Story Time: When Bikes Aren't the Answer

Jan 2, 2024
by Henry Quinney  
Cannondale Habit LT review
I didn't know what photos to include, so have prepared a selection from the year of me looking mediocre at best.

Words: Henry Quinney
Photography: Tom Richards


Three Tragedies Away from Homelessness

My father, half Monty Python caricature and half purveyor of anecdotal wisdom, believes that any of us are only ever three tragedies away from homelessness. He once told me about a family friend who had spent most of their life in middle-class comfort but ended up living on the streets. Something about that reinforced my understanding of the human condition—that any of us could suffer misfortune, and that recovery was as much about timing and balance as it was about healing your wounds.

I think a lot about the privileges bestowed upon me. In the landscape of media, it's something we try to be cognizant of, and rightfully so. “Middle-class white guy who's only ever known comfort explains why electronic gears are a must-have” isn't exactly compelling reading. Privilege extends to many different places though—where you're from, the people you've known, the company you've been granted, and the resources you've had access to.

The greatest privilege I've ever known is coming from my family. We didn't always have all too much, but I wouldn't have had it any other way. Coming back to your centre after being knocked is a lot easier with the support of another's hand, and bracing on your good leg is easier still with the crutch of sympathy.

photo

The Privilege of Independence

I began running when I was seventeen. It felt strange to have a hobby that wasn't reliant on other people; I didn't have to organise anyone to play, I didn't have to keep time with anyone, or wait at the rugby field. I could just run until I didn't have any running left in me. I wasn't particularly good, mind you, but I would run around the rural lanes that I grew up in.

I had some £15 tennis shoes that I felt I had gamed the system with by buying them a size too big so they wouldn't rub, and some £4 shorts and a bright yellow cycling jersey that I got off eBay. The chaffing and friction were, as you can imagine, unpleasant. I'm sure at times I was nothing short of a mobile fire hazard as cheap nylon met puckered flesh.

I remember my first marathon distance was 13 times around the two-mile block. From then on, I just wanted to go as far as possible. Never very quickly admittedly, but I would fill a backpack with cherry-bakewell tarts and head into the countryside until coming home when I felt something had been satisfied. Everything would have a dull ache as I lay there on my side, watching Formula One on Sunday afternoons.

At a similar time, I got into road cycling. Again, I wasn't particularly good but as a seventeen-year-old, there was something just amazing about riding what felt like huge distances in a single day.

I didn't finish the UK equivalent of high school and a wave of independence suddenly came over my entire life. I worked at the local hospital making sandwiches for the patients and for the first time in my life I had disposable income. Again what an example of amazing privilege, that my introduction to the world of work was more about enjoying my earnings than putting food on the table.

photo

I would obsess each night on ChainReaction over the details between Sora and Tiagra, researching with incredulity that “compact” referred to what seemed like seven different aspects of design in road cycling. I eventually bought a bike, a white Trek 1.2 with red accents, for £525. I’d never had anything so nice or new before. I couldn't believe it. As a cycling-obsessed teenager, I was fascinated with Lance Armstrong and there was a silly allure to riding a Trek. Their scandals notwithstanding, Lance’s high-cadence style seemed so much more elegant than the slogging of Indurain, Ullrich, and the other riders that featured in early YouTube montages dedicated to them.

bigquotesBeing cool is never something that has come easily to me. I tried it once in 2013 and, after a brief dalliance with a backward cap, I realized it was never to be. With Alex, however, I’ve often had suspicions that he was quite cool.Henry Quinney

Alex

My cousin Alex later introduced this thing to me called mountain biking. He taught me to aim for the V in the roots, and that you could get different tyres to suit the conditions. It was wild to me, like some strange fairytale experience where you could suspend all of the rules about what you should or shouldn't do, and just do exactly what you wanted. Go fast, go slow, crash, burn—managing all these things and their proximity to your own experience felt like a new frontier of liberation.

I got an entry-level Specialized Pitch hardtail (not the good one, sadly) and became obsessed with working on it. Needless to say, I broke everything as I tried to customize or tune my bike for the local bridleways that were almost exclusively flat.

I soon found mountain biking is a funny thing. Unlike road cycling, there wasn't a widely held understanding that we are all nerds. One half was 40-year-old men wearing translucent lycra, getting into arguments with horse riders over who has the right to ride a footpath, when in fact neither of you do. The other half was about being cool.

photo

Alex exposed me to a side of bikes that I never knew about. He was far more comfortable with danger than me. I remember him once riding along a frozen canal near Congleton as if it was nothing. He always had the ability to do things that were just the right amount of stupid - an ability I’ve always moderated with too much caution and fear.

We once went to a race in Wales. At the time Alex was working his regular 60-hour week, and running on fumes was something of a lifestyle choice. He picked me up at a service station just off the M5 motorway in his mother's tiny Peugeot 205 and we must not have arrived until 2 AM.

During the race, and I don’t think Alex would mind me saying this, we were significantly outgunned. Alex's rear brake stopped working halfway through the day. At the top of one of the stages, a somewhat self-important-know-it-all approached Alex to tell him that his rear tire was on back-to-front in not a particularly kind way. I thought the man was an arse, but Alex casually told him that considering that he only had one brake the orientation of his tire was the least of his worries, and we all laughed.

I was always very envious of Alex’s relaxed nature and ability to make strangers laugh with his honesty. He could always do it without even trying, and it’s something I’ve been trying to replicate for years without it ever quite feeling natural.

On the following stage, Alex's front brake caliper snapped clean off, sending him headfirst into the rocks. We laughed about it a lot that night, despite both of our weekends being an absolute disaster.

photo

Being cool is never something that has come easily to me. I tried it once in 2013 and, after a brief dalliance with a backward cap, I realized it was never to be. With Alex, however, I’ve often had suspicions that he was quite cool.

It was never just one thing but rather a myriad of clues—the tan-colored work boots that were somehow clean yet rugged, which even grandma liked. Or maybe how as a teenager he smoked and drank, but managed to look like an adult while doing so, whereas normally it manages to infantilize. Alex was also far more easy going than I was. For instance, he didn’t view skateboarding with the skepticism it clearly merits, and could be friends with just about anyone.

Growing up, even though he was the oldest cousin and I was the youngest, Alex only ever treated me as an equal. And let me tell you, when you’re the youngest, that’s a very significant thing—especially from somebody as cool as Alex. I always looked up to him, he took me under his wing, and he’s been the closest thing I’ve ever had to a brother.

photo

Bikes Didn’t Fix Everything

If you were riding in Squamish in the last year, and you heard a strange sobbing noise coming from the trees, you weren't hearing the misgivings of an ent-moot or sasquatch scratching their parts. It was me. When Alex died I started a journey with grief, and it has affected me deeply.

The sadness I felt was like placing a towel over a typewriter and still trying to type quickly. When somebody dies it's just not one single thing that you grieve. It's the music you know they loved, it's miniscule French 3-door cars, it's birthdays, it's places, it's foods, it's silly sayings. And in my case it's bike riding.

