In Memoriam: Jon Lennard, aka @itburns

in memoriam
In memory of our lost friend, Jon Lennard aka @itburns.

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.

[dmalbum path=”/velominati.com/content/Photo Galleries/[email protected]/Jon Lennard/”/]

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233 Replies to “In Memoriam: Jon Lennard, aka @itburns”

  1. Very sad news, RIP Jon and condolences to family and loved ones. Really puts things into perspective.

  2. I’ve been back to this thread 4 times now.  I’ve started to type out a post at least two times but get caught up in the emotion of it all and am left without words, but I will try again…

    My heartfelt sympathies to the community here.  It is beautiful and touching to see the outpouring of support.

    Sympathies also to Jon’s family.

    I will be riding this Saturday and will take a moment to think about all of this along the way.

  3. @frank yeah I’ve had the Road ID since late last year, if you’re doing a lot of solo k’s it definitely makes sense.

  4. @Marko I have several Road IDs. I travel quite a bit and have found that It is a bit of a comfort to wear one when driving in remote areas.  With the Road ID  my insurance and health issues are available to the first responders.  My wife and boys also wear them as they are all runners.

  5. @frank

    And before anyone asks, so long as its not yellow, you are clear on whatever Road ID you get from a Rules perspective.

    I have a band to match every bike.

  6. @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.

    @frank and all, I have one for the exact reason above, I do alot of solo road cycling as with young children the scheduled club rides dont always fit the window of opportunity that I need.

    I have a road id with black band ( yellow is banned ) with all the usual contacts.

    “Just do it”

  7. So I sent a bunch of pics of @itburns to Frank this morning from the Austin Cogal.  I’m not sure if Frank can even find them as I’ve douched up everything I’ve tried to do on both Velominati and FB with regard to Jon.  Oh well.  (Frank, if you can find them, please post them.  Merci.)

    I’m not up for witty.  Or happy.  This sucks.  Jon was hit where we’d ridden plenty of times.  It’s really the only place for roadies to ride if they live inside the 610 Loop.

    I always wear my Road ID.  And I tell everyone I love that I love them before I head out.  And I say a prayer.  So far, it’s been enough.  But this has rattled me.  I don’t even live in Houston anymore, but I decided to ride my trainer for a few days anyway.  Yes, I’ve been hit.  And run over.  But it was all before I had a kid.  Now I think twice.  A lot.

    Well, I guess this is goodbye for now, Jon.  I mean @itburns.  The next time I make it to Houston, I’ll go see @Dan Sorak and we’ll raise a glass to you.  VLVV

  8. I like this pic of Jon the most.  The background is awesome.  The rain is dripping off his jacket.  He’s soaked to the bone.  It’s 7C or less.  He’s been riding for hours.  He’s had three flats.  No shit.  Three flats.  Just ask @Buck Rogers.  Hard man, this.

  9. Heartbreaking and tragic…..RIP, Jon. 

     Amazed by the compassion and the connection amongst strangers, that is this community…beautiful, truly.

    VLVV

  10. Anyone have experience with the non-bracelet Road IDs?  As stupid as it is I would like to avoid the tanlines.

  11. @frank How many times did @itburns bear the +1 badge?  I’d be hard pressed to guess any who had it more times.

    What a pisser.

  12. @Jeff in Big D

    I like this pic of Jon the most. The background is awesome. The rain is dripping off his jacket. He’s soaked to the bone. It’s 7C or less. He’s been riding for hours. He’s had three flats. No shit. Three flats. Just ask @Buck Rogers. Hard man, this.

    That photo pretty much sums up why we are all here on this site i think.

    Riding, no matter where, no matter what conditions, no matter who you are or where you come from, its all the same, the enjoyment and camaraderie that befits us all.

    We all ride, i believe, for that feeling of freedom that comes with the bike, that photo is timeless and a reminder to us all, why we ride.

    Thanks for sharing it with us.

  13. Have not been online for a few days, and then get back from travel to see this. My thoughts go out to his family and friends, may everyone else be safe out on the roads.

  14. @Barracuda

    @Jeff in Big D

    I like this pic of Jon the most. The background is awesome. The rain is dripping off his jacket. He’s soaked to the bone. It’s 7C or less. He’s been riding for hours. He’s had three flats. No shit. Three flats. Just ask @Buck Rogers. Hard man, this.

    That photo pretty much sums up why we are all here on this site i think.

    Riding, no matter where, no matter what conditions, no matter who you are or where you come from, its all the same, the enjoyment and camaraderie that befits us all.

    We all ride, i believe, for that feeling of freedom that comes with the bike, that photo is timeless and a reminder to us all, why we ride.

    Thanks for sharing it with us.

    +1 awesome shot, inhaling a wasp, in the cold and rain while laying it down across a ridge.

