of my muscles as I push myself is one of the best feelings in the world.
“Hey!” I hear Bryce yell behind me, as he tails me.
I know he’s getting closer, and I force myself to push even more, but it isn’t enough. Bryce begins to take the lead as our bikes come close to crashing. I swerve to the right just in time, which allowed Bryce to get to the opening first.
“Hey, what?” I respond. “You still won!”
“Yeah, true,” he says, as he pushes the brakes and spins his bike around.
Now, I’ve told you about some tricks before, but Bryce and I like to practice a trick called manual. This is when we ride on our back wheel, with the front wheel being off the ground. This works the best on slopes and hills, and the woods that we always visit is covered with them. So, we’ve been trying to see who can manual the longest, and it is usually Bryce. But, when I was avoiding my family for a month after I learned about my adoption, I had been practicing this particular trick. This was one of the things that helped me take the news off my mind, and keep myself sane through it all.
I approach the opening and say, “Let’s go, then!”
Bryce swings his left leg over the bike and follows me into the woods. We ride on the trail, and a slope appears around the bend of the trail, with the fallen leaves just barely covering the trail itself. This slope is one of the longer ones, which allows us to do the manual trick for a longer period of time. I take the slope at a medium speed, because you can’t be going too fast if you want to do a manual on a slope or hill. One of the things I learned very quickly, was to keep my hands on the back brakes, because that will stop your manual the fastest, especially if you’re starting to tilt too far back. On the other hand, you could just jump off, but that can damage your bike more than braking. Doing a manual seems casual because you’re just freewheeling, but there’s more to it than that. I put my good foot forward and keep my pedals level. Just as I feel ready to tilt my bike, I give the front suspension, which is a system on the bike that’s used to insulate the rider from the roughness of various terrains, a little bounce and then shift my weight back. This is a lot harder than it looks, because you have to pull on the handlebars, and as Bryce researched, if you pull too hard, you’ll just fall backwards. However, once you master that, which I have a pretty good sense of, then the balance is the next thing you have to worry about. Your arms and legs are essentially going in different directions in terms of how it feels on your muscles. I balance my bike and ride in that position for 150 yards.
Bryce, as a competitor, says, “Nice! Mine turn, I think I can do better than that.” He does his manual and falls just behind me. I had pulled over to the side of the trail to give him room, but I am still marking my spot at the same time. Bryce got close to twenty feet behind me, and says, “No! What! How?!”
I shrug and jump on my bike again, beaming. Yes! I knew all this practice was worth it!
It’s funny, though, how Bryce is competitive, yet very supportive at the same time. He likes to compliment people and then turn around and try to prove that he’s better. This kind of competitor makes it fun to keep going.
After spending a couple hours out in the woods, we decide to head home.
Two weeks later, fall break is upon us.
“Dude, I’m so glad we have break, school is so boring this year,” I say turning to see Bryce checking his bike brakes again in the garage.
“I know; I can’t wait to be famous like Justin Carter. I bet he just rides and has fun all day," he says.
“Yeah, it’d be great to meet him,” I say.
At that moment, Ava Anderson, our next door neighbor, comes in asking, “Is Maria home?”
“Yeah, she’s inside,” I say as Ava brushes past us and walks into the house.
“Joey, what do you want to do today?” Bryce asks.
“I want to see if I can do that flip again. Let’s go?” I say.
Bryce nods, with his eyes bright with excitement. We take our bikes and ride the ten minutes, where the forest in Aspen starts. This forest is full of hills, some man-made into ramps, and some natural. Bryce and I prefer the natural hills because it gives us the most adrenaline when we fly through the air. I love seeing the trees line up as if they are guarding the trails.
“There it is!” Bryce shouts above the wind, seeing the ramp three hundred yards away.
Bryce decided he wanted to attempt a flip, and starts biking faster to get more momentum and speed. He pushes himself up the hill and flies in the air, both hands gripping the handlebars. It is as if time froze and Bryce leans his bike forward, and lands with his wheels thudding against the dirt trail. I follow suit, thinking, I already did this, I can do it again.
I also gain momentum and when I reach the top of the ramp, I somehow over-turn my bike and fall to my side, bending the front wheel of my bike. Falling to the side is one of the safest ways to fall because then your body doesn't hit the ground as head-on or limbs first. This way, the rider can at least roll once he or she hits the ground. This seems impossible considering you have a bike as well, but if you time the drop of your bike with your hands, the bike will just fall as you roll. This is what I did when I realized what was happening.
“Joey!” Bryce yells as he scrambles to get to me. “Are you okay?”
“Yeah, I think so,” I say as I attempt to get up again. “Although my ankle kind of hurts. I don’t know why I couldn’t land that; I just did the other day.”
“I know, but we’ll figure that out later, let’s go home, and fix your bike," Bryce says.
Bryce loves looking up the logistics of riding, and the mechanisms of how it all works. He usually does at least some research before presenting me with an idea, so when it's a trick he wants to try, I usually go for it. However, if I'm the one with a new idea, I know I have to give Bryce some time in order for him to even come out with me. I don't mind it, because a lot of what Bryce has already researched saved time, and really, our lives.
We come to our garage thirty minutes later, and our father was standing by the door of the garage, shaking his head in disappointment.
“I told you guys to be careful out there,” he said.
“I know, but Dad, we learned a new trick,” I say.
“That’s great, but now your wheel is bent, and we can’t afford to get you another one, Son,” my father casually comments.
Bryce chimed in, “Oh, we were going to try to fix it. It just needs to be bent back the other way.”
“Well, best of luck with that. If you don’t fix it, just know another bike isn’t happening anytime soon,” says my father.