Riding bikes is all I've ever really known to handle any element of pain, of frustration, of anguish. And suddenly I couldn't even do that. I found thinking and using my body difficult. There was this invisible barrier between my body and brain; between the trigger and firing pin. I would ride the bike park and always be relieved if I had a gondola to myself just so I could cry in solitude on the way up.

I've met a lot of people over this last year, and haven’t covered myself in glory. I'm not proud, and if I seemed like a miserable prick, it's because I have been one. I miss that man terribly, but I am also very thankful that I have things in my life worth grieving, and love worth not wanting to lose.

photo

It may sound odd, but things got easier for me when I started riding less over the summer. And then coming back to it in the Autumn, riding began to feel more normal. Naturally, some days are harder than others but I tend to enjoy it more often than not.

As passionate cyclists we tend to think it's the cure to all the world's ills—and for some of us it may well be. But I suppose I'm also trying to remind myself that too much of something wonderful can quickly bleed in the wash. Overlapping layers of pain and grief and letting that dye run to places you never intended.

As we round out this festive period and ring in the new year, I’ve been thinking of how, as children, Alex and I would take the strips out of Christmas crackers to tape them over my bedroom door, all in the hope of catching Father Christmas red-handed. And I know I won't have been alone in grieving something as precious as it is lost. And for the others out there, I hope bikes are helping. If not, let it breathe for a moment. It will come back, I promise.

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222 Comments
  • 772 8
 I'm going to read this entire piece all the way through, I promise, but before I do I want to say that this is the kind of content I want to see more of on Pinkbike in 2024. Not low information 'how to lube your chain' videos or unedited first look press releases for headset cups (long term reviews and shootouts are good, though). Keep it real. Keep it honest. More "day in the life" op eds. More opinions about stuff that isn't just bikes and components (culture pieces always get lots of clicks). More abstracts. More interviews. Thanks for this, Henry!
  • 144 2
 Came here to say the same thing. Pieces that put personality and emotion into what we do are why I'm here. This was a really great read. So was Alicia's best things of 2023 because she ventured outside the usual bikes and parts. For me, bikes were not an escape from pain but a way to wade through it and a way to give myself time, space, and solitude to process things i needed to process.
  • 44 3
 I hope we see more of the human side of MTB in 2024 on PB also.
  • 17 2
 I can also second that more writing of this style would be greatly enjoyed, similar with podcasts like the one with Steve Vanderhoek. I enjoy the approach to bike journalism as more than a machine for gear reviews/news and more on the experiential, people and personal opinions.
  • 68 2
 There's plenty on NSMB too, you should check them out!
  • 21 2
 Agreed, amazing read Henry. I've been obsessed with bikes since I was 5 years old, it has always been a huge part of my life riding, racing, friendships, just escaping the world etc. I lost both of my riding mates last January to an avalanche so this piece also hits home in a personal way as well. Thank you.
  • 6 1
 yeah, but there is a huge gap on actual trails themselves.. Bike park reviews, trails arounds the world reviews and recommendations would really be a game changer imo
  • 42 5
 Gotta add my "Mega-Dittos"!
Henry is not only a high-level MTB'er; but MORE IMPORTANTLY, he's A Pulitzer quality writer! He has that rare talent to meld the "science" with the "heart". And to capture and re-inspire in the readers the emotion we've all felt.

PINKBIKE: PLEASE NOTE, AS YOUR INDUSTRY GOES THROUGH A "CONSOLIDATION" AND COST-CUTTING RETRENCHMENT MODE: HENRY IS THE "GEM THAT KEEPS US COMING BACK"!

Henry: Thanks for your inspired and inspirational riding and writing!
  • 1 0
 Ditto.
  • 18 0
 It's called www.nsmb.com
  • 23 6
 Anybody else find the irony in the fact that a heart felt article’s top comment is “i didn’t read it but I like this shit so more of this”? You’re basically telling the editors it’s boring but I might come back later.

I read it, good read. Keep learning, keep riding.
  • 6 0
 Going to say the same thing! This was a fantastic piece and selfishly, this came at a great time in my life as I am currently going through a hard/grieving time myself. Bikes are my favorite coping mechanism. But sometimes it can smother you and those hard days get harder on the bike.
Love to see “content” like this that really taps into who we all are as mountain bikers. Adventure seekers, freedom hunters and at the end of the day… Real people with outside lives. Thank you @henryquinney for this awesome bit of writing and hope to see more stuff like this in the future!
  • 2 9
flag endurafrica (Jan 3, 2024 at 0:54) (Below Threshold)
 @freeridemafia420: and emtb too
  • 3 1
 Hear hear! More of this in 2024 for sure. That was a beautiful read, thank-you, Henry.
  • 9 0
 @Unkas:
@blackghostbike
IYKYK - NSMB is my fav mtb site.
  • 4 1
 @Montana21: I think you gravely misread and misunderstood my first sentence.
  • 2 0
 @james182: That's horrible. My heart goes out to you and all those affected.
  • 4 0
 The old "Bike" magazine was pretty good at the more abstract, human side of mountains biking. At least that's the way I remember it. It was the one (print) subscription for which I willingly paid. Never could get behind the ill-fated "Beta."
  • 2 0
 @mrbrighteyes: fwiw. I read and understand what you mean. A long-form article is nice. A passionate from - the - heart beautifully written long-form article is to be treasured
  • 4 0
 Smile
  • 2 0
 @fartymarty: Its like my 3rd site, maybe 2nd...
It can be a bit.....elitist, or pompous, all while trying a bit too hard.....
There whole article about posting spy shots is a good example.

i do love the in depth tear downs, and some of the op-ed stuff.
The pics are usually out of this world, and thats prolly what brings me back so often.
  • 195 0
 This might sound weird, but here it goes. No writer is immune to trolling and flak from the peanut gallery down here, but I have to say that you, @henryquinney, have brought a great deal of joy into my life. I put on the podcast every time I do the dishes (which is about every day for an hour straight) - and for someone who is isolated in the midst of young fatherhood, and has very few, if no friends at all - your wit and caricature of a personality has been a friend to me. Sort of like the deranged post-mid-life-crisis divorced Mom who thinks she’s best friends with Conan O’Brien because of how much time she spends with him on a screen, I love to feel that I’m a participant in the friendly, mischievous banter, even though I will never take part in the conversation. So thanks for being here, and contributing great material, both written and spoken. The comment weasels will always have something negative to say, and sometimes the people who are impacted the most never speak up. So here I am. Cheers, Henry, thanks.
  • 125 0
 The weird trolling and flak is a blessing. I know it sounds daft but it reminds me how grateful I am to have people actually give a shit about my work and PB, and that I should never take their interest for granted. I'm ashamed to admit that through this process I've sometimes not been that receptive to people wanting to stop and talk, and I am so grateful to get dragged recently because it reminded me of a somehow sacred connection, and in some ways I've never felt more connected to the PB audience. I think I needed that kicking. It put some sense into me. I live a bizarre life where people might want to stop me in the supermarket to talk about the leverage ratios of enduro bikes... how f*cking cool is that?!
  • 20 0
 @henryquinney: Legend. So sorry for your loss, but can't thank you enough for sharing so honestly.
  • 13 0
 @henryquinney: If it makes you feel better, the two minute trailside chat I had with you back in August was perfectly pleasant. Thanks for taking a moment to say hi to a stranger from out of town!

