For as long as I can remember, I've been blindingly passionate about one thing or another. From reptiles to music, programming to business, writing to cycling, something has always dominated my thoughts. Reptiles? Snakes in particular. Ask me about the diminutive left lung of the common boa constrictor. I dare you.
Back in the early 2000's when Flash 5 came out, the entirety of the human race disappeared from my focus. I sat tethered to my computer in a dark apartment in Germany, my attention fixed on enriching the way we interact with the world wide web. My passion brought ninety hour work weeks, vertigo, and dinners of powdered soup mix. It ultimately led to the founding of a company called We Are Mammoth.
Then there's the bike. I was suffering from a chronic running injury and my brother suggested cycling as a replacement. A couple of months in, my wife grew concerned about my quick-growing obsession with a machine that carries me miles away from home. She was right to worry. I get lost, cold, and wet. I'm somewhere foreign. I'm screwed. I'm in love.
Of all my fixations past and present it's the bicycle that best expresses passion to me: a pursuit so enveloping I pay no regard to the eventuality of returning home. Even when I'm not riding it, the bicycle hollers out at me, "psssst, let's learn a bit about bottom bracket standards, shall we? Come on, no one's watching."
Flying blind isn't always a good thing. My passions lean toward obsessive. Wielded in the name of progress and learning, that's a force for good. Letting them close the door on other important parts of life though, like family and recuperation, has led to burn out and not just a few heavy discussions with my (patient) wife. Since my passions inevitably lead to career decisions, I've learned to leave that door cracked open to ensure I don't lock out the people who are dependent on my success - family, friends, employees. In cycling parlance, I've learned to get home on time.
Strip away the form that my passions have given me over the years, and you're left with little more than a fleshy human iPhone case. My passion emboldened me to cross the ocean and be with the love of my life. It directed me to cofound companies that now employ people in eighteen states. Perhaps unnoteworthy to readers who've never heard a bicycle speak, my passion has led me to acquire troves of knowledge on resting heart rates, anti-inflammatory foods, Italian topography, and ultimately it's led to LORE itself. With forty years of hindsight to look back on, it's fair to say I have more adventures ahead, and I'm not afraid of an occasional tangle with a one-lunged snake.