July Presidents Paceline: A Moment of Silence

Hello my fellow cyclists,

Today (July 19th 2012) I ask for a moment of silence. One year ago today my friend and cycling hero Dave Baton was killed while riding his bike.

I have had many thoughts on what should be in this paceline article but realized that there was perhaps nothing more important than an explanation of how it came to be…

I first met Dave when I was a 15 years old just starting to ride and he was the top mountain biker in the Southeast. I still remember today thinking how impressive he was and how he looked like a real-life action figure, the G.I.Joe of Mountain Biking. At the time Dave was winning pretty much every race he competed in making him a God among men and who I wanted to be. Over the next few years I road, a lot, and to my delight found myself crossing paths with Dave. As I raced more we ended up spending many long hours together traveling and peddling on the bike. Over the years we had good times and bad times all the while sharing our life’s stories with each other.

What I learned during our conversations is that Dave had a hard up-bring and was on a dark path until he escaped and found a new life. He shared with me that part of that escape was his bicycle. When he was peddling it made him feel good, it cleared his head, and it gave him confidence to change. Dave loved riding and it was something he felt good doing. His bike helped give him reason to change his life for the better.

Dave is the reason I am now president of Capital City Cyclists. He was a man who made quick decisions and was not afraid to take action. After his accident I committed to do what I could to help make cycling safer and, more importantly, help others fall in love with bicycles and an active lifestyle and improve their life – just like Dave did. So when I was asked to lead the club I thought of Dave and took action.

I love you Dave and thanks for the inspiration,

Zach Finn
2012 CCC President