The Big Little Things.

December 10, 2012

Every year around this time, I can't remember being busier; being more exhausted. Little things pile up and big things collide and all I want to do is eat sugar cookies and watch Elf.

When cyclists come to visit Adventure Cycling, sometimes they get their portrait taken by our talented co-founder, Greg Siple.

Greg and I are desk neighbors here at headquarters. The other day we came across one of his portraits online and without hesitation, Greg checked to see if the photographed cyclist had returned the follow-up form that Greg mails out to anyone he photographs.

He hadn't.

The follow-ups are little forms asking cyclists to recount the most memorable moments of their trip along with the logistics of the adventure.

Greg went on to talk passionately about what these follow-ups mean to him. It was so moving, I wrote part of it down (hurriedly):


"To me, it's a big part of my life, but to [portrait subjects], it's just one of a hundred other things. But some people really care and these photos meant something to them and they write back. [Among] those are the gems that make it worth it."

I was humbled by his heart and embarrassed by my busyness. It made me revisit my dusty "not-so-important" checklist: write my aunt, email my former art professor back, sit down and listen to the mix CD my father made me, and many more.

Things so big to others, and so joyful for me as well, somehow get lost in the crazy shuffle and labeled as less important.

It's the big little things that matter most sometimes. Thanks for reminding me, Greg.

And cyclists! Get your follow-up forms back! (You can also email them to gsiple(at)

Top photo by Greg Siple.

Bottom photo by Rachel Stevens.

ART. ADVENTURE. AWESOMENESS. wishes to bring enthusiasm to your second and fourth Monday of every month. This column is written by Rachel Stevens, a graphic designer at  Adventure Cycling Association.


Rachel, Graphic Designer February 6, 2013, 11:11 PM

Don't know how I just saw this, but thank you so much, Torin!

Hope 2013 is bringing you joy in all the simple things.

Torin Browning January 3, 2013, 11:52 PM

Spot on with this write up! We live in a busy world now and we can miss so much, especially the Simple things. Simplicity is a discipline now. The Big things can have an impact but its the Simple Things, done often, that changes the World..

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