And sorry for your loss. Grief is hard and there (mostly) isn't a right (or wrong) to process. For me, some days bikes helped. Sometimes they didn't. Sometimes friends and community helped. Sometimes they didn't. Sometimes staring blankly at my tv while lying on the couch helped. Usually it didn't. Regardless, it's a process.

More writing like this in 2024!
  • 6 0
 Hey man, Just gonna reach out here and say make sure you keep yourself sane, and looked after. If youre feeling isolated, give your mom a call, or grandma, or old school firend, hell, if you need give me a call, and I'll do what I can. Do feel alone, thats not a great place to be. We are all here for one another, and need to do our best to prop each other up, and support everyone. I'll drive to Cali and ride bikes, not as cool as the PNW, but there looks like there might be some cool trails around!
  • 198 2
 Bikes probably don’t fix everything if you work In the bike industry. But for a plumber, after a shit day at work bikes sure do fix a lot.
  • 27 0
 Graphic/exhibit designer here and I'll second that!
  • 37 1
 I’m an ER RN and bikes got me through the pandemic. MTB definitely keeps my train on the rails.
  • 12 1
 As a semi-functioning human (due in large part to 25 years as a graphic designer)...I third this.
  • 16 0
 Middle manager... I work to ride and most days ride to work.
  • 7 1
 +100 on this. Worked at a shop for years and riding became so much better after I wasn't working on other peoples rigs every day.
  • 3 0
 I have lived, and currently am living what you’ve described.
  • 3 0
 I see what you did there, not everyone did, but I sure did. Can confirm!
  • 1 0
 @freeridemafia420: as a pharmacist it’s the same for me. MTB is what keeps me sane and stops the darkness.
  • 1 0
 @onawalk: it's a doozy of a twosie!
  • 135 0
 I lost my son in 2019. My grief (& his bike) brought me back into mountain biking. This year I ventured to MSA for the DH races, and amongst the thousands of people there, I felt alone and shed a tear for him on the hill. The grief never goes away.
  • 26 0
 Also… thanks for sharing.
  • 86 0
 I am so sorry to hear that. Feelings need to be felt. If you're laughing nobody asks why - but we're sometimes quite unsure of how to act around crying. I'm so sorry to hear that you felt so alone in that moment when we were probably just 100s of meters apart. Sending you my love.
  • 10 0
 @henryquinney: Such a true and honest answer, just like your article, I have been dealing with mental health issues for the first time in my life over the past year following the death of my father and reading this article has been a blessing to me. You've really struck that balance of accurately expressed honesty and care vs humor and remembrance. I hope this new year is one of gentle healing and new purpose for you. If you're ever riding out Swindon way let me know, I'd be happy of the company on the trails.
  • 8 0
 How to give a hug to two strangers through the internet? Best wishes for both of you.
  • 2 0
 They say grief is all the love you could not give to the person because she/he went away too soon.
  • 71 0
 Great read Henry, nice to have a reminder that there are actual human beings behind the editorials. Losing people is hard, and losing someone that helped you find a great joy in life can even be harder. Its an important reminder to not put all the eggs in one basket to finding joy, because you never know how and when life could take those joys away or tarnish their ability to bring fulfillment to you. I'm sure Alex would be so stoked to see you giving yourself the space to be happy again. If the outside editor is listening...I don't think I am alone in wanting a lot more content along these lines, and less semi sponsored reviews.
  • 74 0
 Man this was an excellent read
  • 64 1
 I've been dealing with something similar these past few years.

About 3 years ago, my grandfather and youngest sister died a month apart, between that we found my mom was terminal with FTD (the same form of dementia Bruce Willis has), she died about 11 months later. It pretty much sent me reeling. The months that followed my sisters death, I slowed riding down a lot, because it was all I could think about the entire time I was on the trail, it was miserable riding and the fact my fitness/confidence/skill backslid so far made it even more frustrating. After about six months, what choice I had in the matter went out the window when my mom lost the ability to walk and I had to be on call to help my dad get her off the floor, so my ability to leave the house was gone for a while. Basically this culminated into a 12 month period where I didn't ride at all. The months that followed after moms passing, I could barely get myself out of bed and it felt like everything where my mind had any sense of idleness came with grief. All I could really do to get by each day was focus on things that kept my mind from wandering into idle thought.

Unfortunately, riding bikes came into the category of idle thought. I couldn't get out in the woods to escape it like I had many other things over the years, because rather than being a distraction, it gave my mind the idleness and time to contemplate how shitty the whole thing was. How unfair it was that my 29 y/o sister was gone, how stressful it was on my dad to care for my mom, all the memories and moments over the years, basically anything and everything. As much as I wanted riding to be an escape, it was less of an escape and more of a moment when my grief became concentrated and I just had to walk away from it for a while, which compounded my grief further and I really struggled to find outlets because bikes have been mine for years.

I'm slowly getting back on it. It's been a long road for a number of other reasons, but it also isn't the same for me. My motivation and ability to push to get better have kinda gone out the window, instead I just emphasize getting out and doing what I can, f*ck the rest. I've found that I can focus on the moment a little better, but I still have to be mindful to not let my thoughts wander or spiral, because I know that, even some time later, leads to a darker path.

Best of luck. Sorry for your loss and I hope all of us, myself and you, can find some way to come to terms with these things and find peace on bikes again, but it's not always as easy as I think some people believe. I have to admit that I thought I was a bit odd because it wasn't the outlet some people seem to find, so it's relieving to know I wasn't the only one.
  • 28 0
 So sorry, man. It's not about bikes when you get to a certain point, it's about getting out away from the streets and the concrete. Getting among the trees and the rocks and the dirt. Becoming an animal again, becoming nothing.
  • 35 0
 I am so sorry to hear about that. I relate to so much about the idle thought. With all this going on my mother was diagnosed with cancer. I was stuck in Canada while I await for my PR (still am although thankfully she responded well to treatment). Every idle thought ran back to that, and worrying that she could take a turn and I would have to decide between going home to support the family and leaving my life in Canada behind. Naturally, I would of course go, but it made for a very stressful summer and at times being in the woods alone was a truly lonely experience.

I know that it sounds silly, and I'm sure our experiences are so different, but I tried to cry every day for a while and that helped. I would just sit and meditate and weep. After that, I felt sometimes my mind was clearer to then go and ride without it picking at me so much.

All my love and care - and I hope you find that peace.
  • 46 0
 Dammit Henry. Thank-you.
  • 35 0
 Wonderfully written. Thanks.

