Monday, June 17, 2013

A Sad Reminder...

It's a shame that this is my first post on the blog for Ship Cycling, but I felt that it'd be appropriate to convey how I've been feeling today on here.

About 2 weeks ago Alan, Chris T. and I went to the FCC ride that left from Britton Park. It was awesome! We had so much fun climbing 641 that Eric Diamond and Alan wanted to kick the ride up a few more miles and do a few more climbs. I joined the two of them, and joining us were two of Eric's co-workers/friends John Benton and Karim Ziyad. Of course Eric and Alan blazed up the hills with ease while I was stuck suffering about 1/4 mile behind them. During those suffering moments I began talking with Karim and John about how much the climbing sucked even though they didn't even seem like they were struggling. The two seemed like cool guys that enjoyed riding so I chatted with them a bit more during the ride. We ended up putting in a good 47 miles and 4,000 ft of climbing. After the ride, like always, we exchanged farewells and said that it was a pleasure riding with each other.

I saw on John's Strava account today that his friend Karim was killed while riding on the East side of Mont Alto, just off of Cold Spring Road.

This struck me hard. Although I didn't know Karim outside of that one 47 mile ride, I still felt the urge to write about him. He seemed like a cool guy, and it really doesn't seem fair. He shared the same passion that we all love; riding bikes. Things like this happen every day,  and it just comes as a reminder that we really do need to cherish our lives. I feel that we, as cyclists, need to be reminded about this while we are out doing what we do. We need to realize that if we take a turn too fast on a descent for that KOM, not look twice while crossing the road,  or try and make a pass while crossing into oncoming traffic, we could possibly be risking our life. At any given moment, we can slip-up and that would be it. 

As I began to think more into this I realized that this won't keep me from doing what I love to do. We all know the risks, we all have taken these risks, it's what we do. Thanks to everyone at Ship Cycling, I've learned some safety tips while on top of racing and I'm grateful to now have that knowledge. While I'm out on my next ride I"ll be enjoying the scenery, taking in the warm Summer air, loving the solidarity of being out in the countryside of Pennsylvania, and having deep conversations with myself about my life.
It's going to be a great ride, but I know that I'll be thinking about Karim. He'll be the reminder I need. 

Please be safe out there, everyone. It doesn't matter if you've been racing for years, or have been riding strictly on the trails. The risk is there and it could be in the form of a car, deer, tree, or rock.


Rest easy, Karim.

- Kyle

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