See yah later buddy

The other day I wrote about the bike shop and how you know you are just kind of home in the right shop. I also talked about how sometimes the shop becomes part of your family. The friends you make while working in a bike shop are not like the ones you make at other jobs. There is something to be said for the shared experience of work and play. The people that you pass off flat repairs to that you don’t feel like doing are close friends and really family members.

A few years ago I lived and taught in Virginia and I worked part time at City Bikes. I honestly think that working at City Bikes was probably my favorite job I have ever had. We had a great crew of folks there like Mike, Arleigh, and a few of the other cast of characters that made that place home.

There was one big tall goofy kid that we let hang around the place and someone even decided to pay this kid along the way. He was a hockey player and high school kid who really wanted to just ride his bike all the time. This kid used to skip school to ride his bike or stop by the bike shop but still managed to be a great student. This kid was Adam Lockard. He was a 15-16 year old kid with the world in front of him and the guys at the shop all took a shine to him. He understood the bike shop world and all he wanted to do was ride. I remember his mom talking to me because I was a teacher and trying to get me to make him focus on his grades and stay away from the bike. I told her I would do what I could, but I also let her know that if you took the bike or the shop away, you would lose him. She listened to me and followed her mom’s intuition and let him stick with the shop and the bike but she lost him anyway.

At approximatly 5am this morning, a passerby noticed a fire in Adam’s house in Gunnison Colorado and contacted the authorities. Apparently 4 people were rescued or got out alive. The police and firemen risked their lives to save the lives of ordinary citizens, but unfortunatly Adam’s body, and the body of an 18 year old girl from Michigan were found inside the house after the fire was out. You can read the story here and here. I can not stop thinking of his last minutes, and I need to not think about it. I keep telling myself that he never woke up and never felt a thing. Even though it is probably not the reality, that is the only way I can really deal with this.

Adam

I am totally brokenhearted for him, his family, and the girl that died along with him.

One of the first memories of Adam that came rushing into my head was when he would make fun of Mike K and I about riding our bikes in the woods. He was more of a dirt jumper and street rider. For being well over 6 foot, the boy could move well. Mike and I had enough of this snot nose kid making fun of XC riding, so we brough him and a buddy out to Schafer Farms in Maryland. They rode their dirt jumper bikes as hard as they could and were totally dead after an early morning of following us around the woods. Adam promptly built a XC mountain bike so he could go on more rides with the gang.

I guess it hurts so much when one of your “students” dies. I never taught him in the formal setting, but he and I had one of the most authentic student-learner experiences. I taught him the ropes of working in a bike shop and selling the crap outta some bikes. I also helped him in his studies when he would hang out late at the shop and I would give him crap about not doing his homework.

This is the third student that I have had die…lets hope it is the last for a while.

Where ever his spirit lies, I hope the trails go on forever, and I hope he knows all the sweet spots when I come to ride with him.

Mike K who really brought Adam into all of our lives put some thoughts into words. Joel has provided us with a few pictures.

If you read the comments section, it seems that Adams folks would love for you to leave some memories about him on in the comments section. Help them out in this time of need.

There was an article with an interview with Adam’s mom in a local newspaper.

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Comments
18 Responses to “See yah later buddy”
  1. PJ says:

    OMG! this is so sad! I pray for his family that they know peace at this time and in the days to come. What a beautiful tribute Patrick!
    Love You
    Sissy!

  2. Suzanne Young says:

    Thank you for this beautiful and touching piece about Adam. He was a very special guy and we will miss him always.

    Adam’s Aunt Suzanne

  3. Sonny Young says:

    I’ll second Suzanne’s thanks for the wonderful reflection. Aunt Suzanne & Uncle Sonny saw Adam play for the ice hockey team at Bethesda-Chevy Chase H.S. I’m just under 6’3″ — and Adam looked down on me. You’re right on with this line:

    “For being well over 6 foot, the boy could move well.”

    Adam was usually the biggest kid on the ice, but he moved well and was a graceful skater.

    Rest in peace, Adam. We love you, buddy.

    Adam’s Uncle Sonny

  4. Ben Salthouse says:

    This is very sad to hear.

  5. Dad says:

    Thank so much for your kind words and great story. City Bikes was large part of Adam’s life and his experiences there and the friends he made in the biking community very much formed the person he became. We thank you all for taking him under your collective wing and nurturing him into someone we were very proud of and admired and loved beyond words.

    Please feel free to post more memories of Adam. They are wonderful to hear and give us much comfort.

    David Lockard (Adam’s Dad)

  6. Michael says:

    Adam will be missed. I’ll never forget the day I hired that kid to work with us.

    Some of my memories.

    http://www.bigdaddymikesblog.blogspot.com/

    mk

  7. Dough says:

    “Where ever his spirit lies, I hope the trails go on forever, and I hope he knows all the sweet spots when I come to ride with him.”

    Well said sir!!! Well said!

  8. Susan Klasmeier says:

    “Pssst, Michael.”
    “Yeah”
    “Um, there’s this boy riding his bike on the tables outside.”
    “Yeah”
    “No, I mean he’s riding over them, across them, balancing between”
    “Yeah, that’s the kid Adam I just hired”

    And from that moment on I was smitten. It was thrilling and terrifying to watch him ride. I loved the confidence in his face. He made it look so easy. But the mother in me wanted to make him stop b/c I didn’t want to see him get hurt.

