Not Forgotten: Jon Lennard, aka @itburns

Not Forgotten: Jon Lennard, aka @itburns

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// General // Kermis // La Vie Velominatus

  1. AMerckx. VLVV.

  2. I’ve just finished reading Tim Moore’s latest – Gironimo – about riding the route of the 1914 Giro.

    He describes a scene at the top of some awful climb – he was doing it all on a period-accurate bike, down to the wooden rims and cork brake blocks so pretty much everything was awful – where in the clearing at the summit he discovers two hand-painted tiles embedded in the rock.

    Each has a picture of a cyclist and a dedication:

    “To Angelo, carry on with your climb, we will always be at your wheel.”

    “To Benedetto, unforgettable companion of so many climbs. The friends of the GS cyclo run.”

    Poignant enough but he goes on to observe that cycling is a sport which makes heroes of us all. We suffer like Merckx or Coppi, or Angelo and Benedetto.”Footballers don’t play on after losing an eye, [one of the 1914 Giro riders did] and no darts player will emulate Tom Simpson by checking out with the croaked words, ‘Put me back on the oche.'”

    It is a uniquely companionable, shareable and inclusive sport. It brings people together and it establishes bonds between unlikely connections. To me that’s what @itburns reminds me of.

  3. From time to time @itburns FB page pops up on my wall. After that particular tragedy I always think about him when I throw a leg over the TT. As evidenced earlier today, the great ones always go too soon. RIP itburns, you won’t be forgotten.

  4. I will be riding and remembering today.  I had seen the Cogal on the calendar coming up and everytime I look at it a tinge of sadness passes over me.  I have had my road ID ever since and never leave on a ride without it.  R.I.P @itburns

  5. A full year later and reading this and thinking about Jon is still upsetting. Being a Velominatus certainly instills a unique bond in that sense. RIP, Jon Lennard.

    Very apropos timing for a ride in memoriam. I was just on an superb long vacation and left my steeds at home. On Saturday pedaled with my big brother to fetch ears of corn for a family dinner. Riding along I thought, “Goddamn, how much fun is riding a bicycle?” There I was, on a goofy Trek 3 speed, t-shirt and swim trunks, behind my big bro, and deriving so much joy from such a simple activity. It was awesome.

    Last night I went on my first proper ride since July 22nd, a very long lay off for me. Headed out in the evening, it was raining, then pouring, and I had the ride of my life. Only an hour, but just had a thrilling blast of a time. Rain, two different groups of deer along the way, drank more water off my face than out of my bidon, and smiled the entire way. I hate the crazy drivers aspect, but I love the joy of cycling.

    On the note of safety, you can also get dog tags with all your info. I like wearing that more than things on my wrist, but whatever you prefer. And anyone looking for a new/2nd taillight. Serfas makes an awesome light called a Thunderbolt. VERY bright, usb rechargeable and best of all, comes with three rubber straps so you can a) easily swap from bike to bike b) mount it in a variety of locations.

    Enjoy your rides today, everyone. VLVV.

  6. Very sad thoughts on the ride in to work this morning.  Can it really be a year since this dreadful event took our friend from us?  Ride safe everyone.  Be at peace Jon.

  7. Work and a slightly bent bike in the LBS means I can’t ride today but I remember that my last discussion with Jon was about a picture of an overweight man dressed as a centaur.

    Although I’ll never meet him now he can still make me smile.

    Chapeau…

  8. A Merckx Frank.

    RIP Jon, you’re missed.

    @the Engine

    I remember that my last discussion with Jon was about a picture of an overweight man dressed as a centaur.

    It’s what he would’ve wanted.

  9. Fuck.  One year we’ve been without him.   

    Throw a leg over the top tube today and then raise a glass to itburns tonight.  Good, good man gone.

  10. Kept seeing @itburns avatar in my thoughts on this mornings ride. Missed, not forgotten. VLVV

  11. I came upon the community after Jon’s passing, but like many others, I’ve seen and read many of his posts. Even I feel that knot in my stomach today.

    “This could be my last ride. Either make sure it isn’t, or make sure it’s worth it.”

    I’m not sure that truer words have been written, either about cycling or life in general. Thank you @frank.

