Tuesday, August 7, 2007
This really hurts my heart. Monday night some fellow cyclist were taken away from us by one careless act. Buzzo and I met Larry and Sierra the first weekend I took Alex out for the Longview Lake route. Larry, a very personable man, approached me and asked if I was riding the MS150. He told me how he had participated 15 years with Team Copaxone and how much fun it was, asking me to join them. Then he introduced us to Sierra who was going to ride her first MS150 with her grandfather in a few weeks. I thought this was very cool and it was a neat connection you know, not a lot of little girls out on road bikes, so Sierra and Alex being similar in age had a bond there. We headed out for the ride and were quickly dropped due to Alex's new/used bike issues. We stuck around the parking lot for a bit waiting to see if we could catch Larry and Sierra again, perhaps start something up, but they kept out to train longer. Hoping to see them the next weekend, we did the loop. However, Larry and Sierra were not there. Two days later at 6:30pm Monday, on the very road we ride, at the very same hill we climbed a week before, both Larry and Sierra were tragically hit and killed by an individual driving a truck, who apparently did not see them. I am confused as to how, so would you if you saw this wide divided 4 lane stretch of road. Larry was killed instantly, Sierra passed away the next day.
The report made the 10:00pm news, but no names were released at the time. Just a Grandfather and his Granddaughter. When I heard this instantly my heart sank, I had a bad feeling, I was numb. The next morning I emailed Mike Neven to see if he had any news, nothing yet, but his fears were similar to mine, too much of a coincidence. I emailed action news, nothing. Then at 3:00pm Tuesday afternoon I received an email from Action news identifying the names of the victims as Larry and Sierra Gaunt. Up until that time it was reported that the Granddaughter (Sierra) was still hanging on...the email I received informed me she did not make it...heart drops through the floor.
My thoughts and prayers for the last week have been with the Gaunt family and this unspeakable, horrible tragedy that they are now living through. I think about Larry and Sierra, hoping they did not suffer, and I mourn them. For that very short time I knew them, it was a privilege as we shared a common bond as cyclist sharing our love for the ride with those we love. I have not told Alex, although I am sure she will find out as we hit the loop this weekend. I will keep riding for Larry, I have learned about how good of a cyclist he really was, and perhaps take him up on his offer to ride with Team Copaxone in next years MS150. Every time I look at my bike, I am sure I will think about Larry and Sierra.
My sincere condolensces to thier family and friends.