Thursday, October 3, 2013

We will miss you Amy.

I haven't posted here in a long time for a variety of reasons. However, today's events make me want to write and share my feelings.

I'm sitting in a hotel in Hong Kong, staring out the window at the harbour and preparing to head out on the water to coach. I woke up this morning to the gut wrenching news of Amy Dombroski's passing. It hit me like a ton of bricks and I haven't yet been able to start my day. I did not know Amy long, nor incredibly well, but I was lucky enough to call her a friend.

The cyclocross community in Boulder, CO is the truest incarnation of a word that gets used a little too much in our world. Cross in Colorado is a community. People watching out for, supporting, loving and propping up those in it. The entire goal of our group is to not only bring more people to cross, but to create a supportive environment within it.

I as much as anyone have enjoyed that support. I stopped racing triathlon in 2003 as work got busy and I felt like I needed to "grow up" to be successful as a coach. For a few years I toiled away at the job and maybe jumped into an occasional race. Something was missing and as 2008 rolled around, I realized I missed racing. I started with a couple cross races and discovered something special was going there. I was out of shape, large, and probably didn't belong in the open field, but I was greeted with smiles, encouragement and support from the very people I was racing. I fell in love and have never looked back. I am by no means the fastest and frankly, there are many days where I still don't belong in the open field, but I never feel like I don't belong in this community.

Amy was the personification of our community. She was was she fast. A joy to watch on the bike, whether in person or streaming in fits and starts on She was the kind of racer that you just wanted to scream for and god knows many a "C'mon Amy" came belting through my house at 5:30 am on random fall weekend mornings. There was not an indifferent comment when we all heard she signed with Telenet-Fidea. We could not be happier. One of our own, in Europe with a European team. Not only that, it was the right one of us. The one that would put the best foot forward for American cross. A smiling, humble, vibrant little badger of a racer. Our badger, from our community.

It hurts that she is gone. A lot. What hurts even more is to be away from the community during this time. Frisco, Providence and cross races all across the countries should be celebrations this weekend. Celebrations of Amy, her life and her love for this sport of ours. I'm sad to be away. When I get home, I'm gonna glue up those Challenge tires in my garage that say A. Dombroski on the side walls and go ride them one more time.

We love you Amy. You will be missed.

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