I hesitate before writing this, because in no way want to dishonor the memory of a fellow endurance MTB'er lost this weekend. But part of my blog, before it goes "live", was to talk about a few people that have inspired me in this adventure called endurance mountain bike racing, or bikepacking, or adventure bike racing. See, we are such a small subset, of a small subset, of a small subset, of anyone that rides bikes, that we really don't have an official name of our group really. Some people call that large group cyclists. In other words this is a pretty small group of people, and with today's technology, it is easier to stay caught up on people from literally around the globe. The unfortunate part of that is that we are not necessarily tight friends with people, or take the time to call, or even message.
So I feel close to a lot of people I have only spoken to casually a few times, especially if we share a common passion. And I was crushed yesterday to hear of the passing of Barnabas Froystad. BJ as some called him, always had a smile and a kind or supportive word for fellow bikers. I talked to him a few times before or after, or during TNGA, a grueling race across north Georgia. In fact, one time he had finished WAAYY ahead of me and was cleaned up and refreshed back at Bear Creek Bikes as I had about 18 hours to go. Had to be because he was 20 years younger, right? Could not have been preparation. Nah, he was better prepared and had youth on his side.
Anyway, Barnabas was one of my inspirations. He was all the time doing crazy big rides in Pisgah just for fun, and I loved to see his pictures and comments. I am sure he loved every minute of it. I wish I knew him better - he impacted many many people in such a positive way. You rarely know what someone is going through unless you are close, and you can recognize pain and hurt. Keep your friends, even Facebook or casual friends, in your thoughts and prayers. Pedal on in Glory Barnabas.