Narrative: The Beast, The Bootlegger, and the Death Ride

This story was a Best American Sports Writing notable mention.

Before he was diagnosed with ALS, Mike Cimbura raced bikes, fixed up old cars, and snowboarded. He was a devoted father, husband, and friend. The degenerative disease left him paralyzed, with only the ability to communicate via an eye-gaze computer or a system of blinks. But he has found an extraordinary way to take back the ride. Written by the talented Christine Fennessy, who makes sure that everyone who reads Mike’s story will remember what ALS is.

The Cimbura’s story initially caught my eye on a personal level—my fiancé’s mother, Fran Bernstein, passed away from ALS in 2017. But Mike’s fight, and the unwavering loyalty of his family and friends, moved everyone who worked on this piece—from Christine to editor-in-chief Leah Flickinger to our standout art team. It’s one of those stories that made us all think, This is why we do what we do.

Read it in the May 2018 issue of BICYCLING.

(Photo by Benjamin Rasmussen)

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