It was one year ago on this day that the worst news anyone could bear was spread through the community like a horrible shiver. I still remember what it felt like to hear what happened. The first thing that came to mind was that incredible smile and energy and style that defined Ryan.
It's shattering to be reminded how quickly beautiful things can be taken away. He was separated from this world and his two children and their mother. He was separated from this community that stands so unique and marginalized, yet he would never have a moment of hesitation when it came to backing you up. Seriously. He was separated but not gone. Never gone unless forgotten and that just won't happen.
"We all ride for our own reasons. Because we love it, or it sets us free, or it pays the bills, or because we just can't stop riding.
We fall, we rise up, and we ride again.
But when one of us falls forever, we all have to work a little harder to ride on."
It will be a difficult day for many out there. Everyone should consider the horrible weight that driver is left to bear as well. As hard as it is to move on, it's times like this Ryan reminds us to stop and think about the great things around us. It's only fitting that we pay tribute and respects to Ryan in a way that will always be one of his favorites...
He loved to hang out and be in great company. One of his favorite places was Cal's on Van Buren and Wells. Come on by Cal's on Friday (August 15). Come do what Ryan would undoubtedly be doing with us. Raise a cheer to a great life and buy Ryan a beer or whatever at the bar. That 2+ dollars will go into his memorial fund and be kept to help provide for his two children.
Also going on will be a memorial ride being assembled by the Chicago Courier's Union. It will be forming around 6 o'clock, Wednesday, August 13. The route will be determined there and departure should be right around 6.