When I lost my best friend who was also the one that got me into mountain biking, I had an another dear friend share this wisdom, which was well beyond her years at that point:

Grief is a brick you carry around in your pocket. You can’t ignore it. In the medium term, you might get used to it. Over the long term, you’ll be able to pick away at it with your finger nails and make the brick smaller. But no matter how much you do that, you’ll never get all of the grit and dust out of your pocket. It’ll always be there to remind you of that person.
  • 18 0
 Sorry for your loss Henry, this piece resonated with me for the same reason it resonated with @pmhobson. Our friend was an amazing rider of any bike, effortlessly cool, and more importantly, a profoundly decent, kind, and genuine human. His loss was, and still is, devastating to those that knew him.

With everything that happened around his death, I didn't ride for a couple weeks. After the funeral, I went to Bend to visit family and try to clear my head. I rented a bike and rode slowly, eventually taking a break by the river. Looking out over the rapids it sunk in that I would never again have the chance to ride with my friend and it absolutely crushed me. Thinking of that moment brings a lump to my throat and tears to my eyes years later.

I still think of him on a daily basis and his life reminds me not to take any of this for granted. Tomorrow isn't promised to any of us. Tell the people you love that you love them and never pass up the chance for a hug.

3

-Aaron
  • 8 0
 @ARonBurgundy: I still think about him every time I get on any bike.
  • 5 0
 @pmhobson: me too buddy.
  • 34 0
 Now I am crying and apparently I needed it.

Riding is my coping from a 20 plus year career that just crashed hard one day and ended. As I was sitting there trying to figure out what I am going to do next, I looked up at my old hard tail just hanging there in the garage, all dusty from not being ridden in almost a decade (Stupid career) and remember the joy I had when I first got it right after of college. I pumped up the 26ers and crushed a trail. Nothing by smiles. Then it fell apart and had to get another bike because it was so outdated.

But "I" was back and happier than ever with a new career and even better relationship with the family. Bikes might not always have the answers, but they sure as hell gives us a moment to just think about ourselves or at least make you smile.

Thank you Henry for the post.
  • 8 0
 Good for you! Thanks for reading. Bikes are great, really.
  • 20 0
 Thanks for penning this beautiful and heartbreaking piece, Henry. After experiencing severe burnout this last year, bikes only made my exhaustion and depression worse and suddenly I was left without my main coping mechanism. While I am starting to feel on the mend, this article helped clarify some of my unprocessed emotions and so thank you for honesty.
  • 14 0
 It can be an isolating place. I hope you're feeling better. I found therapy useful not just for big moments of crying and prying upon my feelings like a tin-can, but it also helped me learn to articulate my feelings better. I'm not saying that would be the same for everyone, but I do feel like I have better tools because of it.
  • 14 0
 Love your honesty and insight Henry. I've worked with children and youth who have experienced grief regularly over my career in child and youth mental health. In that time I've learned a lot from them and, as a middle aged man, have added my own experiences of loss to that. It sucks. It's supposed to suck. Having an affective biological consequence when we lose something of value drives us to hang on to the things in our life that are meaningful and matter. When we can't get those things back it just hurts. The BS around "getting over it" isn't really the case so much as it becomes part of our fabric. The hope I have for the kids I work with and myself is that we can feel the pain of loss without it needing to be the entire memory of the person; That we can laugh at stupid things we remember about them, that we can sit in joy for moments remembering times spent, and that from time to time, often around holidays or big occasions, we can feel really really sad that they are no longer with us. I am so sorry for your loss Henry. Your transparency and lack of ego in sharing vulnerability is refreshing. Appreciate you and I know you are helping others with your words.
  • 13 0
 Thank you for shedding more light into your life as well as mental health and wellbeing. Between this article and S2 PB racing (especially the last episode on ben), not only has this allowed the community to understand/know you more, but also relate to you.

Given the size of the PB community, even if a fraction of these people can relate, it's plenty enough to bring us closer together. Can't stress how many people suffer from grief, undiagnosed ADHD, autism to name a few - stuff like this needs to be given a little more attention especially to those who have the power to educate. It doesn't need to be all encompassing, but for now this is a great start.
  • 12 0
 I love 3D characters, and I hope to embody them more. I do try but sometimes it's a fine line to tread between just being genuine and self-indulgence, especially when it's in real time on a podcast or whatnot. I've undoubtedly missed the mark quite a few times. I have a shit ton of respect for Cathro and his bravery in that video though. What a solid dude.
  • 11 0
 Thank you for sharing this Henry, we might all be curious about $15,000-new-bike reviews but the reality is that the vast majority of us here experience biking as a brief moment of passion in an ocean of daily life, with all its good and bad moments and I imagine most of us can relate to what you are sharing today.

I hope you will feel better about your loss, and I hope you will find pure joy on a bike quickly again
  • 6 0
 Thank you.
  • 9 0
 I'm sorry for your loss. I really hate the 'go outside' attitude that comes around mental health discussions. Riding a bike, taking a walk, etc, all good things and good for you, but if you have real issues and need real help... you need to deal with your issues and get real help. Riding your bike can be part of that, but unless you're very fortunate, probably won't be the whole solution.
  • 10 0
 I totally agree. We're human beings not human doings. Sounds lame but it brought me comfort.
  • 8 0
 My condolences for your loss Henry and no doubt it took some bravery to write this.

Articles and op Ed’s like this are something I really savour and would love to see more of, dare I suggest it might even be what some of the pinkbike staff enjoy more of?
  • 20 0
 Honest writing is the single best part of the job. I haven't done much in the last year because I haven't quite had the distance to know what I was being honest about. I'll try and write more writing essays if people enjoy it though.
  • 8 0
 We are all here (on pinkbike) for different reasons, as we all care about different things and have vastly different priorities. As such, not all articles on Pinkbike will speak to you. Although no matter how polarized we as a community are, what we share is the experience of grief.

Thanks for sharing your experience with this readership and I feel confident in saying all of us could benefit from more personal, relatable articles like this. It was an excellent read.

