in memoriam

In Memoriam: Jon Lennard, aka @itburns

In Memoriam: Jon Lennard, aka @itburns

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Each of us throw a leg over our top tubes and submit ourselves to the open road in recognition of the risks involved. These risks include those of a puncture, crash, damaged equipment, disability, and – ultimately – death. We try to be vigilant, we ride assertively yet defensively, and we hope for the best. We take every reasonable precaution to ensure we return home to ride again another day.

Longstanding community member Jon Lennard, known here as @itburns, will sadly not have that opportunity. Jon lost his life on August 12, 2013 at approximately 7:30pm while riding his bike in Houston, Texas. As of this writing, details are sparse, but the Houston Chronicle reports that he was hit in an intersection by a vehicle, and thrown violently from his bicycle.

People say online interactions lack a personal connection, and for the most part, they are right. But Velominati somehow seems to bridge that gap. We rarely meet one another, but somehow we bond, and we become what can only be characterized as friends. The loss I feel – and that I know Brett, Gianni, and Marko each felt as the news spread amongst the Keepers – suggests that this bond of friendship truly exists. We have lost not only a community member and Velominatus, but a friend.

Jon was what we characterize as a Pedalwan. He was relatively new to Cycling, and lapped up the knowledge, wisdom, and lessons that this community has become so good at providing. He asked questions, gave advice, and always delivered everything he said with a fantastic sense of humor. He was the picture-perfect example of living La Vie Velominatus. I am proud that our community appealed to him because he was exactly the kind of person we want to appeal to.

A few additional words:

@Bretto:

Although I never met Jon, he was a huge part of our community and this news has left me feeling sick to the stomach. I can’t begin to imagine how devastated his friends and family are at this time.

Jon, under his moniker @itburns, always seemed upbeat and positive with valuable input to any and every topic he participated in. He was a true Velominatus and will be genuinely missed around here. When I look at his palmares, the similarities between Jon and myself are many, which makes me think we would’ve gotten on famously; it also reminds me how very mortal each and every one of us are.

My condolences go out to his loved ones, and while this is a tragedy of terrible proportions, it is some small consolation that he died doing what he loved. RIP, VLVV Jon.

@Gianni:

This is sad and strange. We have lost a fellow Velominatus. He died in the saddle. We all have made friends on the site, most we have never met. How is that possible? We have conversations and arguments about bikes, cycling and life yet we don’t ever see each others faces, but we are still friends. If any of us had ever been stranded in Houston, @itburns, Jon Lennard, would have helped us out. To us he will always be known as a friend and Velominatus. Rest in peace. VLVV.

@Marko:

If I were to rattle off the first five or so community members that spring to mind, @itburns (Jon as we’ve come to know him now) would most likely be one of them. He’s an old timer around here and has been posting long enough to have become part of the ether of Velominati. His contributions were thoughtful, pleasant, supportive, and always furthered our discussion. I wish his untimely death wasn’t the impetus for us to learn more about him. Turns out he and I would have surely had other fun discussions about guitars, Metal, and kayaking as well. Maybe Jon’s passing will encourage us all to appreciate each other a bit more and know that there’s much more than cycling than we all have in common. Go with Merckx, brother, and thank you.

His childhood friend, Ron Willis, who kindly made us aware of the news:

Jon was smart as fuck and wasn’t kidding about the OCD… dude had his way (the only way) of doing things! Used to laugh my ass off watching him dick with his snowboard bindings EVERY day for half an hour on our ski trips. Can’t imagine what that bike went through.

Our biggest argument about things cycling – he thought “Dutch hill” work was the same as hill work (gravity bitch!)

Our second biggest argument – buy some fucking Zipps you cheap bastard!

Really gonna miss him.

Our deepest, heartfelt condolences go out to his family, friends, and loved ones. We have marked the date of his death on the Velominati Cogal Calendar. Let us take a breath and acknowledge it could just as well have been us. Be safe, and always come home to ride another day.

We’ll miss you, Jon.

Jonathan King Lennard

Dec 24, 1965 – Aug 12, 2013

Single, no kids

BS Aerospace Engineering, Texas, 1988

Part owner of Software company that does contract work for Shell Oil.

Musician (bass and guitar)

Walking encyclopedia of all things rock ‘n roll

Avid reader (a lot of science fiction, Asimov, etc)

Beer/Spirits/Coffee – no expense spared for the best.

