Dealing with tragedy is something every human being has to deal with at some stage in their lifetime. Losing a loved one causes a deep unparalleled pain that if not adequately addressed can have powerful implications on the rest of your life.
Having been through some tragedy already in life, I have found myself facing another lose. Although not a close loved one an athlete lost their life in a cycling accident recently and I can’t speak for all coaches, but I myself see my athletes as an extended family. In turn feeling the full effects of the incident. As coaches we put our heart and soul into what we love doing. Losing a friend is one thing and losing an athlete another both no greater loss than the other, compounding thoughts and feelings around the situation. I can’t lie it has been hard to get work done and I did set out to write this blog about appropriate action and how to conduct yourself on the roads whilst riding. Now I find myself writing about loss, tragedy and effects of it, so this blog is probably more about myself than you readers and part of facing things head-on to proceed with living for the now.
As a coach I want confident riders on the roads, confidence breeds empowerment and with empowerment comes attributes that will help keep a clearer more alert thought process while undertaking an activity that has potential to be stressful. This incident has forced me to not only re-evaluate what’s most important in life. It has made me re-evaluate my coaching values and methods to empower athletes with the right attributes to instil confidence in themselves and their capabilities aiding in safer riding to reduce the risk of this ever happening again. Not being able to put a stamp of guarantee on rider safety doesn’t sit well with me knowing that I cannot and will not ever be able to, so skill acquisition, education and the safest training environment I can provide is what I’ll do my best to provide for any athlete, coach or person I have the pleasure of dealing with in this circus we call life.
I’ll finish off with what I intended to say in the first place. Please consider all aspects of your training rides from clothing to time of day, number of lights to careful consideration of your route. Control what you can control. If you have an accident due to unpreparedness or lack of consideration then I’m sorry to say that the blame will fall solely on yourself. Something we overlook these days is courtesy and consideration to other road users. A simple wave of the hand to another person on the road has the power to change that person’s entire day let alone their thoughts and feelings towards cyclists. Have ownership of your actions and hold others accountable. Tell a friend they shouldn’t ride if their light isn’t bright enough, better yet send them home. Tell a stranger (politely) that they are hard to see dressed completely in black, they will more than likely appreciate it.
If anything remember this whether you’re in the right or wrong, as a cyclist you will always come off second best.
Stay safe, lots of love and if you need help ASK.