I never met Bret, but he was well know in the local cycling community and an avid cross racer. He’s been competing in the single speed category for at least a couple years now and he scored a personal best 3rd place this past Sunday in Ranier, OR. The next day, Monday, October 22 2007, he died under the wheels of a garbage truck — victim of the right hook.

Brett’s story resonates with me for a couple of reasons. The first is that we both shared a passion for racing cyclocross. It’s always hard to hear about a person in their prime being struck down, especially someone who we can identify with — someone who shares common goals and ambitions. He was killed while riding his bike — something I do quite a bit of myself. I commute by bike and also ride to train. Every now and again, I think about how fragile I am out there on my bike with all those cars and trucks whizzing by. Also, another cyclist was killed only a week or so prior to this in similar circumstances.

I can’t condemn the drivers in either of these cases and I know that they were devastated about the results of their actions in both cases. So let’s all be extra careful out there. Life is a wonderful gift. While we shouldn’t live in fear of the horrors that may befall us, we need to be vigilant about protecting the gift.

There are some great posts out there regarding Brett and the circumstances of his accident:

3 Responses to “RIP Brett Jarolimek”

  1. Guy says:

    You truely summed it up Brooke, It was very upsetting to me when I first heard this, and at first I could not figure out why, but you are right we all share a common bond.

  2. stevef says:

    This is such a tragedy. It is amazing how the death of someone you never knew can punch you in the gut. I guess technically I raced in the same race as him on Sunday (Bs/Singlespeed) and it’s surreal that you can be so alive one day and the next you’ve passed on…
    All I could think about yesterday while riding was this. I fought the urge to just stay home and hunker down.

    I have noticed the “Right Hook” a handfull of times here in Washington on my rides, but now it’s been terribly underscored and I will be extra vigilant.

  3. Gen Sicaeros says:

    I did not know Brett either, but I read about him in the newspaper, and then on the web.
    I am very saddened, and my eyes filled with tears, and I am at work
    I just don’t know what to say.

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