Matt loved cycling. It was apparent seeing his face and name at our rides over and over. Like many, I never had the honor of knowing Matt as a writer, chef, student, family member or old friend. Instead, I was one of the many that knew him as a cyclist. It was a common bond so many of us share. We hardly know what everyone else's lives entail outside of cycling but it's this incredible passion that brings us together and helps us to share our lives. Matt was so amazing for coming out to ride. He was a mystery to most of us because he came out to do what he loved, he would even whoop on us quite a bit, but then would return to his other routines without a peep. God I hate this news. Up until now, the worst day of ever having to get back on the bike was the day after finding out about Ryan Boudreau's fatal accident. It's become a horrifyingly familiar feeling. It's an instinctive reaction to feel some responsibility and be overcome with guilt. Damn me for ever picking up a bicycle and damn me for even thinking of riding a bicycle ever again. Why do I promote these things? Why do I ride like that? Why wasn't I there? Why couldn't I do something? Why do I do this? Jesus, it could have been me!
It feels disrespectful and disgusting to consider getting back into the very thing that Matt had given his life to enjoy. Not only that, think of the consciences of the truck driver that took Ryan's life last year and the conscience of the driver of that SUV from that morning being forever haunted by these horrible experiences. Above all, his poor family and friends are left to grieve over an all too sudden loss.
Had anyone known that the tragedy of Matthew Manger-Lynch's death was going to happen, there isn't a soul on this earth that would have done what they planned on doing today. Life can be so fragile, I am often afraid to ever live it. The one time you forget your seatbelt. The one time you eat the wrong thing. The one time you forget your medicine. The one time you cross the street. The one time you forget to say goodbye. It's not fair how easily something this precious can be taken from us.
You cannot stop living the life you love and doing the things that make you happy. Sure, you can change the way you do something, but there will always be a possible moment you slip up and luck will either carry you through or it won't. The only certain thing is this moment you have to contact those important to you and let them know that.
It's not disrespectful to get back on that bike and do the things that make you and others happy. I would think it's disrespectful to witness something like this and not see the opportunities life has given you. This has given you a reminder to get a hold of those important to you. It has given you a reminder to let your family know you love them, let your friends know you're grateful for them, let your world be a little bit better because you have the opportunity to do so.
Matt has not gone in vain. He will make all of us better at enjoying life and the things we truly love. Let's return the favor by letting those we love know it and helping those who have lost the great gift of Matthew Manger-Lynch to make it through these hardest of times...