#bikeschool: We Are Family

Monday the 9th of May 2011 saw a tragic chain of events that will change the present lives and futures of a vast array of people due to the sad loss of a young professional cyclist, Wouter Weylandt. The exact facts and events of that day may never known by the fanatical public but due to the circumstances of Weylandt’s death and the reactions of some of his colleagues that were on the Passo del Bocco that day, this may be a good thing.

For the sword outwears its sheath, and the soul wears out the breast. And the heart must pause to breathe, and love itself have rest.

-Lord Byron (1788-1824)

Wouter Weylandt 09/27/84 – 05/09/11

Like many, I shed a tear or two last Monday whilst watching the live pictures of Stage 3 of the Giro d’Italia on Eurosport. Many on Twitter prayed that what we had seen would not result in the ultimate sacrifice for ones’ sports but would, if our faith prevailed, turn in to a story of miraculous survival and recovery worthy of a sport which often asks so much from it’s competitors. More tears were shed the next day during the neutralized precession stage which was a beautifully poignant display of the how the millions of people across the world, within and surrounding the sport, are interconnected in some small way.

The sad death of Wouter Weylandt effected me emotionally more than I would have expected such an event to. In a professional capacity I see death on a very regular basis compared to most people, almost daily, and there are also news items of celebrity deaths taking up the final 30 seconds of air time on TV channels every week across the globe. So what was it about this event that struck such a fragile chord in me? It’s true that Wouter was only 1 month older than I am but I don’t think this was the only reason. I still haven’t quite put my finger on the reasons behind my reaction, but feel supported in the knowledge there are many others out their that felt the same things as I did. Anyway, please forgive me as this was not meant to be a self-important, cathartic session. More a slap to the senses.

A moment in time

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