The cycling community lost an inspirational friend yesterday. After beating cancer and losing his leg in the process, an accident at his home took Matt Bradley's life.
I won't pretend to have known Matt as a best buddy or anything but I did get to know him a bit through bike racing. I met him after the amputation and remember being in awe of his cycling skills sans an important limb. Its one thing to beat cancer. Its another to lose a leg over it and quite another to be TT'ing with a prosthetic leg 10 months later. At every race I saw him I would be inspired to ride that much harder, enjoy myself that much more. I'm an emotional person and I take seriously the encounters I have with people. Seemingly little things or even small exchanges can make a big difference. I'm sure Matt knew he was an inspiration to the people around him. But he may not have known specifically that he was inspiration to me. Well, Matt, you were and will continue to be an inspiration to me.
Matt Bradley was much more than a cyclist. He was an educator, an author and community activist. I'm sure the scope of his influence and ability to reach out to people is unquantifiable. I was just racing against him at a criterium a week ago. I'm sad we won't see him at races anymore. I believe the best way to honor those who have passed is to live in the manner they have inspired us to do.
Fair winds and following seas, Matt.