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Jeff probably didn’t know it, but he’s a very large reason for the headway in life I feel like I’ve made in the past year. By the same token, I feel like I didn’t cultivate my contact with him enough in the brief span of time we interacted. I’d say “no regrets” (par for the course), but when it comes to life and death, usually it doesn’t apply - this isn’t an exception.

So, Mr. Bates, I thank you posthumously. Thanks for the job I probably didn’t deserve. Thanks for giving me just enough motivation, be it in the form of encouraging mockery or diet Red Bull, to ride my trainer for five hours after building bikes for eight - in the middle of a Utah December. Thanks for being a stoic badass when they told you the melanoma was back, and giving it the finger in the process. Thanks for making me realize the value of my everyday interactions.

Tomorrow I’ll say goodbye, but I’ll do it feeling like I should have said hi a lot more.

That’s gonna change.

Posted at 11:17pm and tagged with: jeff bates, cycling, cancer, red june, realcyclist,.