Without a doubt, interviewing Michael Czysz, and revealing his condition to the world, has been the most meaningful story I’ve written. I first met him several years ago as he was an instructor at a riding school I had attended. We kept in touch through emails or text messages from time to time, but when I heard news of his cancer diagnosis I was completely gutted. I’ll never understand why he allowed me, of all people, to be the one to tell his final story, but I’ll forever be appreciative of the opportunity.

You can read the story above if you haven’t already. It never was, nor was it supposed to be about me, but for just this once, I’ll share some thoughts of mine from my time with him. Simply being in his presence was difficult for me. Seeing him so thin, so frail, so alone, was gut wrenching. He was truly happy to have me at his house simply so he could have someone to talk to and tell stories.

Throughout the interview process I wondered all along if he was being honest with me or simply boasting about his accomplishments. As cruel as it sounds, I figured if I could somehow get him to shed a tear, then I’d know he was coming from a place of honesty. As any parent can relate to, once he started talking about his children, he couldn’t contain his emotions any longer. That’s when I knew he was being real with me. We covered a lot of ground during my stay, and there is plenty I kept out of the story. The hardest part for me was writing the piece, knowing I was basically writing an obituary about someone who was creeping closer towards death. Worse yet, I wrote the piece on my own birthday, with the juxtaposition of celebrating life while mourning impending death all weighing on my mind.

Now that Michael Czysz is gone, I look back at this story and wonder what was going through his mind during those last days. Had any of his positions changed? Was he at peace? I don’t know. What I do know is that stories like these are what fuel me as a moto-journalist. As I’ve said before, it’s the people I find more interesting than the motorcycles, and being able to share this story with you will go down as my favorite memory from my time at MO. Thanks for coming along for the ride.

  • Old MOron

    Darnit, this is why MO has a job opening.
    Always enjoyed your MOronic efforts, Trizzle.
    Best wishes.

  • Old MOron

    PS: you guys should’ve shopped in one of Troy’s pictures where he has the mutton chops.

  • Starmag

    Your pieces were great Troy, you’ll be missed. All the best in your new endeavors! As one of my teachers told me “once a MOron, always a MOron”. It might not have been a compliment in my case though…

  • spiff

    Did they offer you a CEO position? I can’t see any other reason to leave the MO kingdom. Btw, you must work out!

  • Jon Jones

    My best. Enjoyed your take on things.

  • IslandTosh

    I had a feeling it was Troy leaving; it’s a loss for us MO readers. I always enjoyed your work Troy.

    Best wishes for your future endeavors.

  • JWaller

    Best of luck to you. I’m sure we’ll still hear from you in the comments section at least, right?

  • DickRuble

    Buena suerte, amigo. Remember; if it ain’t broken, aftermarket parts won’t fix it.

  • John B.

    Thank you for all the great content you produced during your tenure with Motorcycle.com, and best wishes for success in your new endeavor. I am sure you will do great things in your new position.

  • Walter

    Best of luck with the new opportunity! I hope you enjoy it as much as you enjoyed your time at MO.

  • SerSamsquamsh

    Moving on feels irrevocable – but – never say never.

    GOOd luck bro!

  • krishan adhikari

    enjoyed your articles. Best of luck.

  • c w

    fare well.

    and do let us know where else you’re going if it again involves media that we can enjoy.