Chipps, Singletrack’s Editor writes:
Usually when a regular contributing photographer emails to say ‘Here is a selection of great photos for you – but it’ll probably be the last I’m going to be sending you. Things have changed…‘
That probably means they’ve got a sweet gig somewhere working exclusively for a brand or other media outlet. So that’s just how I replied to Colin Meagher (pronounced ‘Marr’) –
“That sounds intriguing… Another media outlet? Or a brand?”
Now, Colin is a super-hard-working photographer who I often see at World Cup races, the Sea Otter Classic, trade shows and he has also shot several Singletrack covers. Professional, but very personable and always charming and unguardedly honest. Whenever I see him, we try to make time for a chat and a beer, so I felt I could rib him a little about seemingly heading off to work somewhere else.
I hit ‘Send’ on my email. But, then, a minute later, my work phone rang – at 7pm on a Friday night. It was Colin. He matter of factly told me that he has ALS (which you’ll probably know better as Motor Neuron Disease, that thing that Stephen Hawking had). He then went on to calmly tell me that, according to his research, he will most likely die in the next two to four years – either from respiratory failure as his breathing control fails, or pneumonia as his lungs fill with fluid.
“The disease causes the progressive degeneration and death of the nerve cells that control voluntary muscle movements, including chewing, walking, talking and breathing” – apparently breathing is a voluntary action. Before that happens, he’ll mostly likely lose the use of his arms and legs. And despite all of those ice-bucket challenges (remember them?) to raise awareness of ALS, there is no cure. Any treatments there are will aim to give you a few more months.
Any injury is now going to be very hard for him to recover from. And so, in his matter of fact way of dealing with things, he went for what he knew would be his last ever mountain bike ride a couple of weeks ago. Can you even imagine?
View this post on Instagram
Humbled. Bittersweet. Amazed. Stoked. But mostly blown away by the support of everyone who came out to celebrate my final, true mountainbike ride… Ever. I’m not quitting because I’ve joined a cult that thinks mountain biking is blasphemous. Rather I’m quitting because I’ve been diagnosed with ALS—aka Lou Gehrig’s disease. For those that don’t know, ALS is a degenerative muscular disease for which there is no cure. Yet. It’s currently attacking my arms, shoulders, and hands. So I’m quitting Mtb because it’s done enough damage at this point that riding a mountain bike has become dangerously unsafe. A fall could literally cripple me. Worse, within the next few months I’ll be forced to step away from taking photographs….my hands will simply be too weak to hold a camera. But more about that later. For now I’m reveling in the love and support I witnessed yesterday. Thanks @fotomaxizoomdweebie , @parisgore , and @chrismcfarlandphotography and everyone else for documenting what will be one of my most cherished memories on a bike. And thanks to everybody for coming out. #fuckals Special thanks to my love @nikkirohan_ for organizing a phenomenal last hurrah in the dirt, roots, and rocks that make mountain biking so much fun and @joelawwill for the di2 help (without that gift the last six months of mountain biking would NOT have been possible). I’ll keep posting imagery from the archives and of my life as it happen. By necessity we will be doing a go fund me to help us deal with this disease: no longer being able to work means the wheels are going to come off pretty hard. Link in my bio. Thanks again everyone who came out on such short notice: @annegalyean @mdelormephoto @jamesonflorence @_hsato @lauraeliza_lb @iheartbikes @jillkintner @brynatkinson @lbstrobel @fromhighabove @esabelha @mslisahong @kpthomps00 @stallionbuckingham @rachel_g_lady @brian.gardner.771 @dianamical @craigbikes @buckhazard @lindsaybekks @linnearooke @angelasucich @keithkarlick @ontheglobeagain @repomuso @patrikzuest @fotomaxizoomdweebie @parisgore @chrismcfarlandphotography #bikesarerad.
It’s hard to know what to say when a friend lays that information at your feet with such matter for factness. Luckily, he has health insurance, so the $1000 a shot jabs are covered, for now, but he has no provision for home care or whatever else he and his family will be going through. So, a bunch of his bike industry friends and clients have got together to hold a massive raffle to raise money.
Win ace stuff! Raffle to raise money for Colin Meagher
Colin Meagher, Rider and Photographer, Needs Your Help
Donate Now, For a Chance to Win Great Bikes and Gear
Colin Meagher needs your help. If you’re reading this, odds are you’ve probably been touched by Colin’s work. Colin’s photos have graced the pages of mountain bike magazines and websites around the world for more than two decades now.