  15. @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

  16. @DerHoggz

    Anyone have experience with the non-bracelet Road IDs? As stupid as it is I would like to avoid the tanlines.

    put ICE before and after the name of your vmh in your phone.  Then get some kind of sticker…to put on your phone or decal for frame to indicate you have id/medical/contact details available…

    http://www.onelifeid.com/

  17. I always carry some ID in my back pocket but also, rather than the bracelet IDs I’ve just gone for dog-tags – they are a couple of pounds/dollars, can be worn all the time and don’t give you tan lines.

    Mine has (over two tags):

    Name

    DOB

    No allergies

    Wife’s details

    UAE friend’s details

    followed by the essential advice… “Get The Bike”

    I was told by medical people – perhaps someone else can confirm – that there was no point putting on blood types. It is simple and immediate to test, and given the catastrophic consequences of getting it wrong they will always test anyway, rather than take the word of your ID.

  18. Heart braking. Whatever accident it is, remember that on a bike you’ll always lose.

    Ride safe, everybody. RIP Jon.

  19. @Deakus

    @DerHoggz

    Anyone have experience with the non-bracelet Road IDs? As stupid as it is I would like to avoid the tanlines.

    put ICE before and after the name of your VMH in your phone. Then get some kind of sticker…to put on your phone or decal for frame to indicate you have id/medical/contact details available…

    http://www.onelifeid.com/

    Good advice. I’ve got ICE against three contacts on my phone. It wasn’t until I read this, though, that I realised that a my last (work supplied) phone upgrade had rendered them useless. The current configuration comes with a mandatory passcode.

  20. Yep, I’ll jump on the band wagon. Seems silly not to have one really. Ordering road id now.

  21. My deepest condolences to Jon’s family, this is terrible news. There are some lovely stories and comments from his friends.

    While this site is basically recreation, and does get salty some times, it’s nice to see the real sense of community that has evolved here over time that we all are a part of.

  22. RIP itburns.  Dusk and dawn are scary times to ride. Lighting, distracted and fatigued motorists. Be careful out there.  Condolences and prayers to Jon’s loved ones and family. I think some kind of Velominati recognition is in order.

    Cheers

  23. @ChrisO

    I was told by medical people – perhaps someone else can confirm – that there was no point putting on blood types. It is simple and immediate to test, and given the catastrophic consequences of getting it wrong they will always test anyway, rather than take the word of your ID.

    You’re exactly right about the uselessness of putting your blood type on tags/uniform/kit.  Pure Hollywood.  I would have guys do that and I would rip them off.  Just pure bravado, something they saw on some Navy Seal movie.  You get O neg until you have been typed and crossed, everytime.  I do not care if you think you are/or you actually are the world’s most secret black op squirrel out there.  Pure Hollywood.

    Good idea about wearing the dog tags.  I should have a set made up for the bike.  Thanks.

  24. @Jeff in Big D

     

    I like this pic of Jon the most. The background is awesome. The rain is dripping off his jacket. He’s soaked to the bone. It’s 7C or less. He’s been riding for hours. He’s had three flats. No shit. Three flats. Just ask @Buck Rogers. Hard man, this.

    Absolutely.  That was a FUCK’IN cold and wet day with the rain blowing sideways almost the whole ride.  Unbelievably miserable conditions but itburns (I tried to call him Jon when I first met him and he corrected me at once, “It’s itburns, thank you”) just sucked it up.  Both he and I flatted, as well as others, but itburns did THREE different times and once he sliced his fingers open on the change and had blood running everywhere but he just drove on. 

    We offered to have him climb in the SAG vehicle if he wanted after his second and third flat without fear of being called out but he looked at us like we were from Mars or something and just changed his tire again. 

    True Hardman living Rule V and IX.  Will not be forgotten. 

    And for what it is worth, I love the idea of adding his initals to the future kits that someone suggested earlier on this thread.

    Patrick Wong also has an awesome shot of him at the end of that Cogal, face all swollen from the cold and wet and wind holding a wheel over his head.  Great shot.  Really encompasses him and that day.

  25. @girl

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

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

  26. @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.

    I’ve had one for about 6 years now, but this prompted me to check the info.  I was missing one of my new meds and needed to add my cardiologist.

  27. @Buck Rogers

    @ChrisO

    I was told by medical people – perhaps someone else can confirm – that there was no point putting on blood types. It is simple and immediate to test, and given the catastrophic consequences of getting it wrong they will always test anyway, rather than take the word of your ID.

    You’re exactly right about the uselessness of putting your blood type on tags/uniform/kit. Pure Hollywood. I would have guys do that and I would rip them off. Just pure bravado, something they saw on some Navy Seal movie. You get O neg until you have been typed and crossed, everytime. I do not care if you think you are/or you actually are the world’s most secret black op squirrel out there. Pure Hollywood.

    Good idea about wearing the dog tags. I should have a set made up for the bike. Thanks.

    Blood type was just habit from my days in the army….a…..looooooong time ago….the world has moved on and left me behind obviously….

  28. @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.

  29. 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.

  30. 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

  31. 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.

     

  32. @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”!!!

  33. @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…

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

  35. 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.

  36. 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.

  37. @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.”

  38. @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.

  39. @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.

  40. 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.

  41. @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.

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