2013 started off much like every other year…with a BANG! Full diaries and post festive season injuries ensured that by the end of day on Wednesday 2 January, the holidays were long forgotten.
Patients were cheerful and eager to discuss everything they got up to over the holidays. We discussed everything, and somewhere the Cape Epic came up. Wow what a race a patient exclaimed! Those guys are super human. Little did I know at that time that the winner of the Cape Epic 2012, would die tragically in an accident the following day.
Burry Stander, 25 year old mountain biker, got hit by a taxi on Thursday 3 January 2013. According to reports he died at the scene.
I read the reports again and again, checked twitter and facebook numerous times to make sure this wasnt a hoax. Unfortunately it was a very true and horrifying reality.
We cheered him on during the Epic, and cheered even louder during the Olympics. This young man was fearless on that bicycle, and you could see he enjoyed every minute of it. He was humble in his wins and gracious in defeats, a true sporting hero and role model.
South Africans across the country gathered for memorial rides, not only for Burry, but for all cyclists that have lost their lives on our roads. A ghost bike was placed on the Nelson Mandela bridge, crosses and flowers were placed in numerous cities. A very brave, Cherise Stander, led the ride down on the South Coast, whilst the Minister of Sport paid his respects. The death of this remarkable athlete shocked the nation.
It is time that we become more tolerant and patient of each other, especially on the road. Cutting off someone, or chasing down the light before it turns red, will not get you anywhere faster, if anything you may land up causing an accident and worst of all, a fatal accident.
The 1.5m rule needs to be instituted, the sooner the better. We need to respect all road users, cars, bicycles, pedestrians. Nobody owns the road, we all need to share!
Burry will be laid to rest on Thursday 10 January 2013. This will be an extremely sad day for all. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Cherise, and the Stander family.
R.I.P Burry, you will not be forgotten