Early on: skate, surf, kayak

Later: cycling and snowboarding

Update: Some community members have been sharing photos. We’ll keep updating this as we get more.

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// Awesome American Guys // In Memoriam // La Vie Velominatus // Reverence

  1. @Deakus

    @girl

    If we were numbered as community members we could retire his number.

    Prehaps his profile could be left in place….locked…..in memoriam?

    That had crossed my mind. It would be a shame if Jon’s profile faded to level one and his @itburns avatar was lost.

  2. I rode today with my eldest son up the west coast on the isle of lewis, we rattled out, only a 45km loop, and i told my son about what happened.  It was a beautiful morning looking out to sea…..next stop nova scotia….then we turned for home and i the head wind materialised like a forgotten tormentor.  i turned to my son, nodded and the guns fired….it is great when such a short rides gives you a dig in the ribs….8m of climbing in some of the most stunning and wild scottish coastal scenery.

    A thoughtful ride out, and a head down stretching return….i needed that.

  3. Oh shit, this is terrible

    I don’t post here as often as I used to, but Jon was one of the ones who always used to join in when I posted and made me feel like less of a twat for riding a bike with zertz inserts

    I also thought he lived in Scotland – shows you how irrelevant distance is, he always felt like he was close – this is really bad

    Shit

  4. On the ID idea, I have Cycling Plus’s Ride ID on my phone.  Even though it’s locked when you press the button the screen has my details and who to call on it.

     

  5. @Deakus Ahh!  Sorry Mate.  Definitely was not trying to call you out on that one.  I did not see your post where you mentioned that you had blood type on it.  Anyways, next time you can put “HTFU” instead of “A Pos”!!!

  6. @Buck Rogers

    @Deakus Ahh! Sorry Mate. Definitely was not trying to call you out on that one. I did not see your post where you mentioned that you had blood type on it. Anyways, next time you can put “HTFU” instead of “A Pos”!!!

    No worries fella….it is part of me coming from a time before the internet, when the british army still thought they could win wars with the thin red line.  Everything said about the uselessness of blood type seems perfectly sensible…if i were ordering a new wrist band i would probably put “check the bike first” in the same location instead….

    on the subject of those not wanting to wear a band because of the tanlines…..i might suggest that the yellow cockrings leave a far narrower mark and personally i would wear my id bracelet tanline with pride…

  7. Great rain ride photo! Love that. Jon looks like many-a PRO in some of the Classics this year.

  8. Road ID ordered. Now to convince the VMH to wear one. I always say “Ride safe” when I kiss her goodbye as she leaves for work, and I always mean it. Lately I mean it even more than usual.

  9. Btw, on the paracord version, linked above: paracord bracelets are fun and cool–I’ve made a few myself for the fun of it, and they’re awesome; however, I’ve found that sizing them properly is difficult, and I’m worried that the sizing increments offered at the site might be too few and that, therefore, one might be less likely to wear the paracord ID bracelet than the Road ID version. Just a thought.

  10. @Buck Rogers

    @Deakus Anyways, next time you can put “HTFU” instead of “A Pos”!!!

    That I like.  As recently as last year, I was required to have blood type on the back of my auto helmet at a track event.  First time in years I’ve seen such a requirement, but fortunately, the label was already there “out of habit.”

  11. @PeakInTwoYears

    Don’t know if this has been mentioned previously, Road ID also has an iphone app. You can set a lock screen with your ICE contact(s), notify your ICE when you’re heading out and they can track you with a breadcrumb trail. I’d say it’s not a stand alone product, your phone can end up meters away in a spill, but a worthwhile supplement. It’s free too!

    https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/road-id/id569352341?mt=8

  12. @Gillze

    That’s cool. I’ve had ICE numbers on my (unlocked) phones for a while, but I decided to pop for the bracelet because phones can break.

  13. @PeakInTwoYears

    Road ID ordered. Now to convince the VMH to wear one. I always say “Ride safe” when I kiss her goodbye as she leaves for work, and I always mean it. Lately I mean it even more than usual.

    Shouldn’t be too hard to convince her. I bought one for my girlfriend who runs. She wears it when she goes out and it makes me feel a little better. I always have mine on when I’m out riding.

  14. Was in bed with the laptop last night when I thought “hhhmmm, wonder what’s new at Velominati.” Definitely not what I was expecting…had a hard time falling asleep after reading all the posts. Non-cycling friends ask me how I deal with all the traffic when I ride. My answer is: I’m constantly aware of cars, but I choose not to obsess about them, otherwise I’d never leave the house.

