Hey Rich,

Bicycling (South Africa) - - ASK -

IF THE CYCLING com­mu­nity in our area has a heart, it beats within your chest.

Five years ago, I wanted to start a bike mes­sen­ger com­pany. I reached out to in­flu­en­tial lead­ers in cycling seek­ing ad­vice on how to do it. I was 24, clue­less, and full of am­bi­tion. No­body would take me or my as­pi­ra­tions se­ri­ously. Ex­cept you. I had heard of your blog, Cy­cle­li­cious, and was floored when you agreed to meet with me, a com­plete stranger. You pro­vided con­tacts that would fa­cil­i­tate my de­sire to cre­ate a ca­reer out of rid­ing a bi­cy­cle. As my pas­sions be­gan to take flight, you never ceased sup­port­ing me. While rid­ing to and from work, you would tell your fel­low com­muters how their em­ploy­ers should be us­ing my com­pany’s ser­vices for in­terof­fice de­liv­er­ies. At trade events you would tell ev­ery in­dus­try rep you met that they should be send­ing their prod­uct to my couri­ers for test­ing.

Be­fore I even knew what was hap­pen­ing, I had con­tract re­quests in my in­box from large tech com­pa­nies, as well as spon­sor­ship op­por­tu­ni­ties from cycling in­dus­try rep­re­sen­ta­tives. I was no longer per­ceived as a child with a bi­cy­cle. In­stead, I was recog­nised as an adult who was chang­ing the world.

Even in my dark­est hours, when I ex­pe­ri­enced back­lash after speak­ing out against racism in my lo­cal cycling com­mu­nity, you stood by me and chose to lis­ten. Through your sup­port, I was able to push through the hate and reaf­firm that my ef­forts had not been in vain.

Be­cause of your in­flu­ence, my com­pany now man­ages 10 couri­ers across our area.

Even with all I’ve ac­com­plished over the past four years, I still find my­self un­able to re­pay you for all that you’ve done for me.

What I can do is let the en­tire world know that my dreams be­came re­al­ity be­cause of the acts of one self­less hu­man be­ing. There is no- one I ad­mire or re­spect more than you. CAIN RAMIREZ is the CEO of Cow­girl Bike Courier. RICHARD MASONER ( be­low) is the cre­ator of the blog Cy­cle­li­cious.

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