Lake Tahoe is a fund raiser for leukaemia and my childhood friend died at the age of 8 of it.
While this is a good excuse on its own, this year also marks the twentieth anniversary that I witnessed a shooting while preparing for a crew race in Hannover. We decided not to participate in the race and tried to save the life of the woman who had been shot. I did the heart massage and hearing the noises of a dying person with occasionally breaking a rip, derailed my life.
I was fortunate to have a girl-friend who forced me to seek professional help after two months (she told me that she believes she cannot help me and if I do not seek help, our relationship is at risk). I did my national service during those days so I went to the military doctor and told him my issue while also laying out the rules of engagement – no tablets or medicine, but I will honestly reply to all questions. During our following sessions I learnt to live with this experience. It is my strong view that many veterans have experienced similar encounters but did not have the same fantastic help like I did – i.e. not having been forced to take the right route.
Hence, next to riding for Ulrike, I will be on my bike for the veterans who have been left behind. Ending my personal note – it should not come as a surprise that my girl-fiend from those days now is my wife.