Sunday, June 17, 2007

38 minutes. I sat silently still in the truck for 38 minutes on the drive from the race to my hotel. No cell phone, no iPod, just me and the world around me in the blackness of night. It’s strange how loud the littlest things are when you aren’t battling distractions; the sound of my gritty palm against the steering wheel. The inexhaustible grind and whistle of a diesel engine fighting the New York topography, water bottles sloshing in time to the rhythmic flow of the road. The almost dreadful click-clack of the blinker - Silence and yet the loudest din.

Death is a subject that I’ve had too much experience with in my short 24 years about this Earth. I’ve had a friend, a family member, and even a family friend pass away all within the last year. Tonight I experienced a different kind of loss – the loss of a stranger. We had met briefly and exchanged a few niceties, and there was even a mention of some rum for later in the evening, but for the most part we were strangers. Ben was the manager of Park Avenue Bike Shop in Rochester, NY; albeit a stranger he was still bike shop brethren. What we lacked in personal experiences together we shared a common love – cycling.

I snapped this picture about five minutes before I got word that someone was in bad shape out on the course. The sunset was beautiful; the weather was perfect for a mountain bike ride. It’s exactly how a person should leave this life - doing what they love and surrounded by beauty.

Cherish your friends and loved ones and your times together for they are truly sacred. Spread love until your wheels stop turning.


jason said...

Thanks for expressing what I have been feeling. As a racer there it was especcially surreal to go from 9 hours in the heat running laps to standing there finding out someone died on the same course that I just rode.
Thanks for the words and the sunset over those NY ridges. We will all miss another cycling stranger.

Tim Jackson- Masi Guy said...


Sorry to hear of this loss- for you and all of the people who knew Ben.

Yes, life is far too short and is almost always cut shorter than we want- either for those who are dieing or for the ones who are grieving the loss.

The minute we start to remember how precious life is, the sooner we begin to really live and appreciate life.

Keep living.

lucky said...

You almost brought tears to my eyes. I liked the keep loving until your wheels quit turning. You are learning this lesson at a young age, just remember it. Lucky