I have been in a "news hole", quite literally focusing every last nerve and neuron towards work and other commitments, barely keeping up with the even the weather reports. Quite literally, I don't know WHAT is going on. Living under a rock? Indeed.
Today, however, I took a brief respite from such things and started shopping for a goal for 2011/2012, something I usually do after an injury has altered my cycling routine like it has this year. That move sent me instinctively to the UMCA's website, and the front page news literally stopped me in my tracks, dropped my jaw, and misted my eyes.
The only, however trite, analogy I can think of: this would be like losing Lance Armstrong for many cyclists. Reading his accolades is humbling. Having stood on the roadside, watching him fly by like he was out for a 40-mile club ride was a real thrill: that was the closest I'd get to this man. Literally and figuratively, anyone that has ridden a bicycle with aspirations to ride long (200+ miles) and fast, maybe even attempt The Race Across AMerica (RAAM), has probably looked at Jure Robic's race record, and like me, probably just thrown up their arms in defeat. We are not worthy.
Year after year, Robic was (and will probably remain) THE subject of conversation when it came to the Race Across America - and it simply won't be the same without him. I don't know if we'll see someone approach that race with the same dominance that Robic brought. It's not a tag that should be used lightly, but I don't think anyone would argue associating this word with Jure Robic when it came to long-distance cycling: Legend.
Rest in piece - your memory will be honored by the retelling of your many heroic rides and seemingly super-human accomplishments. We will not talk of filling shoes... in my opinion, it can't be done.
I humbly extend my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Jure Robic.