I am sorry for your loss and glad the bike, in some way, at some time, helps through the process of grief.
  • 4 0
 Thank you.
  • 8 0
 I lost my dad in 2015 sad, depressed and lost moved to canada in 2016 for the idea of snow boarding and living in the snow. I had never rode mtb before and when summer rolled around I seen videos of mtb at Whistler online and thought I’d try it out so moved to Whistler, lil did I know it honestly would change my life for the better. Instantly I was hooked , it completely changed my outlook on life, the people I met the friends I made, I lost over 20kgs. And traveled the world racing and living in vans/ hostels on mtb trips I can’t thank mtb enough for getting me through life and making me who I am today.
  • 6 0
 The greenest grass grows in some of the most miserable places. I'm glad that mountain biking has been such a net positive for you.
  • 1 0
 @henryquinney: like PNW in the winter hehehe
  • 9 0
 Here's to hoping there's a special place (read: sick trails) in the afterlife for people who welcome others into the bike world.
  • 8 0
 Thanks for being open about your journey with grief. I am sure it will help a lot of people. I lost two friends this year and it's been a weird time for me. I am still working through it.
  • 11 0
 RIP Alex & we appreciate you shepherding Quinney to MTBs.
  • 6 0
 No you are crying! You're right, the price of all our deepest relationships is that we will grieve them when they are gone or they will grieve us if we go first. Noone gets out alive. Thx Henry for opening up to us asshats in the comment section.
  • 6 0
 I'm sorry for your loss Henry... I hope you can find peace and happiness in your memories.
I lost my best friend, rather tragically, a few ago. I like to think about the ways he made me a stronger, more compassionate man. Just maybe, you'll inherit some of Alex's "coolness" as part of him will live with you forever.
  • 6 0
 Maybe - but I think I coolness gene skipped a beat in my family tree for me. Thank you for taking the time to read it.
  • 9 0
 i needed this today. very sorry for your loss, thank you for letting us in for a minute.
  • 6 0
 Henry, very sorry to hear about Alex. Bike life brings so many good times and the great people that come along with it. Not sure I know of any other sport/lifestyle that comes close. I still have a helmet, goggles, gloves etc.from a good friend who asked me to hold onto them while he battled cancer. He passed on not long after and his helmet and googles share a space hanging up where my bikes now live. Its a constant reminder to me that the passion for riding these two wheeled story producing fun machines is something we are lucky to have, and to ride it out for as long as we can.
  • 6 0
 Thank you. That sounds like a very grounding and positive thing. What a way to honor their memory. Good on ya.
  • 6 0
 I like Henry and the purple bike.
I like real life shit.
After my 2nd divorce, I was lost to the world.
I literally couldn’t turn my handlebars. Couldn’t lean.
Took some time. And some work.
But it came back.

Thank you Henry.
We get you.
We got you.
  • 7 0
 Been through some heavy trauma a few months ago, I've only ridden once since as I'm struggling pretty bad still. Was nice to read this today.
  • 6 0
 There's plenty of time for bikes. Don't forget in all the excitement to get outside we should always treat ourselves with compassion. If you get riding soon and then I really hope you enjoy it, but if not then that's great too.
  • 5 0
 Thank you, Henry, for sharing your story - I am very grateful that you could. Hopefully, the process of writing the piece allowed you to structure your thoughts, provide clarity and help with your grieving. The comments clearly show that it has resonated with many people. I tip my backward hat to you, good sir.
  • 3 0
 Thank you.
  • 5 0
 The towel over the typewriter is the best metaphor for grief that I've ever heard. Being cool is over-rated but elegant prose that can be attributed to you lasts a lifetime. Thanks for your self-effacing Brit wit and your willingness to expose a raw nerve to an audience that can be hostile to the most mundane of perceived infractions. May your grief ache a little less every day.
  • 1 0
 100%. It put words to the feelings I haven’t been able to.
  • 5 0
 Henry and Alicia are amazing humans. PB pay whatever you need to hang on to those two. Henry, I wish you didn't have to go through this loss but Alex would be so proud that he inspired probably the best thing I have ever read on PB
  • 5 0
 Thankyou @henryquinney and thankyou PB community... I don't think I've ever read a more relatable piece or comment section than this & I feel like it's something I've needed.

Maybe shouldn't have read it all on my lunchbreak at work though
  • 4 0
 Sorry for your loss Henry. Can't have been an easy one to write, but it was an excellent read. Fwiw, I did bump into you in the summer and we had a chat about how you werent enjoying your tyres. You were anything but miserable.
  • 6 0
 Thank you. Well, clearly bad tires perked me up a bit!
  • 4 0
 This was a refreshing and comforting read. I lost my Father in 2021 and have not been able to ride at the same level since then. He was my best friend, band mate and my #1 riding buddy. I got him into mountain biking around 2009 and we bonded on those rides, road trips and uplifts more than we ever had. He was an avid commuter to the bike shop that he had managed in the 1970's, but hadn't ridden a bike much since then. He was stoked on mountain bikes!

I have had real problems with riding since losing him. I Can't build up the courage to ride the same features that I used to, despite riding more in the past 3 years then ever before. It has kept me sane, but has also made me quite frustrated with myself. I am slowly getting my mind back up to speed but it sure is tough. It feels like something is in the way. Like something is wrong.

Because something is wrong. My Dad isn't riding there with me.

Later in life he was an editor and journalist for multiple newspapers, magazines and websites. Here is a piece that he wrote years ago just for fun that I hadn't read until after he was gone. It is about us, shredding bikes. It is incredibly touching.

milesdurrie.wordpress.com/2013/02/26/life-on-two-wheels
  • 3 0
 @marlon-d. I read every word of that. My Dad will be gone soon so it hit hard. What a gift it was for both of you to be able to ride bikes together. ❤️
  • 3 0
 Sorry for your loss. Thanks for sharing your father's words. It's a beautiful read and wonderful that you came across it. He is clearly super proud of you and dearly cherished the time you spent together.
  • 4 0
 Beautiful text, thank you for your openness, showing vulnerability and, well, being human. It is not possible and it is not necessary to always have everything sorted out, and the layers accumulated over the years always eventually crack. I found this out (again) after this year's concussion and severe pcs.. It's also not true that what doesn't kill us makes us stronger. It usually leaves us wounded and scarred. Only by accepting it can you move on, sometimes in unexpected directions. But the strangest thing is that it usually comes in autumn. I have had many wasted summers of riding, but over time I have come to realize that everything generally comes back in the fall, some kind of calm/silent relief. Thank you for your work and writing things like that for Pinkbike. This is and makes it our place
  • 4 0
 This is beautiful. Thank you for sharing. There have been many a day I've ground a miserable pace uphill choking back sobs and hoping that the burning in my legs would distract from the grief after losing my dad. But for the first time this summer, as I looked out over yet another spectacular vista atop my bike, I thought about how he'd love that view, and that it was his hard work that granted me the opportunities to live the life I live now. May the ache lose its freshness, and may you continue to find joy and peace pootling around the forest on your bicycle.
  • 7 0
 Sorry for your loss @henryquinney .
  • 3 0
 Thank you.
  • 3 0
 Mountain biking among with a lot of other outdoor activities may be hugely influenced by the adrenaline, endorphin, and ego. How else would one get pumped enough to ride down a gnarly rock face? What else would it take for one to be stoked after clearing a gap jump? What are you going to banter about with your mates over a post-ride beer? Whether we want to or not, the effects of these define who we are perceived as individuals.

It can be extremely difficult to step down from the high horse that these chemicals can elevate us to. These moments are often forced upon us unwillingly and hopefully, rare. As negative as these can be, they can make us better and stronger if we would be reminded that the things we do don't have to be just for us, but also for others.

