Sometime after our cycling friends organized themselves into a cycling group, a fellow rider labeled our gang The Brumbys. The name originated from the movie The Man From Snowy River, where wild horses were center stage of this period drama. On lucky mornings, we would occasionally catch a sighting of our own local feral horses along the Salt River. And these brumbys became the heart and soul of our group -- symbolizing the spirit of the "stay-in-a-pack" mentality.
Years later, the Red Mountain Brumbys still receive weekly emails of when and where to meet for the group rides. In addition, our leader, Sterling Baer, helps maintain the spirit of the no-drop code of honor by reminding us to look out for each other, to stop and help a stranded cyclists, and to welcome others into the group whole heartedly.
On Saturday's ride, three cyclists from another group, RACELAB, were hit and seriously injured when a distracted driver in an SUV swerved and hit their pack of cyclists. As luck would have it, four Brumby riders rode up on the accident and helped stabilize and save the lives of the injured. Tonight, the three victims lay in the hospital, one of them with life threatening injuries. It is a sad day for the cycling community.
Only a few days ago, Sterling had sent an email out to the 500 plus cyclists in the group to remind them of Brumby comraderie. He included a video clip of the real Brumby horses in Usery Mountain Park in a series of photos shot by a park ranger. The horses are attempting to cross a deep and treacherous section of the Salt River, and one of the smaller colts is on the verge of getting swept away in the current. But a larger horse she calls Champ turns back and rescues the little one, making sure he is safe the the pack remains together.
Here is the one-minute video and a portion of Sterling's email:
Over the past 12 years riders have come and gone but it has always been my primary goal to never lose this Brumby spirit of camaraderie, community, and selflessness. My objective and hope is that whenever anyone rides on any of our rides, whether it is a Mon/Wed/Fri or Tues/Thurs or Sat ride that we always keep that preeminent focus...to look after each other and help the weaker riders. I must admit, that the rise of the group to the fastest levels and exit to team riding versus group riding has strained this spirit and sometimes folks have left the pack.
It is my primary goal to continue to promote "the Brumby way" that we all started with and ensure that we always have a "White Stallion Champ" out there riding on our rides. I will look forward to trying to always rally the "Brumby Way" everyday and I hope that there are those leaders among us who will step up as Champ did and always look out for each other from stopping to help fix flats and re-grouping for those who drop or bonk when having a bad day.