When Pam LeBlanc interviewed me for a profile in the Austin American-Statesman that was published on January 15, 2018, it set into motion a series of most fortunate events that are still bearing fruit. When I first suggested the idea to her by email in late 2016, it fell flat. I guess the 5,306 miles I bicycled in 2016 was not that impressive. But I kept riding, and I kept writing this blog, albeit irregularly. And I managed 4,714 miles in 2017. So riding 10,000 miles in two years did catch her attention.
Then Pam, who is a total badass herself I hope to interview one day, expressed interest in putting me in her Fit City blog. After that, her editor wanted to run the piece in the print edition of the newspaper with photos, I was happily surprised. My persistence of pedaling and pontificating had paid off. But the main thing I learned was that if my bicycling story was interesting to the mainstream newspaper of the 11th largest city in the United States (or at least the lifestyles editor), then other peoples’ stories would also have value.
Interview #1: A Learning Curve
Then David Walker allowed me to interview him, which was a very interesting experience. (See Part 1 and Part 2.) It took me a while to process our two-hour conversation and put that into what I think is a compelling, fairly well-crafted and thoughtful article that was true to his words. Then I really wanted to have some quality photographs done, so I turned to a fantastic professional friend of mine, Alan Pogue of the Texas Center for Documentary Photography (www.DocumentaryPhotographs.com).
After I finished Part 1, for some reason Part 2 did not come so easily. I am not sure why, but it was just very emotional for me to recount the story. When I finally finished it, David was happy with the product, and it got a lot of views. Working with David gave me more inspiration to do more interviews, but scheduling was a problem and several people were either too busy, too shy or just changed their minds. They weren’t in sync with my A Dudeness and didn’t share the vision. like, that was just, like, your opinion, man!”
Other People Are Interesting
The other reason for me to tell other people’s stories is because I’ve never been super comfortable writing about and posting photos of me. That’s why I use a nom de plume (or nom du velo, s’il vous plait). It’s not about me, it’s about the bicycling, walking, nutrition, yoga, blogging – and the struggle to keep going as an aging fathlete. But by necessity I do have to talk about me.
Writing about other people, however, is a way to give myself a break from the spotlight, and expand the scope of this blog and make it more interesting. I mean, I’m pretty damn interesting, but did you READ the interview with David? I mean, come on! You have to be heartless to not be inspired by his story. No spoilers here — go to the links above and find out yourself!
Now I have completed two more interviews, and I think they are going to be really great. For one Alan came to the subject’s house and we did a whole photo shoot. For the third, it was also at the subject’s house. Paulo Hernandez, www.Instagram.com/PaulitoBandito, who is another working photographer friend, came to do photographs. I also have my fourth interview this weekend and Paula will come by to shoot that.
The Suspense Is Terrible … I Hope It Will Last
Also, I have about four other people who have expressed interest. Assuming those come together, that will make eight. And that is a significant number that makes me think that my vision of publishing a collection of these is not so far-fetched.
We will see. I have to somehow get back on the bike myself. Keep walking, doing yoga and writing the blog or my first book about those 10,000 miles, probably do physical therapy, finish watching the Tour de France (no spoilers, people, I’m behind!). And oh yeah, get a job.
Like this blog, I’m a work in progress. It’s been slow, but steady, with several steps back for every one forward. Or better put: alot of hills to climb. For the moment at least, it feels like a bit of a downhill. So let’s enjoy the ride. Stay tuned, you never know when those interviews will come out. One things certain: these riders are going to knock your socks off.
People, bikes, photos, words and stories. Inspiration, heart, setbacks, and comebacks. Trials, tribulations, victories and losses. What’s not to love about that?
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