Unlearning at Age 40


It’s not something most people feel like broadcasting, but I think I was depressed.

The bike company my friends and I had started as kids, that I had spent my whole adult life working on, was flailing. I was getting older and the one person who, through thick and thin, better or worse, I most desperately sought approval from was gone. Life had happened, it had changed. This was obviously a slow reshaping, but it defined the last couple years of my thirties…

All those factors, and more, compounded each other and put me in a weird place. No matter how hard I tried, it felt like all my efforts were simply bailing water out of some ratchety old wooden boat. Everything I had learned, either didn’t seem to matter, or felt like it was all wrong.

So, several months ago I embarked on a journey, logging more miles than most people would be able to do without owning an actual automobile, and started unlearning as much as I could.

I didn’t know where I was going, but I picked up my bike, and started riding more. No real goal, I just wanted to learn how to smile big, otherwise, I’d just turn into a normal 40 year old.

Learning how to ride over the years had its challenges. Learning how to just enjoy having a good time on a bicycle after so many years and not worry about my own vanity was another challenge all together.

All that I had picked up along the way gave me some kind of cloudy vision. It was all still there, the exploration, the excitement, the fears, the thrills, moments shared with your friends, the difficulties, the discoveries, and most of all that moment when you smile after escaping certain death… I just couldn’t remember it all.

I spent this summer with old and new friends on jumps, in empty swimming pools, bombing hills and beyond. I took as many pictures as I could, and shot some video footage, to share, and to remember the good parts of a life on wheels…

I started unlearning about getting old, and being a pussy, about trying to be something I’m not, and I started remembering what it’s like to be young and laugh and ride bikes. Starting to be born again, again.












Steve Crandall

Coffee sipping pilot of a red FBM frame and a Nikon camera.