    On the other subject, I have the Road ID dogtag/neck chain. I arm warmers in the winter, and sun sleeves during the summer due to my history of skin cancer, so I didn’t want a bracelet that would get caught up in the sleeves.

  15. I am truly gutted.  RIP @itburns.  Stay safe everyone else.

  16. @Deakus

    @frank

    Not sure if this has already been posted here, but I thought this was important (saw it on @itburns’ FB memorial page.)

    Shuttle has inspired me. And I think he should inspire you too. Roller originally wrote that they were able to identify Jon by the ID bracelet that he wore. If you don’t already have one, please visit one of these websites, or a similar one and order your ID today. And then wear it.

    I’ve been meaning to get a wearable ID for years. I just ordered 2.

    Please do it right now. Especially you Cychohashers out there.

    Here are a couple of sites: There are thousands more.

    Road ID:
    http://www.roadid.com/Common/default.aspx

    Paracord/Survival Bracelet ID:
    http://www.goneforarun.com/IDmeBand_Engraved_Paracord_Safety_Bracelet_p/tr-08363.htm

    That’s sorted, I’m getting one. And before anyone asks, so long as its not yellow, you are clear on whatever Road ID you get from a Rules perspective.

    Been using one of these for about 18 months now. Not only are they laser etched (mine has name, blood group, no allergies and next of kin contact number on it) but you register with a central website with medical details, next of kin, allergies etc etc. They also do small stickers IN CASE OF EMERGECY (ICE) that you can put on your phone, frame etc to let first responders know to look for your ICE details.

    One simple and free tip I have seen is that everyone should put the letters ICE in front and behind of their next of kins name in their phones address book. Most of us tend to ride with our phone and it can be used by others at the scene of an accident.

    Worth every penny/cent!

    http://www.onelifeid.com/page/products

    Purchased a 4th Road ID recently as it was time to add my son’s number as a contact. He just turned 17. I have a backup (3rd) Road ID and may find the (2nd) Road ID one day. Not sure what happened to the 1st.

  17. RIP Jon. I didn’t know him, but could have done through work. Its a small world. VLVV

  18. .. and I shall lurk no more.

  19. Resuscitation after 101 km rain ride today was Dutch Chocolate Milk. Ice chest of resuscitation filled and waiting with Newcastle Brown Ale and Dutch Chocolate — the milk won.

  20. @unversio

    Resuscitation after 101 km rain ride today was Dutch Chocolate Milk. Ice chest of resuscitation filled and waiting with Newcastle Brown Ale and Dutch Chocolate “” the milk won.

    A fitting tribute.

  21. @keepers and those that knew Jon… Forgive me if this is out of place, but might I suggest adding the name @itburns to the Lexicon? He seemed like a great guy, and was definitely a valuable member of the Velominati community… It probably seems like a small thing, but to me it would be a great tribute that those of us who spend time on the site would understand and appreciate. Just a thought…

  22. Just saw this. Terrible news and very sad. RIP @itburns

  23. A few Welliminati took an impromptu tribute ride today to mourn Jon’s passing. @Brett said a few poignant words at the top of our favourite local climb, and we finished at @piwakawaka’s cafe.

    RIP @itburns. We’ll miss you.

  24. @Bianchi Denti Nice work boys. Very fitting.

  25. @Bianchi Denti I suspect very many of us have reflected and had thoughts for Jon on our rides this weekend.  Well done guys.

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    start_el('?display_element(Object(stdClass), Array, 1, 0, Array, '?@Bianchi Denti

    A few Welliminati took an impromptu tribute ride today to mourn Jon’s passing. @Brett said a few poignant words at the top of our favourite local climb, and we finished at @piwakawaka’s cafe.

    RIP @itburns. We’ll miss you.

    Nicely done guys. Nice to see your ugly mugs as well although Rigid looks really uncomfortable getting his pic snapped.

  27. @Mike_P

    @Bianchi Denti I suspect very many of us have reflected and had thoughts for Jon on our rides this weekend. Well done guys.

    Rode a bit harder today to feel itburn. Eleven PR’s dedicated to and inspired by.

  28. @Chris

    @Deakus

    @girl

    If we were numbered as community members we could retire his number.

    Prehaps his profile could be left in place….locked…..in memoriam?

    That had crossed my mind. It would be a shame if Jon’s profile faded to level one and his @itburns avatar was lost.

