It is Veteran’s Day today, and the irony is not beyond me that when I’m on the road for a bike race or a business trip I often turn into a semi-dysfunctional mess because of how I miss my wife, my kids, and my daily routine so. Sometimes I look at the veterans I know -- two of whom I work alongside here at Competitive Cyclist on a daily basis -- and in light of my fragility I’m awed by the sacrifices I know they once made. It’s not my place to utter a word about the peril of their Army work. As Walt Whitman once wrote, ‘The real war will never get in the books’ -- and books and movies are all I know of it. Rather, I’m astonished by the voluntary willingness they showed to spend months-upon-years away from close comfort, love, and routine. It’s something I never could’ve done.
So, today, in my best bike-racing-dude way I’d like to send out a big chapeau to the veterans here at Competitive Cyclist; to the veterans of the larger bike community; and to veterans across the world. Chapeau for your selflessness. Chapeau for the portion of your sacrifice I can comprehend. And chapeau for your determination to re-integrate productively, peacefully, and happily into civilian society.
If you’ve taken advantage of our demo program, chances are good you’ve been in contact with Brian Danaher. He’s from the 3rd Ranger Battalion (that’s him with the blue eyes to the left), and he’s a rock here on the Competitive Cyclist staff. And if you’ve bought a bike or a set of wheels from us, you’ve possibly had Jeremy Chandler dial it in before we shipped it out to you. He’s from the 1st Cav (that’s him on the right on top of the blown-up Iraqi tank), which means he’s just as handy in fine-tuning an Abrams tank as he is a Santa Cruz Nomad. I speak for all of us here at Competitive Cyclist in thanking them for their service, and we extend the same thanks to the countless many who do (or did) serve our country.