Sequim #2 offered a lot of encouragement for the RCR racing crew, and I’ve got a lot of beautiful photos that I normally would put on this blog. I am not going to do that today. Today everyone associated with our team is wishing Roald Dietzman a speedy recovery.
Roald approached our team during the fall of 2010 as a young, strong, rider who was interested in racing the road season with a smaller team where everyone knew everyone else and had a passion for the bike. I remember the day I met him, at a CX event that Ian, Roald and a couple of other people rode to check out. He had a brat from the grill and shared his passion for bikes with the CX riders.
Roald is serious guy with a wry sense of humor, who is mostly quiet and entirely competent. On rides and at RCR events he and I have talked about his passion for engineering, and his ambitions for this summer of 2011, the year he will graduate from Seattle U. I am fully confident that he will do whatever he wants. He works hard, is focused and passionate. Roald is a hell of a young man, and our team is enriched to have him as a member.
At Sequim #2 Roald was taken out by a rider in his category who was fishing for a water bottle. He went down hard. Rob and Ben who were in a group behind him, came upon him seconds later. I got the word from Rob that Roald was down and joined the race EMT in a hectic dash to the crash scene. By the time we got there (10 min later) the ambulance was on the scene. I got out of the way until Roald was loaded, and then joined him for a ride in the ambulance to the hospital.
For a very nervous hour I stood around in the waiting room, trying to keep calm while the staff did CT scans and x-rays. Matt and Rob got there with the van as soon as they could. All of RCR was worried about Roald and the rapid assessment of the EMTs varied in severity. When I finally got to talk with Roald and his doctors they confirmed that our worst fears were ungrounded. Though his collarbone was smashed, and he had a concussion, his brain was fine. Roald confirmed this by sharing his dry sense of humor, polite firmness about his discomfort on the back-board and helped me to contact his folks. I want to thank the ER nurse Jessica at Olympic Memorial Hospital for her calm support, professionalism and compassion.
This morning at 7am Roald went into surgery at Harborview. His surgeon inserted plates and pins to reconstruct his clavicle. Several of the RCR crew have broken bones before and are sharing PT advice. All of our thoughts are with Roald, and we will be working to lend our support any way that we can.
Finally, I want to exhort bicycle riders and racers to wear their helmets. Helmets can save your life and help you retain your memories. The RCR riders are very lucky to have a helmet sponsorship from Bell, and we value their support immensely. No RCR riders goes out with their kit on without a helmet, and nobody can ever join a team ride, a race or roll with RCR unless you have a helmet. You don’t have to have a sponsorship to get a helmet, they are cheap and provide essential protection. Please wear one every time you ride.
Sincerely – Tyler Davis, Chairman of RCR