Reader mail: This made my day

I got a nice email today, the kind that validates the Mission (with a capital M).

The more you click, the more I can post. Lee Likes Groceries dot com!

Hey Lee,

Listen I just want to let you know how much I appreciate you writing the book with Brian Lopes and sharing everything you do on your site. Your riding tips are indespensible and the insights you’ve given me on life, marriage and riding have been priceless.

Reading about what you’ve personally been through recently has really helped me to formulate my feelings about riding to my wife. There is really too much to say to go into detail, but I just finished a lengthy email to her that I hope explains my passion for cycling and will help us become closer as a couple and as new parents.

Thank you!

— Tom

6 replies
  1. tony says:

    “MTB is a 13 letter word: communication.”

    (origin of quote- Cosmopolitan magazine article titled “Sex: a 13 letter word”)

    My wife and I just had a similar email conversation after a 3 day weekend of riding (I was in a groove). She was so hot about my MTB “obsession” that we couldn’t talk. We finally sat down and wrote to eachother and came away with the same “teary eyes” as you and yours, Tom.

    Di and I have been together since H.S (24 years now). We both reflected that when we first started dating, we would write letters to eachother midweek as we only saw eachother on the weekends (attended different schools). Now, I guess we should write more often b/c we only see each other on the week days…

    In the end, we agreed to one long and one short ride per weekend (and whatever I can fit in on my own time during the week). Compromise is only 10 letters, but it’s important too.


    ps After the talk, Diane agreed to buy me a new bike too…she must really love me.
    H-E-C-K-L-E-R = 7 beautiful letters!

  2. John says:

    when my wife complained I just bought my whole family bikes. Tire the girls out on the first loop then me and my son go to do some mre tech stuff!!!! Try it, it works and they dig the fact that they are included. I learned this after my first wife!

  3. Tom Sager says:

    Wow Lee, Thanks again, I think this issue has a lot of depth and significance amongst us hardcore bike riders and our significant others. With your permission, I would like to submit the email I sent to my wife. Maybe it can help others the way you and the other posters have helped me. I will try to include some context to the pertinant parts and get ready it’s quite a rant aka: stream of consciousness 😉

    Hi Sweetie,

    I just finished reading a blog on, one of the “bike porn” sites I frequent (that what she calls the websites I’m on all the time, you know, comparing fork specs and the like) and It got me thinking about you and me. The author of the site, Lee McCormack co-wrote the book “Mastering Mountain Biking Skills” I got a while back. To me, he’s a pretty incredible guy. He started this site based on his love of mountain biking and his connections with pro Mt. Bikers. It’s a place where mountain bikers can ask advice, get tips, share experiences etc.

    He is going through a divorce which is really sad and what seems to be the reason is that he and his wife are just heading in different directions on their life paths. I don’t want this to freak you out because I’m not trying to imply anything about us – honest! I just know that 95% of the time I don’t communicate what I’m truly feeling moment to moment and I feel I need to share with you what’s going on in my head when I seem distant and I always want to go ride my bike. This seems to you like I don’t want to hang out with you or Gracie. I will try to explain what’s really going on. Over the past 3 years I have become so PASSIONATE about bike riding, more passionate than I think I’ve ever been about anything. When I was young and used to ride and race BMX I felt this same passion but I let it slip away into other less worthy interests and pursuits. I’m not sure that you can really understand how life changing the past 3 years have been for me as a person and how great I feel physically and mentally since I’ve been biking again (you probably do know, more than I give you credit – sorry about that). Where am I when I’m in my box? I’m thinking about riding, wishing I was riding, I’m trying to work through in my head ways to conquer the challenges that I haven’t been able to overcome in my riding. It’s become an obsession, although I think for me a healthy one. A journey I need to go on.

    If your dancing or anything else in your life ever made you feel this way YOU MUST find it again. (My wife used to be a professional dancer and co-directed a modern dance company) There are so many different ways that you can still be involved in something that you loved. For instance, just by finding a dance blog site that can keep you up on what’s happening in dance and inspire you. If they have them for bikes I’m sure they have them for dancing. My biggest regret in life is that I stopped riding my bike, but I am glad that I found that passion again. When we went to Asheville I thought we had some great ideas on how to get what we want out of Winchester. (We were thinking of moving from Winchester VA, an up and coming community, to Asheville NC, a town with more culture and I know, some awesome Mt. Biking. We decided that we could have more of an impact in shaping a smaller town into what we want than to try and find it somewhere where the changes and culture have already been set by others agendas and I know you west coast folks will laugh but the traffic is really bad!) I hope we will follow up on them in the future. I know that things RIGHT NOW are tough at work and with Gracie, the car, the house and me and etc. (You know LIFE but with all capitals!) But I hope as you make the decisions that will outline you path over the next weeks, months, years etc. You will put yourself and your soulful passions first and before what you think other people’s needs are. Make yourself # 1 honey, I will support you and the rest will fall into place. Think about doing things because you love them and don’t make something you love into something that can be a drag (like making commitments that you might not always be able to meet or things that have time constraints). One of the things I love most about cycling is that I can do it whenever I want, whenever it’s convenient, for 5 minutes or for 5 days. I love that I’m not “on the clock”. It truly fits and suits me like nothing else, and on top of it all, it’s healthy, good for the environment, and once you have your bike, it’s free. (Yes, I have 6 and she has 2, hers collect dust where mine collect BRAAAP!)

