"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

11.9.08

Thursday (not so) Hate



Pieter Ombregt (left) died a year ago today, racing his bike. I hate that every time I hear the word, "Matteson," I am reminded of that day. I hate that every time I pass an unpadded obstacle along a race course, I am reminded of the way he died. I hate that everytime I stand, squinting into a fall's golden sunset with a strong breeze in my hair, I see Peter riding off the front and disappearing in the glare.

I hate the fact that I barely had a chance to really be a truly innocent participant in this sport before being initiated to the brutally frank fact that we risk it all for a very personal, irrelevant thrill.

But having known Pieter, for as brief a time as I did, showed me that we risk it all by walking out the door every morning, or with even less daring. And that any thrill can indeed be very personal, and therefore certainly relevant; when the alternative is getting lost amid the thrills which mean nothing to anyone else, least of all you. Whatever universe you choose to frame your life with, it's always a big place. And taking a risk, any risk at all, gives you cause and a reason to stand up and shout, to anyone who cares...

"I DID THAT!"

...win or lose. It matters that you did it. Pieter rode every race like it was his last. He taught me, along with that lesson that reality is always nearby, that it's worth almost anything to get as far from it as you can, if only for a couple of hours.

Pieter, most certainly, did that.

2 comments:

BikeLane said...

Dude, do you know Lindy Alton? I think she used to race on your team (with the XXX jersey) -- or, maybe just ride with you guys or something. At any rate, she's down here in Austin now, and she races on my team -- at&t/Brain and Spine. She's doing pretty well.

Small world.

-Bikelane

The Car Whisperer said...

I have heard of her...didn't she used to date Kirby? She's before my time tho...

Thanks for checking in all the way from Austin. I went to school at UNT!