Tuesday, May 10, 2011


It is somewhat presumptuous to think I can write something meaningful about the death of Wouter Weylandt. In fact I probably can't. What I can do is express my feelings. Death is all around us all the time, the issue with this death is it happened in an activity that celebrates life not death. The juxtoposition of the two what makes it so hard. I was on a week long bike ride when someone rode off the highway and died at the scene. I was next to his wife, standing around a fire celebrating the survival of a difficult day of riding when we heard the news. One moment we were all excited at the prospect of another day if riding and the next second we were in shock, in too much shock for me to actually feel anything. It was only hours later that I was able to feel the loss and saddness which comes from such a shock.
Cycling is a dangerous sport, and in my mind especially road riding. We are out among the iron death machines (cars), and just the fact that when we ride we like to be close makes this sport, which I love, so dangerous. We try to ignore and to pretend the danger down not exist, but it does. When there is big wreck in one of the local bike races many times there are statements of blame and accusations of " amateur" riding. Well that is because those involved don't want to accept that cycling is inherently dangerous.
I am not quitting the sport I love, but I do not try to hide the fact that any thing can happen at anytime. What I learn from events like the death yesterday ismsimple for me. Go out, enjoy our sport but to also respect and to accept the personal responsibility of what we do.
My heart goes out to all of those who knew Wouter. It is a sad day for all cyclists.

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