In 2016, I came back to the sport and the people I love most. After dealing with depression for about a year and half, I slowly got back into riding bikes this past spring. Looking back, when I started feeling consistently blue, moving away from the freedom and friendships that bike riding gave me probably only made things worse. It was only when I got back on my bike and in the (back) of the weekly group rides that I started to feel like my old self again.
As I prepare to spend a day reflecting on life and gorging on Thanksgiving fare, it's worth writing down what I've learned to be grateful for over the last year.
My wife. She's put up with me at my worst and stuck around. She's cool.
My family. If I have any positive traits, I learned them from my family. I'm especially grateful for Cody Bear. He's always there to push me to ride my bike, to put the cookie down, and to keep my chin up.
My riding buddies. Teammates or not, I'm so thankful for all the people I get to ride bikes with, in TC and beyond. I was also really pumped to have these people around when Cody almost died after getting stung by a bee this fall. What would we do without all you good bike riding folks?
And this includes the people at Yen. I'm just as motivated as you guys as I am by the outdoor people. In some ways, probably even more so.
My health. I'm carrying around a few extra pounds, but I'm pretty darn healthy otherwise. I won't ever take that for granted.
My local bike shop. Ec, you guys rock. You guys tolerate my silly technical questions and my ability to wreck just about any and very part of my bicycle. Thanks for putting up with me.
My town. I lived in some cool cities, but there is just nothing like the community we have here in TC. The people, the trails, the roads - we should never forget that there are few places in the world as nice to live and ride as TC is.
My job. I'm so lucky to work for a company that gets it. Work is about quality, not just quantity, or time spent working. Having some flexibility to ride during the day is huge, and makes me more productive. I wish more people could have a sweet gig like I do.
In short, thank you all. I'm so lucky to have the life I do, and I won't ever take it for granted. From your chubbiest cycling friend, Happy Thanksgiving.
Wes Sovis is certified acupuncturist and a leading scholar in the history of lululemon. He also does marketing and project management for Swell Development, rides bikes at Yen, and races for Einstein Cycles-Short's Brewing. You can follow him on Facebook and Instagram.