Guest Rider: Steve Glauser

Since I was a little boy, I’ve always loved the freedom and flow of riding a bike. But biking took on a new role in my life a few years ago.

My five-year-old son, Sam, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly in February 2020. Just a couple weeks later, as my family and I were reeling from that loss, I found myself in a bike shop to buy a bike for my other son’s birthday. I only had a road bike at that time, so I took that opportunity to selfishly browse the adult mountain bikes too. As chance would have it, the shop had the perfect mountain bike for me. I called my wife from the store to make sure she was on board with me making such a big impulse buy. She said I was entitled to one “grief purchase,” gave me the green light, and I walked out with a brand-new Spark 910 (plus a junior mountain bike for my son, of course).

Biking that summer after we lost Sam was the best therapy for me. As a dad who suddenly lost a child, I was filled with emotions I never imagined I would feel and with which I did not know how to deal. Biking was my outlet for those emotions. I spent many days that summer climbing the canyons and cruising the MTB trails of the Wasatch Mountains while processing missing Sam. Biking helped me realize that I could feel happiness and sadness at the same time. The human spirit is complex and resilient.

More important than the bike were the people I biked with. Friends and family regularly joined me on my rides, including Zach Goulding, the creator of this blog and one of the most genuine and loving guys you will ever meet. I also rode with Chris Williams that summer, a faithful and strong man who lost his wife and several children when they were hit by a drunk driver (you can read his story in his book Let It Go). It did not take any magic words of encouragement or profound statements. Instead, these people supported me in my loss and lifted me up simply by riding a bike with me.

As I logged miles on both my road and mountain bikes that summer after Sam passed away, I realized that biking is symbolic of life. We will have hard times. We’ll have crashes, flats, injuries, storms to weather, and hills to climb. But we can overcome. Those hard times make us stronger and give us a better perspective on what is truly important in life. As we keep pedaling, we realize that we are stronger than we think we are. The hard times should also instill within us greater love and gratitude for the good times and for those that ride with us. I never truly “healed” or “moved on” from Sammy’s passing. I still miss him so much it hurts. But biking has helped me pick myself up off the bike trail of life and start pedaling again.

Biking is still one of my favorite forms of mental and emotional therapy. Whether it is trying to set a PR up Big Mountain on the road bike or bombing the descent of the Crest Trail on the mountain bike, biking brings a sense of healing and of being alive that is hard to get any other way.

Steve and his wife, Amie, were both born and raised in Salt Lake City. They have five boys and live just outside of Millcreek Canyon, where they love biking, hiking, and having cookouts. Steve is a lawyer by day and triathlete on the weekends. He completed the Boulder Half Ironman last summer and qualified for USA Triathlon Nationals.