It’s been a long time since I won anything. I can tell you, right now, this very day, I had forgotten what that felt like.
This morning I learned that Outside Magazine named Red Kite Prayer the best blog in cycling. That we even made the list was really terrific. I read through the list three or four times just to make sure I was reading it right. We were at the bottom of the list, but there was no mistaking that the numeral 1 was next to our name.
I admit, I feel like I dumped Philippe Gilbert at the foot of the Mur de Huy. This means more than any bike race I ever won. It would be easy to turn this into an ego-stroking moment of self-congratulations. I’d like to avoid that. While I’m proud to share this acknowledgement with you readers, there’s a deeper reason for mentioning this.
Outside has been a source of inspiration for me both personally and professionally for more than 20 years. The writers who have written for them are a “Who’s Who” among the best of those working in magazines. If you have worked for them, you know more about writing than just how to construct a grammatically correct sentence.
Their collection of features, “Out of the Noösphere,” served as a lighthouse for me when I was feeling lost in my graduate work. It reinforced in me my desire to write about cycling. I can remember thinking how I wanted to bring Outside-like writing to bike magazines. For me, this nod is an implicit endorsement of that quest, of my results.
As Robot said to me this morning, “This changes nothing … but you know, it’s really f***ing cool.”
In his biography of Eddy Merckx, Rik Vanwalleghem said that Merckx took almost no time to enjoy his victories, that as soon as he was off the podium he would begin stressing about the next race on his calendar and whether or not he could win.
I get it now. I do.
Back to work.