|Steve Tilford (L) on the 2015 Gravelleur's Raid podium. Image courtesy of the Gravelluer's Raid Facebook Page|
I did not have the honor of ever meeting Steve Tilford, but as a mountain biker and gravel road riding enthusiast, if you were paying attention at all, you knew about Steve Tilford. His racing career was long and prolific and, no doubt, will be celebrated for years to come. I was not so much a student of Tilford's results or his races, but what I was impressed by were the stories that are legend amongst cyclists I knew back in the days of my earliest mountain biking riding and racing. Stories about Tilford's prowess on a bike off road, including cyclo cross. His stitching himself up after getting badly gashed. Stories of seemingly epic nature.
Then recently I became aware of Tilford's gravel racing exploits. It should be well noted by any cyclist that Mr. Tilford was good, really good, at any form of cycling competition he chose to focus on. Mountain biking, road racing in all its forms, cyclo cross, and gravel racing were all disciplines that Tilford excelled at. It is my opinion he was the best all-around American cyclist ever.
Finally, as a blogger I have noted that Tilford's blog was a place where he expressed all sorts of well regarded opinions and especially those on doping. It was, and is, a highly popular blog, and his writings will be sorely missed.
I extend my sincere condolences to the family and friends of Steve Tilford upon this news of his death.