@henryquinney thank you for sharing. These stories are not signs of weaknesses. They let us touch down to the ground where we often need to be. I hope that the next time you go out for a ride, it will be for both Alex and yourself.
  • 3 0
 Henry, I truly enjoy your writing style, and really appreciate your honesty and introspection. I too love the Smiths and consider myself uncool! Someone who missed talking to their deceased mother on the phone came up with a novel idea: seattlerefined.com/lifestyle/the-telephone-of-the-wind-olympia-grief-hope. Passing this on in the hope that someone might find it helpful.
  • 3 0
 Thank you. I have something similar but it's a long story. Maybe I'll share it one day. Thanks for reading.
  • 3 0
 This is what I was looking forward to from Henry. I felt that GMBN (no offense to them) was only holding him back by placing him in the “mechanic” type role.
Henry comes off as quiet in a lot of videos, but you can tell that he has so much to say, just most of it stays in his head. And I relate a lot to that. But having pieces like this that he writes gives you that small peek into what’s really going on in there.
Beautifully written, Henry. I don’t read a whole lot of “wordy” PB editorials but when I see that Henry wrote it, I always read through. Looking forward to more!
  • 3 0
 This is incredible storytelling and using words to paint a picture of big emotions and somehow wrapping it all up in bikes. Sorry for your loss, Henry.

I have not experienced loss like yours in the last few years, but biking is weird. Making it a prime pillar of your identity means that it brings along with it all of the feelings you experience while enjoying it: pain, joy, loss, fear, heartbreak, passion, etc. I can't imagine how difficult it is if the thing you love doing most is entwined with a new void.

However, there are other things in here that I identify with:
1. The feeling of not being cool.
2. Self preservation overriding the thrill of danger.

Positive vibes to you in 2024, Henry! Learn to love biking more even through pain!
  • 2 0
 Henry, Thank you for your honesty and putting elegantly to words a similar feeling as I've been experiencing. Loss is so hard. Your imagery of layering too much and it bleeding in the wash is potent. I hope our grief can pass with grace and kindness. See you on the trail, when the time is right
  • 2 0
 Hang in there Henry and thank you for sharing. Melancholy has been creeping into some of my rides lately and I choose to forgive myself when I turn around early or skip a ride altogether. Riding is my therapy but sometimes I'm just not up for a therapy session and would rather eat ice cream.
  • 5 0
 Sorry for your loss, Henry. I enjoy your articles and your laughs on the podcast. Thanks for being a part of PinkBike.
  • 3 0
 Thank you.
  • 2 0
 @henryquinney: Your writing, your wit (or lack of) and dry British humour have me coming back daily. I hope you find the time and place to heal, and know this is prolly the best bit of writing ive ever read on the internet (i know its a shallow pool, but your still standing out of the muck with this one)
  • 2 0
 Sometimes i think about it and i am attached so much in riding my bikes , just to keep alive the fire and the memory of the lost ones.And all thats left is the legacy of the memories the smiles and the graditude about that person.
  • 6 0
 What a great way to honor Alex, thank you for sharing
  • 3 0
 Thank you for reading.
  • 5 0
 Thanks for taking the time to share this with us Henry. We're better for it.
  • 5 0
 Oh my gosh @Henryquinney such a great piece. Feeelin it. Thanks for writing it!
  • 4 0
 Thank you for taking the time to read it.
  • 5 0
 Sorry for your loss, Henry. Thank you for sharing. I'm glad Alex introduced you to MTB.
  • 11 0
 Me too. I just wish he told me sooner how bad cable operated disks were on 160mm rotors. I remember he had the first-generation Joplin seatpost on a Lappiere Zestry with the lever under the saddle. I thought it was something out of Star Trek. I think we called the Lappiere "La-perry-ey" like some cheap french wine or something because we'd only ever seen it written down in MBUK.
  • 4 0
 Three tragedies from homelessness is very accurate, and the world would be a better place if people thought about homelessness in this way.
  • 2 0
 Thanks for sharing this with us Henry. Alex indeed sounds like he was a cool guy. A week after my wife died following an almost two year fight with cancer, I went out for a ride on my local trail while my girls were in school. I felt I had to be strong around them but, there in the woods, on my own, with snow falling, I made it about a mile and just broke down. The bike, which almost always transports me back to being 12 years old, took me to a different place that day and I needed that.
  • 2 0
 Thanks for the courage to be vulnerable here Henry. I always appreciate your way of sharing the bike stuff and this will bring a new level of humanity to what you do from this point forward. I always say that I can't decide if bikes have helped me through hard times, or if they've allowed me to not make needed changes because I could find flow on a bike. It's probably both.
  • 2 0
 Late to the comment party, but hopefully it's seen and useful to some.

One amazing piece I picked up from a UK Farmer and youtube blogger called Olly Harrison is, when asked how we're doing, answer as a percent, rather than the usual lie of "fine" "grand thanks" etc etc.

So next time you bump into someone on the trails, and they ask, "how's it going?", try answering with "I'm 70% (or whatever) today" and let the conversation flow from there. Maybe people are better elsewhere in the world, but (particularly men) in the UK, we suck at talking about what matters, and excel at talking weather.

Excellent articles like this one share grief and emotions, and I'm humbled by the positivity shown, but without Henry making the no doubt hard decision to write and share it, we might not be talking about this very important thing.
  • 2 0
 Late to the game here, but reiterate the sentiment that THIS is the type of content that brings me to a site. Bike porn and reviews are cool and have their place, but this is "the good stuff" (Robin Williams character in Good Will Hunting). Its not all sales and commerce for F_cks sake. We're all because of a passion for bikes, and i suspect a fairly high percentage use bikes as a refuge of some sort. The world is on fire, and somehow the sound of hollow rubber on dirt provides solace. And even then sometimes you have to put it down and recharge. Peace, Henry. And thanks for this.
  • 1 0
 Thanks Henry! this is awesome, and as others have stated, this is more of the content that PinkBike needs, not instructional bs and sales pitches etc.

Mental illness is a big part of my story. So is working in the industry and riding. I have found lots of crossover (nearly all of it) between my recovery from my issues and my bicycle as well as the community that surrounds it. Henry makes great points, I have thought that the bicycle was the vehicle to take me away from everything, sometimes it is, not always. I have found what does work for me is having a solid community of people that surround the bicycle, who are involved in the bicycle, ride and also participate in helping others to recover or recognize their need to recover from mental illness etc. Thanks again Henry, be well man.

-Paul
  • 1 0
 Thanks for sharing. One of my favorite memories of my best friend was when we were 16 and explored some unmarked trails on our cheap XC hardtails. With some adult money now, I've got a bike that we couldn't have even dreamed of ever owning. First thing I did was go back to those trails. It's not the same alone. I'd give it all up to be 16 again with my Raleigh Talus.
  • 1 0
 Bikes and the trails are the salve to life's woes, but that salve typically involves other people and a need to tear it up and "have a good time". That can be difficult when you are working through things. So we all tend to drift away from others when we probably need them the most. During these times, I often find myself to really like the solo or small group night rides on my favorite trails. It removes the pressure to perform, simplifies the experience, which allows me time to run through thoughts while things around me look a little different.
  • 1 0
 Yeah! Real content, thanks so much, it was/is a great, it maybe true that a sport can boost your mood, BUT if that sport becomes something else it can be like work; draining and unfulfilling.