“Look, it’s okay, Joey, I’m sure Carter has done this multiple times,” Bryce says, trying to make me feel better.
“Yeah, I guess,” I say, shoulders slumped. “But, my real question is this: why are parents so against our biking and the want to race?”
“I don’t really know,” says Bryce. “I never thought about asking them.”
“Well, I just might,” I say, with a confident voice, and composed posture.
As the following weeks go by, I barely have time to process all of what is happening. It starts when Justin Carter was on the news (again), but this time not at all related to his biking and racing career. Evidently, he is in the process of finding his child, who he mentions is a boy of about eleven or twelve. I feel a twinge of hope, of wonder, what if that’s my real dad?
When Bryce and I come inside from one of our outdoor excursions, the TV is showing a segment of Justin Carter’s home, and the most recent medal newly placed on the shelf along his wall of medals. It was already to the point of running out of room on the wall because Carter began his career when he was a boy. The camera zoomed out to show Justin and his wife, Jenny, sitting on a couch, with the host of the TV show, Zach Maroon, about to start an interview with Justin. I join Maria on the couch, and Bryce follows me into the living room. Justin is mentioning that he doesn’t feel the pride of being famous and rich, or being a three-time champion, like he did when he first started racing. He begins talking of how he wishes he could meet his son, and start a connection with him. It was interesting, to me, though, that he mentions that if his son doesn’t want to meet him, he would learn to deal with it. I sit there wondering who wouldn’t want to meet their father, a famous champion? What is that person thinking? I mean, if it were me, I would gladly get to know my real father, regardless of who he is, I think. Justin continues sharing of the great times he’s had with biking, but now it seems that he’s looking to settle and make real connections with people. He apologizes to his wife on-screen for not letting her know that he had a son. His wife sits there with forgiving eyes, and says, “Finding out you have a child is hard news, and I want to support you, Justin, in every way I can.”
Justin smiles at her and pats her knee. The camera then zooms out to the city of North Cove, North Carolina. Now, that’s a city I would live in! There’s over forty thousand people living there! I think I would enjoy living in a place where I won’t bump into someone I know, everywhere I go. That must be nice. Not that I don’t like the people of Aspen, I love my town, but, on the other hand, it just gets tiring seeing the same people over and over. My interest in Justin’s hometown increases when the camera pans over the Pisgah National Forest, and all the fall leaves of red, orange, green, and brown fill the TV screen. I turn to Maria and ask, “Pretty, huh?”
“Yeah!” Maria replies, her face brightening up. “It’s so pretty there! AND you would live in the same town as Justin Carter! THAT would be so AWESOME.”
Maria has a knack for emphasizing several words whenever she talks. If she feels she hasn’t used a word with emphasis for a while, she’ll emphasize the next word, whether it makes sense or not. It’s humorous to listen to her talk, sometimes, because adults didn’t usually understand her and they had frightened looks in their eyes after one conversation with her because she would yell out random words. The older folks feel this way, I’m not sure about other people, though.
My father chuckles as he gets up from the recliner and into the kitchen. The kitchen and the living room are the two places that my family is ever all together. If Bryce and I aren’t riding, and Maria isn’t with Ava, our next door neighbor, then we gather in one of these two places. The living room has the TV, so obviously we spend time watching, mostly about Justin Carter or a bike race in some mountains. The kitchen, well, the kitchen has food.
It’s interesting the diversity my family has in taste: my father loves trout, my mother loves the Rocky Mountain oysters, Bryce loves green chili, Maria loves New Mexican cuisine, and I love bison. We usually can’t agree on what to eat because of this. I’m not so much of a picky eater as Maria is, though. Maria picks everything out, it’s kind of sad how much food she doesn’t enjoy.
A few moments later, Bryce comes up to me and says, “Hey, Joey. I figured out why you fell. Want to go figure it out?”
I hesitate and say, “Yeah, hold on.” I turn to my mother in the kitchen, and ask, “Mom, why don’t you like it when Bryce and I go riding and learn new tricks?”
My mother was obviously not prepared for this question, because her eyes go wide and she almost chokes on her breath. She says, “Well…because.”
I stand there, waiting, with my arms crossed.
“Well,” she starts again. “A lot of injuries have happened to bikers in the mountains. I just want you to be careful.”
“Okay, well, how come you didn’t seem very excited when I had told you that I landed a front flip a while ago?” I persist.
“Joey,” she says, sighing. “I know someone who was in the hospital for a long time because of racing in the mountains.”
“So?” I ask, wondering when she was going to stop beating around the bush.
“So, just be careful,” she says, sighing again.
I continue to stare at her, not understanding where she’s coming from. I turn to my father and notice Bryce standing behind him with a look of knowledge.
What? What do they know that I don’t?
“Well…?” I start again. “Why is everyone looking at me like that?”
“Because we know something you DON’T,” Maria says.
“Maria!” my father exclaims.
“What?” she wonders. “It’s true.”
“What is? What’s true?” I ask.
“Joey, the reason why you’re so good at mountain biking is because your real father is a racer. You have his genetics, and you also have the ability to heal quickly like he did,” my father
“Well, what happened to him?” I ask.
At this point, they begin taking turns telling me of the story of how one mountain biker took a ramp and tried to do a manual down a slope, instead of on a slope like you’re supposed to, and flipped forward and landed on his back. This almost cost him his career in the biking world. He was hospitalized for quite some time and had gone through a hard year of therapy before getting back into this biking world again. As my family is telling the story, I couldn’t shake the feeling of recognition. It seems to me that someone was on TV about this, but I can’t pinpoint exactly who it is and why it was so important.