In my years working at CTS I had the opportunity to meet many amazing people, work with some phenomenal athletes and build some phenomenal relationships with many of my athletes who later became friends. I can not lie, some of them I was closer with than others, but all of them I felt I had a good relationship. Today marks a very sad day for me, a great man’s family and I am sure many of his dear friends. One of my former athletes Mike, who I still spoke with on a monthly basis to chat about life, family, business and whatever else came up, passed away of a heart attack doing one of the things he loved most, riding his trainer. I found out early this morning from one of our mutual friends and I have not been able to wrap my mind around it ever since I found out.
I met mike in May of 2007 at a Cycling Camp and began coaching him then and their on the spot. He was one of my first “official” athletes, if not the first, and because of that I feel there was always a different connection with him. Plus he was a Kansas boy too so we had Wildcat football to talk about as well as the KS mentality. Over the years Mike pushed and pushed on the bike and the more we worked together the closer we became. I knew that before I slotted a phone call with Mike I needed a minimum of 30 minutes solely because it was easy to talk and there never seemed to be too few things to talk about. Over the years Mike and I spent a great deal of time riding together, especially seeing as how we lived nearly 500 miles apart. He was a frequent attendee of many camps and soon became a “surrogate coach.” Since he had attended so many camps he knew the routine and the protocol. Mike never became the greatest bike racer, or the fastest sprinter but he loved riding his bike and learned to descend with the best of them (sometimes scaring me). His family may never read this, heck for that matter no one may ever read this, but I will miss my monthly phone call with Mike! If you are family and reading this we never had the opportunity to meet or even talk but I hope you know that Mike’s reach was far greater than Hutchinson, KS. Thanks for the laughs, frustrations, and listening Mike and I hope you are in a better place and that we can one day log some miles together again.