Sometimes moderation improves the experience.
  • 4 0
 You were quite pleasant to chat with when I rode the gondola with you this summer
  • 3 0
 Ha - thank you.
  • 4 0
 Great article Henry! Thanks for sharing a vulnerable piece, it's genuine and I quite enjoyed it!
  • 4 0
 Thanks for reading it.
  • 4 2
 Yes !!..more real articles like this ..more about bikes real bikes ..and less ebike content..let that crowd go somewhere else..or just start a separate site devoted to mopeds and Bluetooth speakers and all things kooky.
  • 4 3
 I hate it break it to you bud, but ebikes are not going anywhere. In the mountain bike world they are as much a part of it as any other type of mtb. In many parts of Europe they outnumber non electric mountain bikes. Since they fall under Europe's restrictions, eMTBs can use the same trails as non MTBs. Their just isn't the controversy over there that exists in the States. Ride them or don't ride them as you choose, but pissing and moaning about them and what you think they do to the sports is the equivalent of Abe Simpson yelling at the sky. In other words, non issue.
  • 3 3
 Also the are not mopeds lol.
  • 3 2
 @CYCOlogist818: mo-ped..a lightweight,low powered motorbike with pedals.there mopeds and we live in the USA . quit making excuses.
  • 2 2
 @Bulleit90: These are still not mopods. They have not throttle and pedal assits only to 25kph (15.2 mph). After that the motor cuts off and to go any faster is pedal with no motor assist. Therefore they are not moped under anyone's definition, including yours.
  • 2 0
 @CYCOlogist818: your wrong..there e-mopeds.
  • 1 1
 @Bulleit90: There's difference between an e-moped and an e-bike. Not only am I not wrong, you don't really hold the opinion that I am. You're matter of factly being disingenuous.
  • 1 1
 @CYCOlogist818: there mopeds and e-mopeds wrapped up in a big burrito with Bluetooth sauce
  • 1 1
 @Bulleit90: They're still not mopeds, but I do like burritos. Especially from Oscar's.
  • 3 0
 Sorry about your cousin, Henry. This editorial was a lovely bit of lemonade you've squeezed out of that lemon. Thanks for sharing it with us.
  • 1 0
 Well that certainly explains the stop/start riding in the youtube videos you've done of late.

Anyway, with the joke out the way, I can't imagine this is something easy to type out, let alone post on a fairly popular website of your peers. Deffo resonates.
  • 1 0
 Grief is a really tough thing to deal with. For me, bikes have always been an escape that cured or maybe numbed whatever I was dealing with at the time. If I could just exhaust myself every day, then I had a lesser chance of being an asshole. When my dad passed, it was suddenly important to take more time to reflect. There was just too many feelings, and bikes weren't the panacea they once were. Thanks for this piece. It's was a nice read. I hope your healing continues.
  • 2 0
 Sorry man, it does get closer to normal, never like it was just better. I’m convinced they want us to enjoy our time left like they would have or better. It that it helps but it makes it a bit easier. Great article.
  • 1 0
 Amazing piece of writing and thank you for sharing. I'm not even going to try and compare this story to you, but I totally get what you're saying. In the last 5 years, I broke my collarbone then dislocated that shoulder 4 times riding. Add in a separated AC joint in the middle and the hobby I knew, loved and adored became a terrifying experience for the mind. In 2023 I rode less than 10 times but time is a great healer. Also my first year hospital-free since 2017. Sending good vibes your way man, nothing in life is easy.
  • 1 0
 Sometimes Pinkbike gives us the connection to the natural world that we all are looking for. This is real and viceral. Life can be really shit at times but when articles come on here that detail the actual part of the bike that matters (the rider) it shows real people doing life. Life is like a day long, arduous ride. Periods of grind and times of utter bliss all wrapped up in a short adventure. More articles on epic adventures and down to earth, meaningful things please. Less of boutique shit that the majority of us can't really afford.
  • 1 0
 Oy, what is this, NSMB?
Just kidding. Keep up the good work Henry. Your writing is superb, even if American is not your native tongue. It takes guts to be as opinionated as you are, and to be as open as you are in this article. Your work and presence here are truly appreciated.
  • 1 0
 Mtb are absolutely everything for me. Saved my life, changed it for the better in just about every way. Made life long true friends, inspired me to start my own business just to have more freedom to ride and enough income to support Mtb lifestyle. Been a trail and features builder for over 30 years in my local area and helped build the Mtb scene in my area as well. Mtb lifestyle as a choice will give you all the blessings you will ever need in life.
  • 1 0
 Henry, I'm so sorry for your loss.

2018 was my year to try and ride (and run) from grief and emotion. The passing of my father, then my grandmother. The end of my marriage. Eventually, I ran myself into a fractured femoral neck and a left total hip replacement.

The bike went from a refuge to a burden. I took 2.5 years away, until I truly missed and wanted it again. I've been back 3 years now and it was a much-needed break, and now I can enjoy the sport I love again.

Thank you for sharing your struggles, and good luck moving forward with joy and purpose.
  • 1 0
 I wish there were just a simple "like" button for pieces like this. Not for some social media-like hit count status statistics, but just as a way to simply give the writer a pat on the back as I ride by and to say, "Sorry for your loss and I understand. Also, amazingly well written. Thanks!"
  • 1 0
 Nice writeup @henryquinney , and thanks for sharing. Having lost my wife, and written about it a few times on this very site, I get what you're putting down. The loss of someone special is hard, and very hard, at moments. Something I can agree on with you is that the forest can help to heal. Don't be afraid to ask for help though.
  • 1 0
 Thank you @henryquinney for talking about something so personal yet true to many people according to all these kind comments.
I believe I am going through a similar phase after the loss of my parents and experience a similar loss of desire to ride my bikes. I found myself wondering what the heck I was doing on a bike in the middle of the trails despite being on the best trails I know and with friends I love.

Being in the bike industry as well, I feel it creates a kind of guilt not to be enjoying riding while we are so lucky to work with our passion. The colleagues also have a hard time understanding the change in behavior and being our job, there is kind of an expectation to ride, which doesn’t help feeling at ease with it.

I let winter pass by while enjoying other things I like and who knows how the summer will feel like on a bike. I am confident it will come back, but have a hard time not knowing when.. Reading your article helps accepting it.

