Brad of Urban Velo always intimidated me a bit as a writer. Whereas I was plunking around with this little blog, he was really building (or, by the time I met him at a Philly ESPI, had already built) an empire around writing about bikes. Troy Young challenged me to go over and talk to him–to tell him about my blog and see if he needed a writer for it–and as I was more scared of his disapproval than I was about seeming like a nerd, I did approach Brad to introduce myself.
Actually…now that I think about it, I can’t remember if it was Jeff or Brad. I want to say it was Brad. I don’t know.
Anyway, I spoke and BradJeff gave me his card and that was that. Fast forward a few years and you have where the game really started playing out.
Brad reached out to me with a proposition: I give him articles for Urban Velo (at this point, for the online pub), and he’d give me sweet, sweet money. I mean good money for writing, especially good for writing about bike polo. I tried in earnest to create unique content for UV while I still made content for my blog, too. Brad was altogether fantastic: never pressuring me into writing, never telling me what I wrote wasn’t right or needed work. I just came up with a formula and he supported me, adding a good credential to what I was doing at Lancasterpolo.
Then Worlds 2013 came up, and Brad came to me with another proposition: he’d pay for me to go to Florida if I’d provide him with a longer story about the event. I couldn’t believe it.
I mean, I just want you to consider what this was: someone from a great bike mag was paying for me to travel to the World Championship of Bike Polo to cover it. I felt amazing. I felt valuable.
So I go and do my thing, and I send it to Brad who says “this isn’t what I was looking for,” but in such a sweet way that I’m anxious to rewrite it exactly how he wants, which I manage to do on my next try. I get to see my story in print and online, I get to help contribute to a great publication, and that’s that.
When I write that it pains me to see Urban Velo close down their print magazine, I want you to understand that it’s not just overstating a small emotion: it does bother me. It bothers me that this publication–which has given me so much and promoted me and this blog–is going to close down the mag.
Anyway, a lot of rambling to say: thanks, Urban Velo. Thanks Brad and Jeff. You did good by me, and I won’t ever forget that.