never started out to be a bicycle advocate. It just sort of happened.
I didn’t even think about bikes in my twenties. One day in my early thirties, my brother peddled over to my house and while we were chatting offered his bike over for a spin. “Well, I don’t know. It’s not really my thing blabbady blah”. So I rode. And I rather liked it. A few days later I started talking bikes with the two ride-to-workers, getting some ideas. For the next four years I was riding four miles in every day. After I got canned from that dumb job, and after a few years being a rocket scientist, I picked up at my current job, riding the nine miles in for sixteen years.
And suddenly everyone knew me as “the bike guy”. I always had my bike at my desk. I also was quick to verbally vivisect anyone who brought me an anti-bike, guy ran a stop-sign, guy was in my way/on my road story. And now I had a Share the Road decal on the back of my car. And then my corporation was putting a picture of me in the hall with my bike, saying something corporate-patriotic. And then I was speaking on podcasts.
I never planned it to be that way.
But that’s the way it goes in stories and real life. Frodo never considered sticking a hairy toe out of the Shire. No character in mid-adventure at page 250 could have seen it coming when they were first established on page one. And life, after all, is art (or the other way ‘round).
And so now I’m also an author. Forty years ago, I was just a punk kid reading all sorts of science fiction and fantasy. I could hardly write and barely type. But I started to dabble, wrote a couple of awful unpublished books, came close, landed a sale, sold a bunch of short stories, wrote for radio and published another book. Suddenly I was the writer guy, the guy could make any mundane story sound exciting (my coworkers imagine my drab life as a rollicking adventure yarn (little they know)).
So I’m either the writing guy who pedals a bike or the cyclist with a paperback in his back pocket. Either one suits me.
Focusing on writing, part of being a writer is being a writer. You need to project your imagination, your craft and magic in all those people around you. You need to be the guy people go to when they need a report proofed or a child inspired. It’s more than just being someone who can write. It’s being A writer. It’s the entire thing.
Because if you are a writer and nobody knows, you are just a cyclist who keeps his bike in the garage. Make it your life. Be it.