Depression Nearly Took His Life—Then His Bike Saved Him

THIS NAVY PILOT CONQUERED HIS DEMONS ONE RIDE AT A TIME.

The night was black and the fog was low on Michael Espinosa’s pre-dawn ride to Richmond, Virginia, which made for oddly beautiful yet eerie conditions.

He had risen at 1 a.m., left his home in Norfolk an hour later, and by 3 a.m., he entered the mouth of the Virginia Capital Trail in Jamestown on his Kestrel Talon. As he moved silently along the Route 5 Corridor on that early October morning, he may as well have been pedaling in a planetarium. All the stars were on top of him.

It was an impulsive ride. Just hours prior, Espinosa had cheered on a friend in a half marathon and felt inspiration strike. He had dabbled in triathlons and badly missed racing—the competition and culture, sure, but mostly the euphoria of finishing. He wanted to do something like that for himself.

So the 24-year-old cleared his schedule for a Century, a feat he had completed on the same path back in the spring. But then he heard a voice in his head: “Sure, you could do 100 miles … or you could do 140.”  more

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