“On the great high plains where the northers blow/This breed of the brave is found.”
Matt ‘Bronco’ Bradley died Tuesday March 20th, 2012. He was 41.
Matt was a cyclist, cancer survivor, folklorist, and professor. He was generous, friendly, and instantly likable. His constant optimism was a source of inspiration and motivation for his students and for his fellow bike racers. Cancer took his leg, but nothing else. Hopeful, determined, and happy, Matt picked up his life where it had left off, racing bikes, teaching, and fighting for the causes he loved.
“Over the trail let me gallop away/Make me a cowboy again for a day.”
Life is full of barriers. Maybe that’s why Matt loved cyclocross so much. In life, as in ‘cross, Matt jumped over the barriers. And if that didn’t work, he would knock them over. That’s how Matt lived. And it’s the way he inspired each of us who knew him to live as well. His passion for ‘cross was contagious. His rooted enthusiasm for equality and justice changed hearts and opened minds. His voice was essential in our community. He will be missed more than we can ever know.
I don’t know what Heaven is like. But I hope that there are muddy cyclocross courses, tall snowy mountains, and vast expansive deserts. I hope that there are cowboy poets. If not, there are now.
We can no longer hold Matt’s wheel. He rides where we cannot follow. But each of us is better today for knowing Matt. Each of us has been enhanced and edified by him.
Thank you, Matt, for sharing your heart and soul with each of us.
“For us who are true to the trail/A vision to seek, a beckoning peak/A farness that never will fail…”
Ride in peace. Rest in peace.