Wednesday, December 25, 2013
He was a larger than life figure in the Des Moines bicycling community and one of the nicest guys a person could meet. He'd been around so long that I cannot recall when I met him. Like the city, he was here from my beginning in Des Moines. Short, fat, long haired, smoker, weird, drinker, add friend to this list. His departure not only left a big hole in our subculture but served as a reminder on how precious our short time on this spinning blue marble is. Craig was always there. Always someone you could talk to, bum a smoke or share a beer with. Truly a shock. Yet perhaps a quick check out instead of a long suffering decades long struggle.
One of my last great times with him was back in February 2013. I recently transfer to Farm Bureau in West Des Moines and taking my time finding a safe commute home from work. Wildman was standing outside having a smoke at a bar named Bradley's on 50th St. Spotting me he flagged me in. Never been there before. We must have drank for a good hour. He told me of a great way to get home from there, the same route I use today when the trails are too snow and iced covered to ride.
I should have stopped in there again but life and responsibilities keep me away from such places occasionally. I think I saw him last at the Big Wheel Rally t-shirt release party at Confluence Brewery. He recently completed a kayaking adventure on the river with Squirrel. I told him that I thought he was nuts for doing such a thing just as it was getting cold. This trip was a mere month before he passed away. I am glad he did it.
Life is too short to hold back. The candle that burns twice as bright burns twice as fast. Our world is a bit darker since he left us. But with the right eyes one can see a light and an 8 ball jacket and a Miller Lite showing us the way. RIP Craig.