March 2022 Top Talk

How well do you know…?

As everyone should now be aware, we sadly lost 17-year Wheelman/PBC member John Joy last month.

John had a unique personality. We knew that he engineered one-off bicycles, including a pink framed road bike, a battleship gray double-battery e-tandem christened USS Oregon, and another e-bike with a child’s Schwinn Cruiser frame, an undersized front tire on a suspension fork, and a rear oversized slick. He let everyone know that he was a retired semi driver, and some of us knew that he served in the U.S. Air Force in a Minuteman missile silo in South Dakota. He meticulously maintained his white Abe Lincoln beard and reveled in being called the Old Goat. Many of us assumed that he was originally from somewhere in the south central states from his pronounced drawl.

It wasn’t until his passing that I learned from his daughter, Kristal, of his regard for detail, including his meticulously kept records of every club ride that he had ever been on and a separate log of how many miles he put on each of his many bicycles after every ride. He also immersed himself in intricate hobbies, including model railroading, building roadsters, and keeping a vast and eclectic phonograph record collection. I also learned that John was born and raised in northeast Portland, his drawl being of his own invention.

John was unique, but so is every other member of our club. How many riders do you know only by the make of their bicycle or how fast they ride? For years, Bud led “social rides” with the requirement that you visit with other riders. Many riders have fascinating pasts and stories to tell about their experiences beyond bicycling and gear ratios. We should all take time to enjoy and celebrate the diverse humanity of our fellow riders and not wait to fully appreciate them until after they’re no longer with us.

Godspeed, John Joy.

Doug Myers, President