Would be a pleasure meeting you with both the pleasure to ride and share the passion back at 100%!
Wish you strength for the time to come.
Mariano

Btw, I also had my time being a prick. Happy this is behind me. (or at least, not to realize it anymore Big Grin )
  • 1 0
 Thanks for sharing @henryquinney. I was about your age when my friend Magnus lost his battle with cancer. We were riding buddies (dirt bikes) and members of the same motorcycle club. It was the first time that I cried uncontrollably and it hit me hard. I don't think I actually realized how much he meant to me until after he was gone. I would frequently talk to him and ask him to ride along with me after he was gone. I hope all the memories of good times with Alex will replace your sorrow and maybe he can ride along with you on your next ride.
  • 1 0
 Great honest article. Had it been a video, I would have clicked away. Nothing beats reading a soulful piece of writing. Hope you'll feel better soon and realize that your connection to Alex remains through you using the skills he showed you riding a bike.
  • 1 0
 The is so true if I never got into racing bikes I would have never broke my spine ...wich i went from making 180 thousand a year as MTA supervisor at 23 to know I'm 38 and I have zero income I can barely walk and if it wasn't for me have family I would be homeless I have multi level fusion in my spine and a spinal stimulator to help relieve pain that never goes away
  • 1 0
 Nice writing Henry, I hope the grief starts to retreat soon and you can remember the great times with a smile. Sometimes I feel the same as other commenters, MTB media is always trying to sell me something, and not telling a story about mtbr's or the places they ride. This is bittersweet goodness
  • 1 0
 Best thing I’ve ever read on Pinkbike. Thank you for sharing, Henry. Pieces like this are important because they remind us that healing is impossible without feeling— and a little help.
  • 1 0
 Dear HQ. I asked my dad to buy me a case of power bars in the mid 90s as I thought I might become a pro rider. His response: “why don’t you put a potato in your Jersey? That’ll give you the same calories”
  • 4 0
 Throwing you some positive vibes and love from the TRC team.
  • 3 0
 Thank you. Much love.
  • 3 0
 I’m sorry for your loss Henry, and thankful you had the courage to share that.
  • 4 0
 Thankful to have an audience to share it with! Cheers.
  • 1 0
 Thank you Henry. I feel your pain. I lost a friend a long time ago that when I think of him it stills brings me to tears. Stay strong my friend, time heals, but until then time numbs. Much love, much respect.
  • 1 0
 That’s a great piece of writing Henry. Thank you for letting us see behind the curtain, I hope 2024 is better for you, me and everyone else who lost family and friends in 2023…
  • 1 0
 @henryquinney Thank you for being real, thank you for being honest, thank you for sharing, thank you for shedding light on the fact that sometimes, bikes aren't the only answer a person needs.
  • 1 0
 We are more the same than different. Good for you for being able to navigate your thoughts, grieve it, process and put it out so elegantly. I had a similar experience a few years ago.
  • 1 0
 Great read @henryquinney I've been in a similar situation, where biking is actually the only thing that helped. It was nice to see it from a different perspective. More of this content please.
  • 3 0
 Thanks for those thoughtful words, Henry. Sorry for your loss.
  • 4 0
 Thank you for the kind words.
  • 1 0
 Well written Henry. Sorry for your loss. This piece will hit home with a lot of people here. Couldn’t have said any of it any better. Perfect and thank you.
  • 1 0
 Sorry for your loss, Henry, and thanks for the open and honest piece. We all need reminders like this. It's okay to leave the bike at home some days.
  • 4 0
 Thanks Henry
  • 2 0
 thanks for this. pinkbike, id enjoy seeing more of this type of thing. much love
  • 2 0
 So sorry for your loss Henry, but what a treasure, a great piece of work you have derived from it. Steady on everyone!
  • 1 0
 I can't add much that hasn't already been said here but thanks for sharing this. It was a good read and an important reminder. Wishing you much peace and healing for 2024.
  • 1 0
 I’m not crying, you’re crying. Thanks for that Spandex Morrissey. All kidding aside, that was truly worthwhile reading. Much love
  • 2 0
 HQ, thank you man. Thank you for vulnerability, honesty, and great content. Cheers to real life, and a bikes alike.
  • 1 0
 The first time I saw Henry on GMBN I knew he is a good one.

More Softness on Pinkbike please.
Life is hard enough when you ride a hardtail :E
  • 1 0
 Henry, sorry to hear youve been going through those hard things. Thanks for sharing and encouraging us to as well. Take care of yourself, best wishes
  • 1 0
 If this spoke to you...you're searching for something, readily available in other places...that may only randomly peak it's head on an MTB site....
  • 1 0
 Step 1: Write about your pain. Step 2: Share it with anyone who will read about it. Step 3: Repeat until you smile for an entire day. You're on your way to brighter rides.
  • 1 0
 Thanks so much for sharing that. Talking about this stuff publicly serves a great purpose.
  • 1 0
 Great job writing and reflecting on the situation so well. Sorry for your loss.
  • 1 0
 Oh man, the human condition….
Great article, another gem from the PB crew…..
  • 2 0
 Thanks for sharing Henry.
  • 2 0
 Thanks you Henry. No words.
  • 1 0
 Riding doesn't fix everything. From death to injury, we have to look at what we have available.
  • 2 0
 Beautifully written Henry. Thank you for sharing this.
  • 1 0
 Stories will always be more engaging than facts - I say this as one inclined to share the latter. Thanks for sharing this.
  • 3 0
 ❤️ Alex
  • 1 0
 Change the word "privileged" to "blessed". Re-examine life and appreciate how blessed you are.
  • 2 0
 Yup - top read, never a truer word 'spoken'!
  • 2 0
 Really well written and a great read, thank you.
  • 2 0
 Just beautiful Henry, best thing I've read this year Smile
  • 2 0
 Lots of love Henry. That was a beautiful article.
  • 2 0
 This article is coming at a good time for me. Thanks Henry.
  • 2 0
 10/10 article. Likely the best one ever published on this site.
  • 2 0
 Great read, thanks for sharing!
  • 1 0
 Thank you for your honesty.
  • 1 0
 Absolutely fantastic piece, thanks!!
  • 2 0
 Wonderful thoughts.
  • 2 0
 Really well done.
  • 1 0
 This is your best work Henry. Thank you.
  • 1 0
 That was awesome, Henry. Thanks for this.
  • 2 1
 Bikes are not always the answer but most often they are.
  • 1 0
 Sounds like he was a hell of a guy. Thanks for sharing
  • 1 0
 Thanks for sharing Henry, I really enjoyed that. Smile
  • 1 0
 Bravely and beautifully expressed.
  • 1 0
 An absolute masterpiece. Thanks Henry, sorry for your loss.
  • 1 0
 RIP. Thank you for sharing and your vulnerability.
  • 1 0
 Good stuff Henry. Thank you!
  • 1 0
 Condolences, thanks for sharing.
  • 1 0
 Excellent and honest piece.
  • 1 0
 Thanks for sharing Henry. Those are lovely words for a real life.
  • 1 0
 Thanks Henry
  • 1 0
 Henry's the best!
  • 1 0
 Yeah, nice reading.
  • 3 3
 Myself, I’m pretty tired of “feelings.”
  • 1 0
 Thank you for sharing.
  • 1 0
 Good stuff, Henry.
  • 1 0
 #freeparkbaker
  • 1 2
 Henry's cover letter for the PB position
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