A DEATH NO ONE MOURNED

Look at the stats. Not enough public interest in this piece of sad news. Screen shot of a page from tchchronicles.com

He had at this point climbed about seven hundred feet of elevation on his road bike. He was happy. It seemed an easy enough road, with the usual twists and turns.

And so he made his way up and down the next stretch, gathering speed.

As he was going downhill, he saw a sudden turn up ahead, a very steep one that resembled the “siko” or elbow at jab angle. He lost control of his bike and landed straight onto the gutter, face down, his helmet still on but unable to save his life.

Whether it’s equipment malfunction or a lapse of judgment, any biker could easily get himself killed on this particularly infamous turn of road located in San Mateo Rizal, Philippines for even the slightest change in weather.

The “siko” of Wall 1, as it’s known among Filipino bikers, has claimed yet another victim of late, identified as Arnel Sanez of Nueva Vizcaya province.

Neither the government nor the concerned citizen could be faulted for the accident, as precautionary measures like warning signs and even an ambulance have already been put in place in the area.

This piece of news about the unfortunate cyclist appeared on my Facebook feed some days ago. Look at the stats on the lefthand part of the photo. It’s been two days since the news broke and yet — on a platform as hungry for breaking news as the Internet, the lack of public concern comes as a surprise.

Of course, no one should approve of death, so I understand the lack of thumbs-up. But no shares on Facebook so far, just a plus-one on Google. It puzzles me somewhat.

I remember something that the author Sebastian Junger once wrote about war, and how it’s morphed to something else in the modern world. Instead of the extremes of the battlefield, men are turning to outdoor sports to experience the rush, and getting themselves killed in the process. And their ranks are swelling by the second: free climbers scaling impossible heights, parkour enthusiasts or freerunners, ultrarunners, triathletes, parachutists, etc. pushing their bodies to the limit in some of the most extreme environments on earth.

Yet another death that no one mourned.

But now that I think about it — it’s actually a great way to die.

On your own terms. Without any political agendas but your own.

While doing what you love.

So now it’s clearer to me why it’s a death that I, or anybody else, shouldn’t really mourn. We are all going down that road anyway. The only difference is how we get there.

Me and my soul, este, my shadow, hovering over my road bike. Heartbreak Hill, UP Campus, QC