For years now, I've read Steve Tilford's blog. If you don't follow cycling, you've probably never heard of Steve Tilford, but he was the first US mountain biking champion, four times the US cyclocross champion, five times world mountain bike masters champion, twice world cyclocross masters champion, an inductee in the mountain biking hall of fame, and three times a member of the US world road team at the world championships.
He was also just a bit older than me, but still raced and road tons, and wrote wonderfully about racing and riding, and all sorts of things.
But today, I opened Cycling News and saw this. And then I opened his blog, and saw a post by a friend of his. (It was a car accident, a really horrible car accident.)
I never met Steve Tilford. (I don't even feel like I can call him by his first name, certainly not by the nickname many seem to use. But just his surname doesn't seem right, either.) But I'm really sad. Reading someone's blog, following their life, learning from them, seeing pictures of their dogs, family, friends, adventures, it all makes you feel sort of like you know them. Except you don't. Not really.
But still, what a life the man led, and how he'll be missed by his family, friends, the whole cycling community, and his blog readers, including me.