I've seen Kaldwells feed before, he lives on his bike. I'm sure he would agree with me that he's addicted to riding and rides everywhere. Yes, everywhere. So naturally he's a very good cyclist. Riding a 100 miles in one day is no joke and something that I have on my 2020 to do list.
At first glance reading his caption, the bike part got my attention. I need all the advice I can get for my 100 mile race. The more I read the more I realized its not about the anniversary of his century ride. So I sent Kaldwell a message and asked if he'd like to share some stories from his cycling journey over the last 5 years and life in general experiences.
Today we connected and although I have a passion for cycling, I am nowhere near his level of rider. But I will be one day. We talked for over an hour about the differences and commonalities we have centered around life, food, cycling, movies and our shared love for OKC.
Like I said on Saturday after the car show, it doesn't matter what you look like, where you come from or who you parents are. A common passion levels all differences in the world. When you get together all you want to talk about is that one thing you have in common.
I'll be honest, as a white male from Wales. I was nervous about talking with Kaldwell. Not about cycling, food, movies but about the current state of our world. As someone who didn't grow up around black culture, I was nervous about saying the wrong thing. Being disrespectful in any way. I think its because of all the media telling us what to do and what not to do. I let it get in my head which only makes it more difficult to have tough conversations. You know when you think about doing something for so long that it becomes this huge task. Well that went right out the window the minute we started talking. Kaldwell said it best,
"We have to have these hard conversations, its been 9 or so days since George Floyd was killed, we can't fix anything in 9 days but we have to continue to work towards fixing it."
I appreciate Kaldwell and his son for inviting me into their home to talk about life and the opportunity to share their story. Go and have a person to person conversation with your friends. Just have real conversations and hear each others point of view. If you can't meet them face to face have a zoom call and hangout, engage with each other.
Kaldwells is now putting his face on his Instagram to show people it can be done. In a predominately white sport like cycling the world needs more Kaldwells. Especially because he's like a superhero on his bike. A quick story from the podcast, Kaldwell was once stopped in a small town on one of his rides. This guy came up to him, told him he looked like a superhero. He didn't know if he was taking the piss or if he was genuinely complimenting him. If you've seen a cyclist you'll know what that guy was thinking, yes everything matches and we're dressed head to toe in lycra! Like Power Rangers and we have no shame, its part of the sport.
If you want to get into cycling, even if you're starting out for the first time. Talk to your local bike shop, find a friend that wants to do it wth you and go ride your bike. If you want to get to the level of Kaldwell, like I do. Reach out to him and ask some questions. He and his son have started riding together, last weekend they rode 17 miles to go have an icy. His son is 12, believe me if a 12 year old can cycle 17 miles you can cycle 10 around Lake Hefner.
Soon I'm going to go ride with Kaldwell and i'll try to keep up!