I ask this question because there is a rider that was doing a race I was in earlier in the year that will pass away in the next week or so from his injuries. He crashed during the sprint of I think a Cat 5 race maybe it was a 4/5 because I heard the rider used to be a Cat 2 and had just came back to racing. I did not see the crash nor did I go and see the rider lying on the ground after but I heard it was bad bad bad. The story I heard was that he landed on his face without putting his hands down and was going at a good clip. He was taken to the local hospital and the local cycling community really rallied behind this family and raised money, and donated food to help them in their time of need. My team donated some money as well and I hope that it somehow made the family's life a little better but I doubt it. How could anything make their lives better with their father, husband, son, friend laying in a bed fighting for his life. We were given daily updates on how he was doing over the local forums and I checked multiple times a day praying for some good news. But massive brain swelling has taken its toll and the doctors have see no improvements for some time now, and the family was faced with the horrible decision of "pulling the plug". My wife and I have talked about this happening to one of us multiple times, about what we both would like, and I am sure that this family has done the same. But still the final decision to say good bye has to be the hardest thing anyone would ever have to face.
I know that I have often said that I would love to go doing something that I love to do. Not wasting away in a bed of some cancer or something like that. I don't think that I mean in my prime though. When I say that I mean when I am 100 years old I want to be riding my bike in some group ride and my heart just explodes as I reach the top of some mountain. The sun shining, with the whole world stretching out in front of me. My last breath is a gasp at the beauty of the moment, and then it is over. To pass at such a young age leaving a family behind is not how I would want to go.
One of my teammates said that this crash made him think, he has his first baby coming in less than a month and has a lot of responsibility coming up. It makes me think as well but mostly that I have to be as vigilant as I can be while racing. Try to stay out of trouble and just ask God every time that I start a race that I, and every other guy out there makes it home safe that night. I know the danger involved, I have been in dangerous sports my whole life. I could die slipping in the tub. This just hits close, and I know that I will keep this with me for a long time.