Monday, September 3, 2012

David Bradley

The Arcata cycling community lost its greatest champion today, the astonishing David Bradley. We all knew this day would come for some time. David had been fighting--no, outrunning--Cancer for more years than I care to remember. He'd go to Houston, Tx. for a chemotherapy treatment and focus not on the treatment but on the ride that would follow the treatment. And as planned, David would rise from the recovery bed a few days after a treatment that can take you to death's door--and ride 200 miles in one day. This sort of thing happened all the time!

David joined my cycling group The Latte Warriors a few years ago and reached out to all of us. If you needed to plan a ride or buy a new bike David had a plan or bike for you. He would organize group rides, repairs and meetings. I expressed interest in a new recumbent. For starters, David sent me into recumbent shops in both LA and Portland. Both owners lit up at the mention of his name. Then when I got close to a decision David offered to drive me round trip to Portland, a total of 18 hours behind the wheel. Why? Because he had a large bike rack on his van and I needed a new bike and it would be fun to ride with his friends in Portland. It was tough turning him down but I did feel obligated to point out that he was still working full time.

To paraphrase the old blues song:

"I don't know where David Bradley was at but the train don't stop there anymore."

Here's David back in 2010 on one of his beloved Bachetta racing recumbents. He formed Team Raven Lunatics and raced all over North America with bikes like this. But it didn't stop there; when David loved something his first impulse was to share. Now our group has multiple Bachettas, all arranged with David's help and advice. Rising from his deathbed just last week (!) he found a rare used Bachetta that was a perfect fit for another one of The Latte Warriors. Neither buyer nor seller had met David but he made a call and the bike was shipped before the buyer paid for it! I'm hoping that Bachetta will name a bike The Bradley after this sweet guy who had so much heart.

Tomorrow morning I'll join a memorial ride with David's wife Mary and son Phillip. We'll head out across the Arcata bottoms and then turn north into the morning fog.

“Because I could not stop for Death – He kindly stopped for me"        Emily Dickenson


  1. This is a beautiful and heartfelt remembrance, Gordon. Though I left before David joined the group, I really have a strong sense of him through you. It's lovely to see a photo of him riding by the Beachcomber. What a loss, and good that he lives on in your hearts!

  2. Cheers, lotuspetal. You would definitely have enjoyed the way David held court at The Beachcomber on so many Sundays

  3. SO well written, Gordon, thanks!

    Dick Van Hoose


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