Walter Woylant died doing something he loved today. The Belgian rider was descending from the Passo Del Bocco when he looked back and struck a wall, catapulting him from his bike. Despite the fact that I was able to post about something else today, it just doesn’t feel right continue on without putting my thoughts into words.
Racing is beautiful for the same reason that climbing mountains is beautiful. I find these things beautiful because they ask that you dig deep and give everything you have. All for a short moment of over coming. For those moments when we’ve exploded our self imposed limits. For transcendence that comes from being lost in that activity. The transcendence that comes from either throwing your hands up in victory or throwing them around your partner when you reach the summit. I hate to phrase it this way, but after a while you come to expect that you will hear about someone dying in the mountains. I’m not saying it doesn’t affect you, that it doesn’t give you a moment to pause. It just seems much more likely given the way a storm or an avalanche can catch you off guard. You just don’t ever expect to hear about someone loosing their life while racing.
Right now I’m experiencing the same type of feelings I felt every time I heard about someone loosing their life in the mountains. It’s during these moments when everything comes into sharp focus. Suddenly writing, riding, and complaining about not being able to find a job are revealed for what they really are. Silly first world problems.
Weylandt was not just a bike racer but a Husband, a Son, and an expectant Father. The people who love him will forever have a hole in their lives which can never be filled. In a few days parents will bury their son. Their son who died while racing his bike on live TV. IT shouldn’t be like that. Sadly we don’t get to choose how, where, or why. I obviously didn’t know Wouter Weylandt, but we both loved racing, both love our bikes and that bit is enough to link us. Its what links all of us cyclist. There is a chance of this happening to any of us and it should give us all a moment of pause.