Kansas City, MO / @travis.gatewood
My first Fuji was…
a 2004 Fuji Cross that I affectionately have dubbed "The Red Fuji." I used to ride a thick and chunky mountain bike for years, then in 2010 at a local cyclocross race, a guy sold me The Red Fuji. The Red Fuji and I have shared many adventures since then. We have crisscrossed Kansas City, we have completed an Ironman 70.3, we did a Century Ride, we biked Bo Bikes Bama twice, and we are planning to cruise the Katy Trail in Summer 2020. I have put thousands of miles on The Red Fuji over the past decade. It hasbeen a congenial and dependable workhorse. It is now adorned with blue grips and stickers of the Grateful Dead, the Kansas flag, and Max from Where the Wild Things Are.
What kind of impact did cycling have on your life?
I am a high school English teacherand a recovering transcendentalist, so The Red Fuji has become my literal vehicle to adventure and experience. I am an unofficial ambassador of the Fuji brand. I love to share the stories of my journeys on the bike with my friends, followers, and students. On Mondays, my students always want photos and anecdotes from my weekend rides on The Red Fuji. My instagram page is a love letter to my bike and to my city. I am so thankful for The Red Fuji which has allowed me to travel the streets and trails of this great midwestern town. I feel blessed to have experienced the energy of the city in a way few others have. I have traversed almost all the roads and paths, both concrete and dirt, that Kansas City has to offer. It has given me tremendous appreciation and respect for my bike and for my hometown. I ride to be present, in the moment, to accept the gift of today, to be lucky enough to perform some small act of creative and constructive energy, which reminds me of the big orange road sign in Tulum: Stay Present.In the dense snarl of life traffic, I sometimes struggle to live by this adage. The Red Fuji allows me to do so. In the saddle and on the pedals, I decompress and recenter. I find escape. In times of challenge and hardship, I have turned to The Red Fuji for recovery and rejuvenation. It has never let me down.