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An Open Letter to All Who Race


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#1 Caster Troy

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 11:35 AM

I know that many of you have been following the tragic events that unfolded regarding Randy Gillespie's racing accident.  Without going into a lot of detail, if you don't know what I'm referring to, Randy was racing in a local race and was involved in a tragic accident that eventually claimed his life.  He was a young man that left behind a loving family who will miss daily.

In that thread, I mentioned something to the effect of thinking about Randy the next time that you're racing.  Many times we get so competitive that we lose sight of just how easily a racing situation can get out of control and result in horrific accidents.  We all want to win.  We all want to do well.  No one wants to lose or enjoys having a competitor overtake them.  No one likes being forced off our line or pushed out of the pack.  After all, we are competing to win or at least do very well.

I would like to ask that all local cyclists, racers and non-racers alike, affix the letters "RG" to their helmets or bikes.  Why?  Let me tell you why.

The next time you're racing and it's clear that the corner only has room for one bike to get through, and you're fighting to be that one bike, the next time that you get bumped off your line, the next time that you're doing whatever you can to maintain a lead (even if it means being not-so-nice to your fellow racers), the next time that you're treating your race as if million$ are on the line...STOP and look.  Maybe you'll see an RG prominently displayed on the helmet of the guy next to you.  Think of Randy and his family.  Is it worth the risk to push that little bit harder that may take you over the edge, and possibly get you a ride to the ER?  Leave your family to care for you for the remainder of your years?  Leave your family missing their Dad, Mom, brother, sister, etc.?  The answer is a resounding "NO."

Folks, we are racing to have fun.  Sure, we all want to win.  We all want to do well.  But we are doing this for FUN.  We are not professional racers.  We will not be getting calls from bike companies to endorse their products.  We will not be courted by the finest teams in the nation/world.  We still have to get up and go to work on Monday and provide for our families.  We still need to be there for our kids.  We still need to be there for so many of the good things that life has to offer.

All I ask is that let some 'good' come of the tragedy that Randy was a part of.  If it gets some of us to change our attitudes even a little bit and mellow out on the course in the name of holding back so that another rider may pass or backing off a bit because our pace got a little too hectic, so we can go home at the end of the day and see our loved ones, then it was a success.

That is all.  Mark, feel free to cross post this where ever you see fit.

Peace,
CT

#2 itsboz

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 11:50 AM

CT, that's your finest piece of writing to date.  Like the new approach.  While I'm not racing much anymore, it's definitely a great focal point to life.  Thanks for taking the time to suggest it.
Craig Basler

#3 cleeland

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 12:23 PM

And to think that I almost ignored this thread simply because of the author's history of sh*t-stirring posts.  Definitely would have been my loss.

Kudos, CT.
Winner in absentia: '09 Moonlight Ramble

#4 R3D

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 01:04 PM

And to think I could have ignored this post.  Oh well, I'll learn from my mistakes.

#5 digyourownwhole

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 04:23 PM

View Postitsboz, on 26 August 2011 - 11:50 AM, said:

CT, that's your finest piece of writing to date.  Like the new approach.  While I'm not racing much anymore, it's definitely a great focal point to life.  Thanks for taking the time to suggest it.
+1

Thank you for posting this, CT.


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#6 box of water

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 03:04 PM

Perhaps someone with ties to a vinyl or decal shop could create a sticker with his initials on them. Someone could sell them to the community & proceeds would go towards Randy's family.

#7 samuelfmoore

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 10:48 AM

Bicycles racing is many different things. All of which come with common level of threat. Driving around is cars daily is a far greater common threat than a life time of bicycle races. Yet we would never waver to drive daily. Having been a bike messenger for over 10yrs in the 80's and 90's I saw my share of daily carnage. As couriers we where first to most accident scenes as well as our own! Remember " Criterium " racing is just one form of racing AND it is the MOST dangerous of ALL bicycle racing. Yet like a moth to a flame it attracts fit athletes with questionable skills at best(pc). There's "cyclocross", there's " mountain biking ". Yet the masses with choose " Criterium " racing regardless of the cost. I'm just glad the dangerous season is over till next spring.. . . And believe me when I say me and others think of Randy every sketchy turn with reverence!

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Edited by samuelfmoore, 25 November 2011 - 09:23 AM.


#8 Caster Troy

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 01:52 PM

Mark,

Please pin this and urge all who race to read it in preparation for the upcoming season.  A reminder might help save someone from suffering the same fate as Randy.

CT