New paths can come from hardships

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Australian fixed gear messenger and his bike en route to Paris

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – Aussie messenger on his way to Paris.

“My mom got sick with cancer and it was a two year battle before she passed away and I just messed up my life during that time, so it has been rebuilding after that. And miraculously, riding a bike as a courier is allowing me to rebuild. Financially and mentally. The experience itself, as well.

“I guess the challenge to get here makes me want to celebrate with the community. We have mates who have been involved in the messenger community and it is the friendship and support you get, the experience you get through that. Like-minded people definitely. So you know when you are going to do something like this, you are going to be with family. People who will understand why doing a tough job like this can be so rewarding.”

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Australian cyclist w his bike before heading to Paris

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – Aussie messenger on his way to Paris.

Notes: We hit a similar chord with this story. My father died of cancer a few years back. There is nothing pleasant about these deaths, but there was one aspect where I can find some comfort. I was able to spend six months with him, spending time every day, being part of the family care we could provide, sitting with him just watching TV, reading, heading out for a coffee and a drive to some scenic point in the mornings. You get a chance to say goodbye. Not perfect, but…

I have been posting a series of stories, vignettes and photos from the 2016 Cycle Messenger World Championships in Paris. CMWC on the search engine should yield the results. 

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