When I began racing bikes several years ago, I was not alone. My brother, Steve, and I were together at almost every race. Throughout the years of racing, we have met and become friends with many other racers, to the point that the race itself has become secondary, and the primary function of racing is seeing our friends at the venue.
Among these friends are two other sets of brothers, the Bradleys and the Cottles. Seth Bradley told me, "you and Steve are the fast brothers, we're the good-looking brothers." I don't know about this, given that Seth and I have raced a lot together, and he has finished ahead of me quite a bit more than I have finished ahead of him. Besides, for a short, paunchy, middle-aged guy with thinning hair who has been given the nickname "Gimli," I think I'm reasonably good-looking. Regardless, the Cottles are the wise brothers, universally admired both for their success on the race course as well as their kindness and insight when mentoring other racers.
Just over a year ago, I was fearful I would lose my brother after a racing accident. In the fickle game of roulette that is life, Seth lost his brother Matt this spring, while Daren's brother Doug passed away over the weekend. In each case, like Steve, it was an unforeseeable accident. There is no good explanation and no platitude that will make it all feel better. I am simply reminded to never trade the assurance of a today for the assumption of a tomorrow.