  12. Jon @ITBURNS was a master of the Haiku. In his honor (and thinking about the memorial cogal):

    Wind and rain lashing

    A steep hill keeps on upward

    Legs will not fail me

  13. @HHHeartache

    Jon @ITBURNS was a master of the Haiku. In his honor (and thinking about the memorial cogal):

    Wind and rain lashing

    A steep hill keeps on upward

    Legs will not fail me

    Very, very excellent but in true @itburns fashion I will modify it just a bit with tongue in cheek a la our Austin Cogal:

    Wind and rain lashing

    A steep hill keeps on upward

    Fuck, another flat

  14. Only through posts did I meet @itburns but immediately fell in love with his handle to the point of using it in situations, like after a frozen ride, in the shower “itburns” comes out of my mouth. After he was gone his genius and humanity became the stuff of legend to those like me who need to spend time with the person rather than the avatar to truly appreciate them. How great to have had a conversation with the man who dreamed up Gollum in a helmet? Did he equate the Precious with his ride? We will never know.

    All this said to make the point that through his loss I have grown to appreciate @all here and wish that the world was a smaller place so that we could meet in person. The 2 cogals I have made have been stellar because without exception the community that emanates from these glowing screens is the best.

    To all, ride safe and @Buck is there a story to that pithy edit?

  15. @Rob

    See post number 192 on this thread (next to last one).

    http://www.velominati.com/guest-article/the-austin-texas-cogal/

    As for @itburns, to paraphrase the Bard, Ride on Brother, for 

    “We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;

    For he today that freely rides and lives his V with me

    Shall be my brother.”

  16. Very nice to see him remembered so well here – many of us in Austin and Houston (and, I’m sure, further afield)  will be riding or raising a glass to him today.

    Cheers!

    – Tony

  17. RIP Jon Lennard. I didn’t know you, but here that does not matter one bit.

     

  18. Truth!

    BTW: When in H’town, Jon used to get off work, grab his bike and cycle from his home to Memorial Park and do a quick 20 circuits of the Picnic (1 mile) loop. He was killed crossing the road at the lights on Memorial park @ the bike trail to get there.

    I have suggested that cyclists in Houston gather at the Picnic Loop at 5.00 pm and do the 20-miles, followed by a beverage in memory of Jon

  19. I have been busy and have only quickly skimmed the V posts of late, but of course, I need to take the time to honour a friend from afar. @itburns, Jon Lennard, was one of the few (many more that I expected) that had taken the time to message me when I was setting up my little bike business. I never got to ride with him in person, but after 12 August 2013, he rode with me on my very next ride.

    @itburns Cheers to you!

  20. Seeing this post makes me realize just how lucky I am to be alive after my incident with the motorhome in the 2nd Annual Bay Area Cogal.

    Definitely gone but not forgotten. I didn’t know him, but I’ll miss @itburns nonetheless.

  21. It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year. I don’t think of him constantly… but still frequently. Every time I get on the bike, I can’t help thinking about Shuttle. I almost joined him, that night. The last text I received from Jon was at 6:30pm and asked, “You want to hitch up your Depends and hit Picos?” Classic Shuttle. Jon was amazing in a way that I failed to recognize until after his death: he was special — and different — with everyone. He was brilliant and interacted with each of his friends in a personal, unique way. He was a great guy, clever as hell, and we’re all lucky to have known him. Yet I now believe that we all only knew a small part of Jon. I miss being tortured by metal on the way to early morning rides. Jon loved Jazz but would only play metal in car. Anyway, it’s touching to know, to see how many people cared about Jon.  So, tonight I think that I’ll put on the Depends and go to Pico’s. In fact, I’ll leave work early so I can spend an hour riding to the restaurant. Since Jon’s accident, I barely ride on city streets. So, yeah, it puts the lotion on its skin (i.e., Depends). @itburns will live forever in my mind as the master of the smack-down. Pedal on, Shuttle. 

  22. @Buck Rogers

    @Rob

    See post number 192 on this thread (next to last one).

    http://www.velominati.com/guest-article/the-austin-texas-cogal/

    As for @itburns, to paraphrase the Bard, Ride on Brother, for

    “We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;

    For he today that freely rides and lives his V with me

    Shall be my brother.”

    Nice Buck ^

    and I never read the report of the Austin cogal – flats and Rule #9 combined!

    Thanks

  23. Every now and then, surfing through old articles, I come across one of Jon’s posts. Sometimes there’s a kick in the guts followed by a chuckle or wry smile as I realise I’ve come across one of his post before I’ve read it but more often than not the chuckle and smile come first: the kick doesn’t come until I’ve thought “great post, who wrote that?” and spot his nasty little helmeted head.

    He won’t be forgotten. Roll on @itburns.

