Taking Risks

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It must be a horrific time for family and friends of the unfortunate Melbourne cyclist whose life was cut short this past weekend.  From what I understand he was descending down one of the popular training roads (2Bays),  lost control on some loose gravel,  and ran into an oncoming truck.  My condolences to everyone connected this this young man.

I don’t know the full story of precisely what happened but it’s a harsh reminder of how things can go drastically wrong in an instant.   I’ve quickly descended this road and many others like it hundreds of times with a few close calls.  Fortunately I’ve come home safely every time thinking nothing of it.

I’m often out on training rides where my mates and I are taking massive chances on descents for the sake of an adrenaline rush.  Sure everyone feels in control and riding well within our abilities.  All it takes is a puncture, a hidden stone, a dog to run out, a car cutting the corner, and many people’s lives may be changed forever.  There are things are completely out of your control, no matter how good of a rider you are.

The thing that many of us forget when taking unnecessary risks is that it’s severely traumatic for many other people involved.  It’s selfish to think that these risks only affect you.  The poor driver who may have unintentionally killed you and has to live with it for the rest of his life. The friends who had to deal with the mess you left.  Your family, your friends, your colleagues.  Everyone suffers.

Yes, you gotta live your life to the fullest and have some fun out there, but you also gotta think about the other people in your life who want (and need) to see you live another day. I’m not saying that you should be descending on the brakes at 30km/hr, but there’s more than yourself to consider when taking unnecessary chances out on the open road.

Note: I’m not implying that the young man who died last weekend was riding recklessly or taking risks beyond his abilities. I didn’t know him and don’t know the details of exactly how the accident occured.

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