"Her spirit is here forever"
Hundreds of broken hearts traversed the Boulder, Colorado cyclo-cross courses over the weekend as the cycling community paid tribute to Amy Dombroski. The 26-year-old who was killed in a training accident on October third, moved to Boulder after high school, having grown up in Vermont.
The promoters of the UCI Colorado Cross Classic and Boulder Cup staged a lap in her honor prior to the elite races. On Saturday, race announcer David Towle spoke to the junior and adult amateurs and professional riders who assembled for the lap.
"Amy's death has not stopped reverberating through this community," he said. "If there is anything you can take from her well-lived life and apply to your own, please do. I think a lot of us have talked about her smile. Her smile stays with you for a long, long, time."
Over 100 people rolled away from the finish line and onto the gravely course. Colorado State and Belgian Flanders flags flew in the light breeze. Some couldn't smile and wiped away tears. Others shared stories about Dombroski, spoke about the holes left in their hearts. Nearly all, if not all, of the elite riders at the Boulder races knew Dombroski personally. Jamey Driscoll grew up in her Vermont hometown. Elle Anderson attended the same school, Burke Mountain Academy.
"I've been thinking about her a lot," Anderson said at the Cross Classic. "It's just wonderful to see all the amazing tributes, and remembrances, and rides in honor of her."
Yannick Eckmann, who lives in Boulder, stayed in the same hotel and trained with Dombroski last year in Europe.
"It's a good way to remember her because she was passionate about biking," Eckmann said on Sunday, responding to a question about how the memory laps and activities are assisting the healing process. "This weekend number one was her number and you knew that throughout race. I kept remembering that."
The community is following the advice offered by a speaker at the memorial ceremony.
"Amy is awesome, not was," he said, "because her spirit is here forever."
Her spirit will live on at races. The Bicycle Racing Association of Colorado will now call its pre-junior program the "Amy Dombroski Pre-J Program." And a foundation created in her name by family and friends intends to assist young cyclists.
A friend of the family and representative of the foundation, John Shippey, described the organization's purpose: "We don't have a defined, formal mission statement but we have two key components we are going to focus on," Shippey said on Saturday. "One is introducing young women to the sport. The second is helping promising young female riders advance, ultimately moving up to the highest level in the sport."
The Amy D. Foundation raised about $10,000 during the Boulder UCI race weekend from the sale of socks, water bottles, chocolate, stickers, and tee-shirts. Others tended donations, one of which contributed to the Boulder Cup's women's payout as well as benefiting the foundation.
Donations to the Amy D. Memorial Fund can be mailed to:
Memorial of Amy Dombroski c\o Wells Fargo Deposits
1242 Pearl Street, Boulder, CO 80302