Colin Meagher is a rider’s rider. A mentor to a hell of a lot of other photographers. And just an incredibly good guy. Now, Colin also has ALS — a disease that is robbing Colin of his life, his livelihood and, if we don’t pitch in to help with his rapidly-growing medical expenses, his family’s finances.
ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. There is no cure. Instead, there are mounting medical bills. Colin and his family need help in offsetting those costs.
A group of us, Colin’s friends and supporters from the bike and outdoor industry, have created a GoFundMe page (https://www.gofundme.com/one-more-time-for-colin). Our goal is to raise funds to help with medical costs and many of the other things this disease makes necessary, from home care to necessary devices not available through other means.
We will also donate a percentage of all contributions to http://www.alsa.org, to help find a cure.
We’re asking you to rally for Colin and help out with a donation.
For every $10 you donate, you get one entry into the raffle. As of now, there’s over $23,000 in prizes to win in 19 different groups – everything from a brand new Cannondale Habit bike, a Pivot Mach 6 carbon frame and (nearly) enough bits to build it all up to clothing, to a carbon Trek Session frame, a Rocky Mountain carbon Thunderbolt frame, Troy Lee gear, Giro gear, Ibis wheels… The full details are on the website page.
DONATE HERE! https://www.gofundme.com/one-more-time-for-colin
Awesome raffle prizes:
How it works: For every $10 donated between today, 17 Dec 2018 and 11:59pm (PST) Jan 4th 2019, you’ll get one entry into the raffle. $100 = 10 entries. The winners will be selected at random.
(Some fine print: Some prize packs are only available to ship to North America. Winners outside of North America will receive the next available prize pack (or pieces of it). All applicable taxes will be the winner’s responsibilities.)
DONATE HERE! https://www.gofundme.com/one-more-time-for-colin
Interested in that full list of prizes?
More than $23,000 in prizes across 19 different opportunities to win.
Most of a New Bike Day – $6800+ value
Pivot Mach 6 Carbon Frame
FSA – Grid Bar, Stem, Cranks, and Wheels
FSA – Flowtron Dropper Post
Maxxis – Minion DHF / Aggressor Tire Combo
FOX – 36 Fork 160mm 27.5
Shimano XT Di2 (Shifter, Chain, Cassette, Derailleur)
Shimano XT Brakes (Lever, Caliper, Rotors)
Cannondale Habit 2
California Dreaming – $2500+ value
Marin Gestalt X11
Patagonia Dirt Roamer Short
Patagonia Nine Trails Jersey
Patagonia Nine Trails Pack
Patagonia Performance Crew Socks
DH Upgrade – $4500 value
Trek – Carbon Session 29 Frame/fork – size M
TLD Kit (Full Face Helmet, Jersey, and Pants)
Get Speedy – $4800+ value
Rocky Mountain Carbon Thunderbolt BC Edition Frame
Fox Transfer Dropper Post
SR Suntour Durolux Fork
Maxxis Minion DHF / Aggressor Tire Combo
Race Face Next R Carbon Cranks and Bar
7mesh Callaghan Hoodie & Revo Short
Trail Ready – $1400+ Value
Custom Giro One More for Colin DND Glove
Custom High Above One More for Colin Custom Pack
Giro Montaro Mips Helmet
Giro Terraduro Mid
Giro LS Roust Jersey
Giro Chrono Baselayer
Giro Chrono Expert Bib
Giro Havoc Short
Giro Merino Socks
Nuun Hydration (One Month’s Supply)
Ibis 738 Wheelset
Ibis 738 Wheelset
Ibis Lo-Fi or Hi-Fi Carbon Handlebar
SOG PowerPint, Saw, and Terminus XR
You and the Grom – $600+ value
GT Performer 20.5 and Performer Jr
Inspirational Reading (10 winners) – $55 value
1-year subscription to Bike Magazine
25th Anniversary book
Bike Mag Socks
The History lesson – Priceless
Santa Cruz Syndicate (2013-2015) book collection
I’m Faster Than You – $190+ value
Sweater Sunrise Tee URL Tee Trailforks socks Pinkbike hat 2019 Calendar
So, what are you waiting for? What are you going to spend that £8 on? Another cheeseburger? A bottle of Malbec? Take the hit and give some money. If you win something, that’s a bonus, but remember – you can probably go and ride your bike next weekend. Colin can no longer do that…