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  25. I happened to be in Houston on business when the news about John came thru last year. What a kick in the gut. Never met him in person but what a sense of humor. I suspect no one will touch he number of plus one badges he earned. Roll in peace brother.

  26. @Nate

    I happened to be in Houston on business when the news about John came thru last year. What a kick in the gut. Never met him in person but what a sense of humor. I suspect no one will touch he number of plus one badges he earned. Roll in peace brother.

    Great point about the +1 badge.  Perhaps it should be the @itburns badge, no?

  27. @Buck Rogers

    @Nate

    I happened to be in Houston on business when the news about John came thru last year. What a kick in the gut. Never met him in person but what a sense of humor. I suspect no one will touch he number of plus one badges he earned. Roll in peace brother.

    Great point about the +1 badge. Perhaps it should be the @itburns badge, no?

    um, +1?

  28. Awwww jeeeze, a year has gone by? And he was wearing his V-kit, I don’t think I realized that. Fuck. I’m no wiser a year later about his death, it’s still a terrible thing but we are all lucky more of us haven’t had fatal meetings with cars. Cars are assholes. And maybe I curse too much, oh well, too late now.

    @ChrisO

    It is a uniquely companionable, shareable and inclusive sport. It brings people together and it establishes bonds between unlikely connections. To me that’s what @itburns reminds me of.

    Nice. 

  29. @Frank – thoughtful tribute.  This morning’s ride was solemn and introspective.  The headwind may have had something to do with it.  Roll with care.

  30. @Xyverz

    Seeing this post makes me realize just how lucky I am to be alive after my incident with the motorhome in the 2nd Annual Bay Area Cogal.

    Definitely gone but not forgotten. I didn’t know him, but I’ll miss @itburns nonetheless.

    Mate, I went on my honorary @itburns ride today and had more near-misses than I can recall.

    We have to be careful, every moment we’re out there. It can happen to any one of us. Cars are clueless and even the best of them are likely distracted by a phone, passenger, or Big Mac they need to crush RIGHT THAT SECOND.

    Scary business, this. But also the most beautiful sport.

  31. @Buck Rogers

    @Nate

    I happened to be in Houston on business when the news about John came thru last year. What a kick in the gut. Never met him in person but what a sense of humor. I suspect no one will touch he number of plus one badges he earned. Roll in peace brother.

    Great point about the +1 badge. Perhaps it should be the @itburns badge, no?

    Maybe we could make him a special one; I did already on the day of his passing dive into the code to do some hard-wiring to make sure his status didn’t fade away (its tied to recent activity, an unfair ask under the circumstances).

    I wish I knew more about him; I feel like from what I know, keeping his status would be what he wants – that giving him some additional badge feel weird to him. But I’ll let those who knew him better advise me on that.

  32. @Chris

    Every now and then, surfing through old articles, I come across one of Jon’s posts. Sometimes there’s a kick in the guts followed by a chuckle or wry smile as I realise I’ve come across one of his post before I’ve read it but more often than not the chuckle and smile come first: the kick doesn’t come until I’ve thought “great post, who wrote that?” and spot his nasty little helmeted head.

    He won’t be forgotten. Roll on @itburns.

    This is really just spot on. Sad reality is that I don’t venture into the archives too much except when I’m clearing out spam (fuck you spambots) and the fact is, whenever I see his posts as a result, I’m a bit thankful that spam filters aren’t perfect.

    Some day, this site will die down and I’ll have nothing to do but peruse the archives; I’ll enjoy seeing that idiotic avatar of his every time.

  33. @frank  Jon was everything the community appreciates him for – incisive, thoughtful, observant, precise and a shit ton of  fun. he started cycling with us then fell profoundly in love. I thought I was dedicated, but compared to him, my love of cycling was a mere grade school crush.  He was all about he road too…no mountain biking (or tris…sacrilege!). He would be quietly thrilled to know what an appreciated presence he was among   the velominatus. he was stellar.

  34. Just realized that August 12th is Laurent Fignon’s birthday.

    One mighty cycling came into the world, one might cyclist departed this world.

  35. @frank

    @Buck Rogers

    @Nate

    I happened to be in Houston on business when the news about John came thru last year. What a kick in the gut. Never met him in person but what a sense of humor. I suspect no one will touch he number of plus one badges he earned. Roll in peace brother.

    Great point about the +1 badge. Perhaps it should be the @itburns badge, no?

    Maybe we could make him a special one; I did already on the day of his passing dive into the code to do some hard-wiring to make sure his status didn’t fade away (its tied to recent activity, an unfair ask under the circumstances).

