Amy Dombroski, an American cyclcocross racer, was killed today in Belgium. She was hit by a truck while on a training ride. The full story can be read at VeloNews.
The ‘cross’ community is a tightly knit one. People know each other. It’s a small group of folks hearty enough to embrace the madness of cross. Pros ride the same courses as amateurs, and the amateurs stay around after their race to watch. Cross is viewed from inches and feet away. Perhaps this is why pro cyclocross racers are much more accessible than most athletes.
Here is a string of messages sent to our e-group in Louisville. The first is from Rolf Eisenger–a cycling icon in this town.
“Today is a sad day for cycling as Amy Dombroski, twenty-six years young, was killed after being hit by a truck while on a training ride in Belgium. Not sure if many of you know Amy, but she lived in Boulder and raced several cross races here in Louisville. I can’t say enough good things about Amy and her family who were gracious enough to allow me to stay with them while I raced in Vermont. She was an amazing person and super strong cyclist and she will be missed.
They haven’t released any other details about the incident but, regardless of what happened, it’s a reminder for us to do as much as we can to both remain safe and to follow the rules of the road. We can be doing everything right and still end up in an unfortunate accident, but anything that we can do to bring us home safely to our families is important. It will be especially important as the time change nears and it grows dark earlier in the evening.
Another cyclist and all-around great guy, Jeremy Grimm, was struck by a motorist this week as well in what appears to be a deliberate act. He was just released from the ICU today and, while he has a long recovery ahead of him, he is expected to make a full recovery.”
My response to Rolf:
Thank you Rolf.
I also had the pleasure to meet Amy a few years ago during USGP. She was gracious and warm, which says a lot b/c USGP was a big race.
These sorts of tragic events adjust things a little.
It makes one realize how it’s all so fragile. You perseverate over mud tires, training logs and how much protein to eat. But you don’t really consider that a particular training ride might be your last.
Earlier this year, when my chain skipped while I was leaning forward on the bars at 50k per hour, causing me to land on my (thankfully) thick skull, I lost 30 minutes of my life. When I came to, Staci was looking down at me. I thought, geez, how did she get here so fast? We live 20 minutes away from the crash. Gone I was for that time. It’s still gone.
What if I hadn’t come to? What if that was it?
I see this every day in the hospital. The human heart beats 100,000 times per day. If it stops for just a minute…well, you know.
Ride safely is one message from Amy’s death. Surely it is a good one.
Another message is to enjoy the present moment. Wait, check that, just noticing the moment is a good start.