    That’s a very nice gesture; after hearing the news, the first thing I did was dive into the code and make a few tweaks to put this in place right away. It would be awful to have his status fade away.

  29. @Bianchi Denti That’s a great tribute. Well done to the Kiwis.

    @frank To think that I was beginning to get a bit stress and worried about not having stuff in place for you know what, most of the week, with other jobs in the shop piling up, getting ready for my daughter’s fifth BD, etc. Thanks for diving into the code and making whatever tweaks were needed.

  30. August 12 should marked in our diaries going forward as itburns or JKL day – and should include a nasty amount if lactic acid. Just a thought.

    Oh – and I was searching for name for our team midweak climbing session  : itburns it is.

  31. Local racer (my age) had a heart attack and is comatose, last I heard. Dedicated my ride to him and Jon, one leg each. I’d planned on 200 km with a Cypress ascent in the middle, but a niggling knee wonk forced brevity, if not soft pedaling. The suffering was appropriate, and the ice bag just came off.

  32. “RIP” Jon, You’ll be missed!

  33. Have had a few days offsite, as have been involved with local safety campaign following death of cyclist hit from behind on a clear sunny day. Like @itburns one of those guys who put in and made the world a better place.

    As one of the first posts said, you rode a bike, you were my friend.

  34. Here’s a thing whilst we’re in reflective mood – it was my sister’s wedding at the weekend.

    During the ceremony my mum read a charming piece my late father wrote about how he met her.

    They met in the middle of nowhere when they were out doing epic solo bike tours round the West of Scotland in 1962 – so we’re literally all here because of cycling.

    This explains a great deal.

  35. @the Engine Without being formally introduced… scandalous.

  36. @ChrisO

    @the Engine Without being formally introduced… scandalous.

    I think they kept their capes on

  37. @Smithers

    August 12 should marked in our diaries going forward as itburns or JKL day – and should include a nasty amount if lactic acid. Just a thought.

    Oh – and I was searching for name for our team midweak climbing session : itburns it is.

    Also a lovely thought, as indicated in the memorial, we’ve marked it as a yearly recurring Cogal. (For some reason its not showing the list – investigating now – but its on there.)

  38. I was traveling most of last week and haven’t been on the bike for a week. Just back on this morning for a sunrise ride. With Jon weighing on my mind, I put flashers on the front and back, just to make myself as visible as possible.

    I had a no-chain day, which is surprising given the week off the bike and how relatively crappy I’ve felt the last few times I was out. I just couldn’t help but feel there was a hand pushing me along.

    Thanks for joining me on the ride today, mate.

  39. @snoov won’t be of much use when your phone gets trashed like mine did when I got hit 3 1/2 months ago. The witness had to flag someone down with a functioning phone… Just food for thought. I know have Road ID.

  40. @Dan_R

    @Bianchi Denti That’s a great tribute. Well done to the Kiwis.

    @frank To think that I was beginning to get a bit stress and worried about not having stuff in place for you know what, most of the week, with other jobs in the shop piling up, getting ready for my daughter’s fifth BD, etc. Thanks for diving into the code and making whatever tweaks were needed.

    Could never quite make out the avatar before…I like him now even more

  41. Wow, what terrible news.  Not much more I can add to the sentiments already expressed.

    RIP

    VLVV

  42. @frank any thoughts about the suggestions of adding something to the jersey design (i.e. initials on the back of the neck)?

  43. I made up this In Memoriam card, placed it in (beautiful!) Hardback copies of The Rules and gave them to some of his closest friends here in Houston

  44. @HHHeartache

    Outstanding! That is a beautiful gesture. Thanks from us all.

  45. @Gianni

    @HHHeartache

    Outstanding! That is a beautiful gesture. Thanks from us all.

    +1!

  46. @Gianni BTW: among his many talents, Jon was an aficionado of the Haiku. My effort would pale beside some of his!

  47. Hello – I am a Houston Chronicle reporter. Today is Jan 15, 2014. I would greatly like to be in contact with anyone who road with Jon Lennard, of Houston, who was killed this summer when he was hit by a car. Please contact me at dane.schiller@chron.com or give me a call at 713-362-2199. Email works best to reach me quickly. Thank you, Dane

  48. To the V community. I have only just stumbled upon this tragic news and I wanted to send my condolences to all of Jon’s friends on here. In my time on Velominati he was always great company and, despite never having met him, I’m sad to know he won’t be around. Cheers to you all, and please stay safe out there. RIP, @itburns

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