It is kind of unsettling when one of your peers dies. And obviously sad. Such is the case when I read that Radomír Šimůnek, Sr. died recently.
I knew Radomír Šimůnek. I spent a few weeks of a winter in Czechoslovakia training for the Cyclo-X World Championships with the Czech National Team. He was the reining World Amateur Champion, but was out for the season with a knee injury. He spoke just okay English, but more than the other guys.
Trudi’s grandmother knitted stocking caps and made an awesome white hand knitted hat with the World Championship stripes on it. I gave it to Radomír and he wore it everyday at the World Championships that year. I thought that was pretty great.
When I saw him a few other times going back and forth to Europe I’d say hi, but it wasn’t like we were good friend or anything.
He was the only bicycle racer to win the Junior Worlds, Amateur World and Professional Worlds in Cyclocross.
In the back of my mind I’d thought it would be fun sometime to go back to Czechoslovakia and track down some of the riders I met back then. It won’t be near as fun without having Radomír around.