"It never gets any easier. You just go faster." ---Greg Lemond
"Don't buy upgrades. Ride up grades." --- Eddy Merckx
"You drive like shit." ---The Car Whisperer


Go well, Pieter.

9/14 update: I would like to expand on mine and Erik's comments below on this picture. It was taken in late May of this year, the week of Snake Alley. It was my first time racing in Matteson, and it was a memorable night. I went in very unsure of my racing ability, with only 2 races under my belt, and came away with 5th place in the B's. Erik and Nick Gierman and I really romped that night, attacking like crazy and it was my first real taste of teamwork and seeing it pay off. The smiles on our faces are the result of the effort we all left on the pavement for our respective races that night - it was top tens all around for xXx.

I remember talking with Pieter for the first time afterwards, just before this was taken. My recollection was one of pure humbleness. Something I didn't expect after having heard about what a talented and aggressive racer he was. Luke said it best in comments for Pieter's obituary for Chicagobikeracing.com: Pieter never finished mid-pack. He was either Top 5, crashed out, or cracked hard and off the back. He rode the way he wanted - with honesty and his heart - and never needed any talk to back it up. He was one of my role models on this team.

As I said in my last entry for my team time trial report, I would certainly never have finished this season if it weren't for this team and for role models like Pieter. I am at a complete loss for words and explanation as to why this team has been visited not once, but twice, by the horrible disaster of losing two beloved and respected teammates in the span of less than three months. It is not fair. That all future races, packs, and podiums will be missing the desire, heart, will, and the smiles of Pieter and Beth.

It's up to us all to keep their spirit alive in all the races and rides to come.

You'll be missed.


big_e said...

i was there the night that picture was taken... great racing by all, for sure.

2 teammates in one year. this is insane.

The Car Whisperer said...

Yes, Erik. It was a great night. My first time at Matteson and you and I both placed. We had great teamwork going and it was a blast. I remember seeing Pieter there and he just had this kind of quiet aura about him, the way he rode. I always watched for any little tip to pick up on.