Monday, April 9, 2007


{words by matt}
It’s 6:30am on a Sunday. I have been sick for over a week with a chest cold and sinuses that seem to want to bust out of my head. I’m putting on a skinsuit, arm warmers, knickers, a hoodie, my shoes and my helmet. As I leave the house it’s 6:45 and I head to the banks of Lake Washington here in Seattle. I see a friend and he asks me ‘Why are you out here racing when you’re sick?’ Because when there’s a bike race named after a fallen friend, you get your ass out there and race, that’s why.

Sunday was the first Brad Lewis Memorial Criterium, renamed from the Boat Street Criterium after Brad suffered a tragic and fatal heart attack during the 2006 installment of the same race. I lined up at 8am, wearing my Team AVA/Counterbalance colors, hoping to hold on as long as possible considering my ill health and ill conditioning. 40 minutes of racing was ahead of me as the starting whistle sounded. After spending 25 minutes with the lead pack and lapping a couple of other riders (at least I didn’t finish last) I began to feel my lungs protest. Having fallen off the back I decided to keep going as far and as hard as I could. After another few minutes I could see the pack closing in to lap me. Not wanting to look like I simply gave up I pushed myself a little further. As a reward, while holding off the pack from lapping me, the MC mistakenly called me out as leading the race. Needless to say I was caught in the next lap and my race was over, but much was made about the mistaken call out by my team mates.

Fact of the matter is, Brad was a great guy. He and I messengered together for years here in Seattle. He was one of the kindest individuals on the road, he’d befriend and talk to everyone, and he was well liked and even loved by everyone. Brad loved to ride his bike, he loved to race his bike, and everyone out there on Sunday was out there continuing Brad’s dream and legacy. He would have been humbled and happy.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

nice work showing your support despite feeling less than 100%. i'm proud of you. also smiling because you are wearing my socks. :)