Dad, I read your book Cycling in the South Bay.
I laughed, a lot. I laughed, because you’re one of the funniest writers I know, dead or alive, and when you put pencil to paper, or as was the case for this book, finger to keyboard, a kind of hilarity ensued that is unadulterated, unfiltered, and downright brilliant. Maybe it’s because of the bitches brew of unbelievably real fictitious characters who you actually may or may not know in real life. Maybe it’s because cycling is so obnoxious in so many ways, and you present it without any make-up in all its eccentric absurdities that I can’t help but laugh at it like I always do. Maybe it’s because you’re just a funny guy who knows how to tell a funny story, which is how you’ve always been as far as I can remember.
I highlighted. I highlighted the shit out of that e-book, because there were too many great lines, from “He’s from the Belgium, he’s not so good on the English. The Belges are a little slow in the head,” to “He’s flailing, he’s at the end of his rope, and in his case the fat lady not only sang but has gone home and taken a leisurely bath.” I highlighted because you oscillated from comical to pensive, but the writing was always meaningful.
I cried. I cried because at a certain point the book was no longer about cycling, but something more than that. The characters had always been bigger-than-life, but then, the stories followed suit. I cried because I knew you cried when you wrote some of these chapters. I cried because I still think about Uncle Ian everyday, too. I cried because I could see you holding that hot cup of coffee burning away at your hand at the café, listening to the woman talk about her stupid life that wasn’t stupid at all.
I stopped. I stopped, Dad, once I was finished with the book to think about what this book means to you. I stopped to think how this book means everything to you, because it was your way of showing how your life isn’t your own. From Barbara to Greg to Ian to Mom to Michael to everyone else that were mentioned and weren’t mentioned, whether they know it or not, everyone had a part in the making of Cycling in the South Bay. They also had a part in the making of the life story of Seth Davidson. I think that’s what you meant this book to be about, a victory lap with the tens and hundreds of people who influence you and have influenced you to be who you are today.
I smiled. I smiled because I loved the book. I smiled because you friends will love the book, if they haven’t already. I smiled because Ian would’ve loved the book.
I smiled because the ride is in me, because the ride is in you, and it’s a gift that I will be thankful for until my most final breath.