This is a tough post to write.
Last night we lost a brother. Dr. Edwin Hudson passed away after crashing during a group ride. It’s a shocking, unthinkable, and frankly, a baffling tragedy.
Dr. Ed was riding with a large, organized group on a particularly fast section of the course. For whatever reason, there was an accident within the peleton. These things happen from time to time, although usually the worst of it is a broken collar bone. Ed was not so fortunate. He and another rider went down. He suffered severe head trauma, and passed a short while later in the hospital.
This morning I consoled an eyewitness at the scene, who described the incident in graphic detail, fighting to keep the tears at bay. I will not repeat those details out of respect for the family. Rest assured, it was a horrific accident.
Ed and I never met in person, but we were connected in a lot of ways. He was a member of the Haute Route team, recruited by his good friend and co-worker, Chris. He had not been riding for some time, yet decided to register for the event just to give himself motivation to get back on the bike. That’s the kind of attitude I love. What else can motivate you more than the highest and perhaps toughest cyclosportive in the world?
My injuries prevented me from continuing with the Haute Route team, but the Vicious Cycle members will ride in Ed’s memory. I will be following closely, rooting for them along the way, hoping that they will be able to celebrate the spirit of Ed when they reach the French coast.
This incident hurts in another way, as it took place on the Tri-City ride — my favorite group ride in the Columbia area. I am usually there religiously every Tuesday and Thursday, and have blogged about it before. To me, this ride is pure fun. We get outside with friends, stretch our legs, challenge each other, and most importantly, we talk and socialize. We have a true sense of community. It is devastating that something like this can happen during what is normally a source of great pleasure for many of us.
I cannot express enough my condolences to Dr. Hudson’s friends and family. The same goes to our local cycling community, and those who participated in the ride that encountered this horrific tragedy directly.
Please be careful out there. This is a dangerous sport. We need to be attentive when riding at high speeds, especially when working with a large group.
Dr. Hudson, rest in peace. You will be missed.
June 12th, 2013 at 7:07 pm
Well written Aaron. So true how enjoyable a local group ride is. Every time we saddle up, there’s grave risks involved, but I always feel safest when riding with our club. Encourage yours to keep calm & pedal on. Probably what your fallen brother would want also.
June 12th, 2013 at 7:24 pm
Thanks, Kevin. That is the message I will be conveying to our friends.
June 12th, 2013 at 7:15 pm
Wonderfully written. An absolutely tragic accident, which was just that – an accident. Some eventualities you can plan for, but something like this? My thoughts also go out to the family, friends and fellow cyclists who have lost a member of the cycling community. RIP.
June 12th, 2013 at 7:26 pm
Thanks for the thoughts. It was indeed an accident. Nobody’s fault at all. Dr. Hudson should be recuperating from a broken collar bone today.
June 12th, 2013 at 8:00 pm
It wasn’t good. Sounded worse. Those of us that continued on feel like a collective pile of crap today. I saw video of the incident today. It was an innocuous crash that happens all the time. Like you said, he should be home, on the couch right now. I didn’t know the man either, but am a bit gutted.
The ride tomorrow will go off @ 6:30. It is going to be a Memorial Ride of sorts for Ed. Slow, 2×2, everyone stays together.
June 12th, 2013 at 8:18 pm
I talked to a couple people who continued, and frankly I don’t blame you. The scene would have been that much worse with 40-50 people standing around. As tough as it may feel, you guys did the right thing.
I’ll be there tomorrow.
June 12th, 2013 at 8:13 pm
Deepest condolences from NC
June 12th, 2013 at 8:18 pm
June 12th, 2013 at 9:17 pm
It is so sad to learn this horrible news. I came here from Gerry’s post, thinking that you probably knew Dr. Hudson. I find no words that are of any use. My thoughts and sympathies go to everone involved, you, his family, friends and the others the ride.
June 12th, 2013 at 9:35 pm
My deepest condolences and a very well written piece. It is instinctive for us to try to understand why something happened – what caused it, what can we learn so it won’t happen again. Sadly, some things cannot be so neatly categorized. Sometimes, finding a reason is difficult, or impossible. Sometimes, things just happen. I hope you and your community can find a way to memorialize Ed and keep your passion for cycling alive. Good luck and God Bless.
June 12th, 2013 at 9:38 pm
Aaron, beautiful tribute to a fellow-cyclist. Well done!
June 12th, 2013 at 10:27 pm
My condolences to Dr. Ed’s family & friends. May he rest in peace.
June 12th, 2013 at 10:54 pm
Thoughts and prayers, my brother.
June 13th, 2013 at 4:46 am
No one will rest assured of that.
June 13th, 2013 at 8:15 pm
I also have questioned how this could be. Just one week ago, Dr. Hudson performed a procedure on me to occlude a brain aneurysm that had been discovered. Most likely, he saved my life. How difficult it is for me to reconcile that he is gone ?? My husband recalled that in recovery Dr. Hudson was happily talking of a cycling trip to France that he and his wife were planning. He obviously loved cycling and was an excellent radiologist as well. My sincere condolences go out to his family for this loss.
June 13th, 2013 at 10:44 pm
Katrina, I’ve heard that he was a terrific doctor. It’s one thing to lose a good man with passion for a hobby, another to lose a healer who saves the lives of others. It truly is a tragedy. I’m glad that his steady hand was there to help with your procedure, and I hope your recovery goes well.
June 14th, 2013 at 9:07 am
My sincere condolences to Dr. Hudson’s friends and family, what an absolute tragedy. A moving tribute you have written Aaron.