The Cycling Podcast
I love to watch pro-cycling races. I especially love the scenery and find inspiration in the European villages , the humanity of the racers and the epic story that unfolds. I have been listening to The Cycling Podcast for many years and love the beautiful way they tell that story- adding texture and details, place and history.
In 2016 I sent an email to the contact page of the podcast after listening to some interviews and segments about and by a Virginia native cyclist, Joe Dombroski, who I had designated as cupworthy, with the hope that they might be willing to help me get a cup to him. The next morning there was an email in my inbox from Joe Dombrowski saying that he would love a cup. One of the hosts of the show, Richard Moore, had forwarded my email to Joe and in appreciation of his kindness I also sent Richard a cup.
Over the next few years Richard and I followed each other on Twitter and he would occasionally ask who may have proven themselves to be cupworthy during a race and make a suggestion as who might deserve one (Michael Woods)
In late 2018 Richard Moore contacted me and asked if I would be interested in making limited edition cups for The Cycling Podcast cups. Without hesitation I said an enthusiastic YES. Richard had the idea to tie the sales of the cups to meaningful causes and raise money for charities and to sell cups as part of each cycling grand tour.
Since 2019 I have collaborated with The Cycling Podcast to create handmade mugs, beer cups, gelato bowls, cappuccino and espresso sets and whisky cups for each cycling grand tour- in 2022 we also made cups for the Tour de France Femmes. The sales of the cups raised more than $10,000 each year and proceeds went to benefit so many worthy causes.
I have loved working on this project- every part of it. I often work while watching bike races and, of course, listening to The Cycling Podcast so every part of making these became even more of a pleasure. I loved the philanthropic part of it as well and knowing that the funds raised would go to raise money and awareness for important causes. Making these cups and sending them off into the world also created connections, built friendships and helped to forge a community- a community of the loveliest human beings. One of the best parts is hearing from people about how much a handmade cup has touched their lives and how the concept of being cupworthy is spreading around the world. It has filled me with happiness and changed my life and my work.
In late March 2022 we received the devastating news that Richard Moore has passed away in his sleep. I only met Richard in person (at a live TCP show in London in 2019) once but I suppose it is a testament to the kind of person he is and the strength of his character that he could make such an impact on my life after knowing him for such a short period of time.
It is easy for me (and a bit hard too) to say that Richard was one of the most generous people I have ever known. It is also easy (and a bit hard too) to say that knowing Richard changed my life in all the best kinds of ways. It was his generosity and thoughtful kindness that brought about the cup making collaboration with The Cycling Podcast.
The cups were a product of his incredible generosity of spirit and thoughtful warm nature. The loss of him is devastating but there is some comfort in knowing that a small piece of his generosity is in people’s hands as they use their mugs, thinking of him and the outstanding human being that he was. As a functional potter I have often argued that a handmade cup is so much more than just a cup- and now I see that it is so much more.
The money that we raised from the sales of the cups this year will be donated to a charity that honors Richard’s legacy. Here’s to Richard, to more handmade cups in the world, to more kindness and generosity and to a thoughtful debate and a story well told.