A couple of Fridays ago I went out for a lunch ride. We had some “warm” weather with highs in the upper 40’s. That’s warm for us mountain people. I returned to my desk still dressed in winter cycling clothes and opened my emails. I noticed that someone had submitted a story into our gallery for our refurb contest. I work in the back end of our website a fair bit and have the duty of approving gallery posts before they go public. …..spam is an evil thing….So I start to glance over this one entitled:
MY FATHERS GIFT
……I’m drawn in right away…so much so, I’m still dressed in chamois and helmet….at my desk well after my ride is over. It is that kind of story. It’s about demons, its about the power of the bicycle, it’s about an amazing human being. I finish reading through it and post it immediately. The last sentence the writer asks if this is what Moots had in mind…..I grab the email that goes with the story and shoot the author an email…..Usually we get nice stories about where a Moots has taken people in a geographic sense, this one does that but also tells a story about the inner places a bike can take you.
JIM GARCIA of Sonoma, CA is the WINNER of our #refurbmymoots contest!
This…….this is Jim’s story….this is his Moots…..CONGRATULATIONS JIM! We can’t wait to have you as our guest and see those character marks on your Moots.
MY FATHERS GIFT
by JIM GARCIA
My name is Jim Garcia. I am 68 years old and graduated from high school at an unfortunate time in our American history to be a naïve boy and have no immediate plans for my future. Meaning, I did not enroll in college and secure a 2S deferment that would have rendered me exempt from the military draft.
This is the story of my journey as a 19 old kid, my dad, and my life saving decision to take up cycling in my 50’s and purchase my Moots.
Without divulging the horrid details of my tour of duty in Vietnam, I’ll just leave it to say that I was caught up in the realities of that ugly conflict. I returned a broken young man. The day that I returned in December of 1969 there was a protest at the Oakland Army Depot here in California where the protesters were calling us names and throwing rocks and bottles at our bus as we pulled in to process out of the service.
Within 48 hours I was taken from a hostile jungle and my comrades to hostile environment here at home, never feeling more alone. Deprogaming returning combat veterans would be a thing of the future. We received nothing from our government to help us re-intergrate back into society.
For the next 23 years I coped with alcohol, drugs, homelessness and chaos. Finally in my early 40’s, my loving and exasperated father peeled me off the streets and enrolled me in a program at a VA hospital and my journey into recovery began. I not only received treatment for my substance abuse issues, but was diagnosed with acute untreated Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from my tour if duty in Vietnam. I excelled with a sence of new found freedom. With help from the VA, 12 step recovery programs, and my fatheres support I enrolled in college and 7 years later graduated with honors, and for me, the iceing on the cake was having my very proud and happy father setting in the bleachers.
I am currently in my 25th year of recovery, happily married and retired, although my battle with the disease and symptoms of PTSD is just a fact of my life.
15 years ago I read an article in a scientific journal about Nordic skiers and PTSD. Something about the the continuous left right motion and the relief it offered some PTSD survivors. Skiing not being my forte I decided to give cycling a try and found not only relief but a passion.
In 2005 my father passed away and left me an inheritance. I had been researching titanium frames and upon coming across Moots I made my decision. I liked the idea of a boutique frame maker and every review that I read was positive. And to be honest I really identified with Mr Moots, the cute little alligator that the founder found on his eraser and adopted as his imaginary childhood companion.
Fortunately my local bike shop here in Sonoma was handling the Moots brand at the time and took my measurements. I order my beloved Vamoots! I opted to have the frame outfitted exactly as it was in the 2006 Moots catalog, with Shimono Dura Ace components, the Mavic Ksyrium wheel set and Easton fork as Moots did not offer a fork at the time. This was my dads final gift to me. Dad and my Vamoots have kept the PTSD boogieman at bay. I average between 8 to 9000 miles a year. I have rode my Moots all over Northern and Southern California and among my cycling buds my Moots is known as Mr Moots. Mr Moots is my companion. He is not imaginary however. He is timeless. His body and mine have taken some hard knocks, including broken bones, road rash and all the other unpleasantry’s that go along with the thing that we love so much, but we’re still together and going strong. Mr Moots has been my savior and it’s high time he gets the refurb he so justly deserves.
I’m not sure if my Moots story is what the Moots staff in Steamboat Springs had in mind for their contest, but it’s my Moots story and Mr Moots and I have, hopefully, many more years and miles to go before we sleep…
Thank you Moots,
Jim will receive; a full Moots frame refinish of his choice (blasted w/decals, etched & blasted or polished & blasted) , Full Moots stoke kit (owners jersey, bib, socks, cap), detailed blog post about the history of his bike, before and after photos AND a two nights stay in the Moots apartment.
Thank you to all that submitted! A TON of great stories.
If you’d like to read more stories in our gallery click the link below. The contest might be over, but you can still submit. You never know when Mr. Moots might throw some swag your way!