Seasons of Change – I quit World of Bikes.

I don’t like change. Who does?

I don’t work at World of Bikes anymore. I am still trying to figure out the separation, but this has been a long time coming. That probably surprises some people.

I spent the last 7 years at that job working my ass off, charging through open doors, making things happen, and involving myself the only way I know how – 110%.

This separation is very similar to when I quit the crew team midway through college. I was on the Quad Cities rowing team all throughout high school and two years of college. It took sending me to a sports psychologist and him telling me I was allowed to quit to make that change.

“You are allowed to quit.”

What about all the work I’ve done?

What about me? I’ve left me behind for a long time now. Doing the Tour Divide last year showed me that the most important thing here is me, and I’m being wasted. So sad to feel that way, but I miss enjoying myself.

I haven’t written about the second half of Tour Divide because this is much harder than finishing that ride. Coming back home and realizing the change is happening whether I want it to or not. It’s up to me to make decisions that support myself.

There is plenty of talk about the depression post big ride. I’ve talked plenty about my personal depression. It’s OK. But leaving myself in a place where I need to constantly remind myself that this is a good idea is probably not.

Two weekends ago I went to do Wind and Rock, rode 40 miles, and quit. I got to spend all day with Dennis and Christina, people who knew me before I worked at the shop, who reminded me that the shop was never going to be a forever thing. I told Christina that. Told her I had committed to 3 years, and that was over 3 years ago. I’m glad I went to Wind and Rock, but I won’t go to cycling events without The Gravel Scouts anymore, good thing my friends organized that one.

I won’t go to work without understanding that I’m needed and the work I do is visible to all.

I like to work. And in line with changes I have decided to begin a journey towards being a firefighter.

what’s up –

I interviewed with the Coralville volunteer department – I will start a training program with them this summer.

I interviewed with Iowa City Fire Department for a career position – they don’t have any particular openings, but I want to make it onto their civil service list of applicants.

I will apply with Cedar Rapids and get my EMT certificate over the summer if possible. If not, this is a good resume builder/experience.

I am willing to move to find a career position – to somewhere – preferably not smaller than Iowa City.

Finally I am still upset, sad, sick, confused, and generally at a loss about World of Bikes. I don’t go back on my decisions and will not be returning to work there. I need to figure out how to best communicate if Monday Night Gravel will be affected. That’s really the biggest hangup right now. How do y’all understand Monday Night Gravel? I know it’s my ride and wouldn’t exist without me. I know it’s a lot of work because I have done all the work to make it happen.

Also I’m not leaving the bike industry. I am still sponsored by Salsa Cycles, yes, I still ride for Salsa, if every conversation about this starts that way at least it gets talked about. The Gravel Scouts is real and I want to stop ignoring it.

Thank you all for reading this. I cannot remember a time in my life that I have been this scared and lost. It hurts. More than any day on the Tour Divide, I knew exactly what I was supposed to do there. I miss being out there, I need to get out more. Without the help of friends, family, and days/months/years of patience I wouldn’t have gotten to the point where I can hold my head up and let myself quit something I love. I am allowed to quit.






One thought on “Seasons of Change – I quit World of Bikes.

  1. Don Thompson

    Andrea, so sad that you feel scared and lost. You have so many people who love and respect you. I’m confident that you’ll find your path forward. I’ll miss your warm welcome at WOB and hope you find a way to continue with the Monday Night Gravel Rides. Even if you no longer have the official WOB organizer role, it won’t be the same if you aren’t riding! Let me know if there is anything I can do to help you during this period of transition.

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