One morning in the summer of 2011 Bart Campolo left his house in Cincinnati for a long bicycle ride. Goateed and bald, but still trim and fit at 48, Campolo was the envy of his generation of evangelical pastors. That morning, Campolo was, as usual, a little self-conscious about his attire. “I feel ridiculous in my spandex,” he says. Years of pickup basketball had wrecked his ankles, leaving regular bicycle treks as his only form of exercise. But he was excited to do 30 or 40 miles through the rolling southern Ohio hills.
Normally his bike rides were his time to think — about his family, his ministry and his increasingly complex relationship with his Christian faith. But he has no memory of his thoughts that day. He left the house, and the next thing he remembers is waking up in the hospital. “And I don’t remember anything else,” he says.