Monday, February 04, 2008

Sheldon Brown

A wise, gentle, witty, caring, thoughtful and generous man has left the world of the living, but he leaves behind a great example of what one man can do with a passionate life, freely shared. In the past few hours, the internet has bloomed with tributes to Sheldon, folks telling how he touched their lives, how he was always generous with his time and patient with his answers.

Sheldon lived an astoundingly full life and somehow found time to log his discoveries in rich detail. He certainly knew bikes but he also laid down some of the first tracks in a wilderness called the internet and he taught a lot of people how to homestead here. How to homestead and how to behave. Share what you know, do what you love, live life beyond the computer screen and report back. Sign your work. Laugh often. Read. Sing. Rejoice.

Sheldon was so encyclopedic in his knowledge, so prolific in his postings that some of us wondered sometimes if perhaps he'd actually joined with his computer, his email filters and databases of arcane facts welded together with home-brew scripts that of course he'd freely share. And now they tell us Sheldon is gone, his mighty heart has beat its last.

His cyber opus will live on, of course. Google's spiders will tell you how deeply wound the man's knowlege is woven into the world's web. But no more postings from the man himself? No more delightful bikes? No more reports of his lovely family, the books he's read, the songs he's sung? Our world is poorer for his passing, but so rich for his having been here with us, showing us a wonderful way to live.

Sheldon Brown had perhaps the richest home page on the internet, a page that gave the reader perhaps the truest sense of the man. Sheldon is gone, but in a way he's not. He gave us so much, so freely and because of that we can still go here:

Thank you Sheldon. Thank you for everything.
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