    I wish I knew more about him; I feel like from what I know, keeping his status would be what he wants – that giving him some additional badge feel weird to him. But I’ll let those who knew him better advise me on that.

    Just a thought, don’t know if it is a good one but  perhaps we could call the +1 badge the “it burns memorial +1…”

  36. @Ron

    Just realized that August 12th is Laurent Fignon’s birthday.

    One mighty cycling came into the world, one might cyclist departed this world.

    Both of them should be eternally celebrated by us.  Both left the party far far too early.

  37. Got to Memorial park a bit late last night (5.30) due to traffic, hammered the Picnic loop until 6.05 in honor of Jon (he was on his way there one year ago…). Had a beer in the Ho parking lot (where, after his ride, Jon always hooked up with the gang who ran the mountain bike trails every Thursday).
    I know everyone worked through their grief yesterday in their own way. This was mine.
    I put an “In Memory” card up in the Picnic Loop notice board (and photoed with Jon’s Cycling Bible: how many times did he yell at me “Rule 5″ on rides!)

    Slideshow:

    Fullscreen:

  38. @HHHeartache I know it sounds like a short ride, but I had to go on and meet more friends for  Hash run (hashing was another of Jon’s pleasures)….. we raised more glasses before, during and after the run…

  39. Ciclismo a un glorioso strada. AMerckx

  40. Couldn’t get out yesterday so took some time out today.  Cruising along and thinking of @itburns and another cycling buddy I lost recently (through natural but unexpected causes) and suddenly this raincloud appeared and it dumped huge raindrops for a short(ish) period.  @itburns and my buddy must have been up there reminding me not to be just a fair weather rider!

    Some things you don’t miss till they are gone.  Along with another mate we had converted my buddy from the dark side in the bushes to encompass the way and the road.  Once or twice a week he would ping me on skpe to see if I was working from home and if I was he’d call and we would just talk bikes for an hour or so.  I miss those calls.

  41. Haven’t been on the site in… a couple of years. Logged on to find this. May he rest in peace, and I hope that somehow, in some way, he’s aware of the community of riders that still thinks of him.

    I’ve been feeling a little vulnerable on the bike lately, and this is certainly not going to help.

  42. Easy metric century in the rain and the wind yesterday, sempre con noi.

  43. I’ve always been struck by the tightness of the bond cyclists have with one another. It may be from the interdependence we have in each other in our collective safety while on a ride but I suspect it is much more. That bond is evident here and in the previous posts.

    I came to this party after Jon left, and certainly regret that. Yesterday though, I had a great but short ride with a friend I see only twice a year. Perfect for the circumstances.

  44. A year ago, having read Jon’s story on this forum, I decided to name one of our toughest mid week, pre work training rides in his honour.  Kicking off at 5.15am on a Tuesday and Thursday come hell or high water, and at 50k and 1300m it’s a short, sharp, fast session of tough hill repeats with beautiful Sydney harbour views and a decent coffee before work.

    The Cani Pazzi itburns ride has a small but dedicated following and a growing reputation locally. Any velominatus in Sydney who fancy joining us are welcome – just drop me a line.

    Course profile : https://www.strava.com/activities/169109606

    Respectfully in memoriam , Jon.

  45. Nicely done tribute. I wonder on nearly every ride if it will be my last. I consider if it is really worth the risk to me, my friends, and mostly to my family.  I don’t have an answer in my head yet, but I keep swinging my leg over the top tube anyway.

  46. @Mike_P

    @Ron

    Just realized that August 12th is Laurent Fignon’s birthday.

    One mighty cycling came into the world, one might cyclist departed this world.

    Both of them should be eternally celebrated by us. Both left the party far far too early.

    How true. I didn’t even think of that. Both gone too soon. And my apologies for the mistype(s)…”One mighty cyclist came into the world, one mighty cyclist departed this world.”

    Let us all get busy livin’, life if short.

    VLVV.

  47. Thanks Frank for this thoughtful piece.

  48. A-Merckx. A year on, this article and the posts in response provide a fine tribute to itburns and a testament to the community. Marcus Aurelius comes to mind:  “Perfection of character possesses this: to live each day as if the last, to be neither feverish nor apathetic, and not to act a part.”  In modern parlance, “Go hard out but keep your head and keep it real.” RIP  itburns. Be safe, all.

  49. Such a respectful tribute and appreciate that it graced your front pages for a day or two. Nice work Keepers. I think of @itburns every time I wrap my road Id to my wrist, the one and the same that was ordered the same day I read of Jon’s accident.

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