    Write down what the things are you enjoy or might enjoy if you tried them. Then ask yourself, or write down, what you want to get out of an activity – be honest. Do you long for an escape from reality while doing it? Do you want it to improve your fitness? Do you want it in order to connect with other people? Use you imagination and brainstorm. What ever it may turn out to be approach it as a life-long journey in which there is no final destination, just an evolving thing, the journey and the life long experiences are the whole point. It’s those feelings that you have in the moment when you’re doing it that are what make you long to do it when your doing something else – (I should have paid attention in English class – Sorry). I’m proud of you for doing your book club and yoga I hope they are filling some of the void.

    I am really not trying to preach, although I probably sound like I am. I truly want for you something like I have found in cycling. I feel like I can’t have a bad day if I can spend even a small part of it riding my bike. It’s probably hard for the majority of people to understand this. They see bikes as a childish pursuit that should be outgrown and that there’s a time when you need to grow up. Those people just don’t understand, they don’t understand that bicycles keep you feeling young and will keep me feeling young as long as I can still turn the pedals. Cycling is something that more than anything else I want to share with Gracie, I want to take her down the sidewalk this summer on a Norco run bike and watch the look on her face when she realizes she can propel herself under her own power and balance a bike on two wheels. When she’s 8 I want to watch her smoke the powder puff class at the BMX track and teach her how to wheelie and bunny hop. I want to take her out on the trail when she’s 14 years old like Chris Massoneau did with his son Andrew and me on Sunday and watch her catch air off a double track lip and rail a berm flying down the mountain. When she’s 21, I want to see the grimace in her face as she nears the finish of her first century ride, legs burning, heart pounding and her soul filled with determination and passion. The other times I hope to be right there with her sharing in these experiences forging an irresistible bond that will always link us as father and daughter. More than any of this I’ve wanted to share this and other cycling experiences with you honey. I understand that what makes me happy isn’t for everyone but when you love something as much as I love cycling you want nothing more than to share it with the people you love. I know you wanted to share your love of dance with me and whether you realize it or not I VERY MUCH enjoyed watching your performances (except setting up and breaking down shows, I got plenty of that doing movies and I hated that too) and hearing peoples comments on how good you were and I love telling people that you are a dancer and seeing their impressed looks. I am very proud of you and I love your passion for dancing. Would I ever want to dance? Well, no. Do you sometimes wish that I did? -probably. That’s OK and probably how you feel about cycling and I can respect that.

    I know this has become quite a rant and I’ve spent the entire day adding to this when I had time. This all got sparked by the threads I was reading on Lee Likes Bikes. The bottom line is that even if we are not personally interested in the others passions lets still support and encourage each other in whatever it is that makes us a happy and complete person. I would be happy to share with you later the specific threads on the website and talk more with you about my passions and I would love for you to tell me more about yours.

    I Love You Honey

    Thank you for marrying me and for sticking by me in good or bad. Lets keep being their for each other and trusting each other completely.

    Looking forward to seeing you later -Tommy

  4. Mon says:

    When we were still dating, my wife and I were avid outdoors people, never missing a chance to go hiking or camping when we found some common freetime. Come marriage, we became couch potatoes. After a few years of marriage, I itched to go out again and got myself a bike. After seeing how passionate I became about training and going out on trails, she decided she wanted a bike of her own (she had one but it was a mall bike). Now, we’re going to be able to share another passion.

    Maybe she realized that she couldn’t compete with my hobbies (car audio and aquariums). She couldn’t take me away from my schedules (sleep early, wake up early to train). So we ended up spending moolah on another bike that I can also use for DJ (smaller frame, but heftier than my Norco).

    With two horses in the stable, she’s going to be very ‘involved’ in any future upgrades. I guess you can’t have ’em all.

    But I do hope she still gets me an AM bike for Christmas.

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