Not Forgotten: Jon Lennard, aka @itburns
I bought a Road ID the day I learned of Jon Lennard’s death on August 12, 2013. Someone in the posts of the original announcement of his passing (below) mentioned he was identified by his Road ID. Of course he had a Road ID. What I knew of him made that perfect. So responsible and sensible.
The nature of this community is a strange thing; we don’t know each other by name, just by the handle we use. We are as anonymous as we choose to be. I only knew Jon’s real name because we’d emailed each other and he’d sent me a copy of Merckx 525 for Christmas. We were, without knowing each other formally, friends. At Velominati, I was always happy to see his crazy Avatar show up, that ridiculous image of Gollum in a Giro helmet. Who thinks of this stuff? Only @itburns. He and his spirit helped shape this community, like many others have. His voice stood out in the for his good nature, willingness to stir things up in a fun way, and always fostering a collegial atmosphere in the midst of controversy.
He was living La Vie Velominatus, throttle wide open. He was Rule #43 embodied .
Someone told me he was wearing his V-Kit; I’m not sure if that’s true or not, but the idea that he was wearing it at the time of his death chills my blood. I am honored beyond words that he wore it into his last moment but I’m ashamed that we weren’t strong enough to better protect him. The first death in V-Kit. It is a horrible thing that words can’t describe.
We all risk so much when we ride; we are at the mercy of the traffic around us, one moment’s inattention and it’s over. Jon’s death didn’t stop me riding, but it has me thinking of him every time I swing my leg over a top tube. This could be my last ride. Either make sure it isn’t, or make sure it’s worth it.
I miss you @itburns; I’m happy every time I see one of your old posts pop up in the archives. I will ride my bike tomorrow, on August 12, the anniversary of your passing, and I will think of you again. I’ll never forget you, my friend.
When you ride today, remember that this could be your last ride. Either make sure it isn’t, or make sure it’s worth it.
Vive la Vie Velominatus, and go with Merckx, my brothers and sisters.
He also has a Facebook Group set up by his friends that gets regular updates on friends reminding us of how awesome he was. Check it out: Shuttle’s Velominati Hall of Fame.