One of the best things about bikes is that you can use them to be alone, to get solitude, to take a break from society and the world.
One of the other best things about bikes is that they bring people together.
I met Nancy Linn in 2008 or 2009, I think, when the PV Bike Chicks were first getting started. She was an early subscriber to this blog, accepting its wayward, outlandish opinions along with its legitimate ones, and supporting a voice that was needed, whether or not she agreed with it 100% of the time, or even 10%.
Last year Nancy helped out with the All Clubs BBQ/South Bay Cycling Awards by stepping in as a sponsor through her foundation, Race for RP. I wrote about her, and about relapsing polychondritis, here.
This year, Race for RP sponsored the event again, and in addition to cash on the barrel head, we got a couple of hours into the event and Nancy came up to me and said, “I think a TV crew ought to see this.”
“See what?” I asked, looking around for a dead body.
“This,” she insisted, spreading her hand at the park filled with people talking about bikes.
“Us?” I shook my head. “The only news here is that there isn’t any news.”
“I’m calling the TV station,” she said.
I didn’t have a lot of time to think about it because I was involved in some really important work standing around arguing with someone about something, so off Nancy went.
A bit later, as the awards ceremony was in full swing, someone rushed up breathlessly. “Can you go talk to the TV crew?”
“What TV crew?” I asked.
“There. ABC is here to film the event.”
“Oh. Yeah, sure.” I went over to the news truck, where Channel 7 was doing interviews, getting footage, and coming up with a great story about how cyclists have put together an event that showcases diversity, unity, camaraderie, and barbecue. A couple of hours later it was on the six o’clock news.
Afterwards I tried to find Nancy to thank her, but it was late and she had already left, after propping up the event with a generous donation and getting us TV coverage throughout LA County, if not the galaxy.
I later reached out to her about the event. She had a few words I thought I’d share, because they say more than anything I could ever write.
A week ago today, I experienced the greatest feeling of togetherness that I have ever felt in my life.
Kinda says it all.
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