    Adam was the very first person to call me Mrs. Klasmeier. I mean in the serious, like that’s what you call adults kinda way. Needless to say I suggested Susan, but he continued to call me Mrs. I think b/c he knew it made me feel old:)

    I remember one time the City Bikes boys all went for a ride out at Patapsco. And they all came back muddy. And all my white towles were brown after they showered. I asked Michael – weren’t they supposed to come out of the shower clean? He blamed Adam knowing I wouldn’t say anything cause he was just a kid. The other guys (adults) should know better – right?

    Around the table they all sat. It wasn’t the first or the last time I cooked for a hungry bunch of mountain bikers. And in the the standard tradition I offered everyone a beer. Jesse? Michael? Pat? Adam? His eyes widened. Everyone laughed. “Susan he’s like 17” I was mildly embarrassed but come on I was in my early 30’s. Teenagers were not common in my house. At that time, I had a three year old daughter and a son who was a few months old.

    I asked him if he was driving. He was not. So he was allowed one beer and I gave him some gum afterwards. Afer reading Micahel’s blog post (link above) I am beginning to think the Klasmeier’s were not a very good influence on the boy. A beer at our house a beer up at the white tail race. . .

    I remember driving up for that race. I had packed a bunch of food for my kids. I think Adam ate most of it. “I love moms” was all he said as I continued to offer him fruit, granola, some crackers, PB&J sandwiches, juice, etc.

    I’ll never forget him. Always very courteous to me. Always very nice to my children. And just an all around cool guy. Did I mention his mad bike skills? Keep on ridin’ Adam.

    • surlyrider says:

      I remember that ride you are talking about. I think that is the Jessie and Pat are leaving DC ride. That was what that whole city bikes family is all about. I think I remember a certain little girl really showing off for the boys and esp. Adam.

      • Susan says:

        You are right! I had forgotten about Emma. I remember being impressed by her taste;) Not to say I wouldn’t have been pleased if she had chosen any one of you fine fellas. But at least Adam was closer to her in age.

  9. My deepest sympathy goes out to Adam’s family. Tears flow as I read all that I have read about this incredible young man. He was a friend of my son’s who is deeply saddened. I did not know Adam and did not know that Karen had this amazing son. I knew her as an amazing high school administrator who helped kids. Now I know why she had so much insight into interesting, active, wonderful young people. She helped my son in very critical times, sharing her caring love and tough love. This has hit a community hard. My heart is with Adam and his wonderful family.
    Our prayers are with you all,
    Kathleen Drew

  10. Sickbird says:

    I knew Adam for a few years while we both bounced around in the wonderful fun that is the Gunnison Valley. Adam had 2 facial expressions= elated and determined. either way he was a pleasure to be around weather hanging out at Rock N’ Roll or in passing up on the hill *(CB) it was always nice to cast a smile his direction and get back an even bigger salutation. Adam was surely one of us, a team mate in life and a damn good one.

  11. JoAnn says:

    Of all my sons friends at BCC and WCS, I think Adam was my favorite. What a sweet young man — so full of life, so gentle and authentic. Words cannot describe the loss his friends are feeling and how much we hope this outpouring of love can comfort David and Karen. I have faith that Adam’s free spirit has found a home forever in the Colorado mountains and that his spirit will twinkle brightly like a new star in a dark sky.

  12. My heart is broken! Adam’s grandmother is one of my dearest friends, and I love Karen and David and Kate! I knew Adam , mostly through his Grandmother’s eyes, but I realy admired him. Leah, Karen, David and Kate, if I could shoulder your burden of grief, I would gladly do so!

  13. Ilana Gordon says:

    Adam (ATB) and Ben were friends for many years. He always came into our house with a smile on his face talking about how much he loved where he was and what he was doing. When Ben was home this last January, we exchanged our usual hug and caught up on what he was doing. I loved hearing about his work and how much he loved living in Colorado and working with the handicapped at the Adaptive Center.

    While he was still working at City Bikes, he introduced me to my best friend, my Cannondale Mountain Bike. I had spoken to Adam about getting back into biking and he said to come by the shop and he would “hook me up.” Well that he did.

    I will forever cherish the fact that if not for him, I would not have that smile on my face as I ride through the wind in all kinds of weather. I did thank him numerous times and hope that he knew what a lasting gift he gave to me.

    Ben loved ATB and his lust for life. Our hearts are broken. But as I ride through the wind I will forever thing of Adam.

  14. Glenda Powers says:

    What a wonderful testimony and reflection on Adam.

    As someone else said, I did not know Adam personally. I only knew Adam as David and Karen’s son. But the few times I did have the pleasure of meeting Adam were memorable for his easygoing, pleasant, dynamic presence.

    I do know that he was dearly loved by two wonderful parents for whom my heart pours lots of love and support.

    As a colleague of David’s I recall so many times when we would talk about family that he would totally light up telling me about Adam’s most recent adventure or accomplishment, or when he was planning on joining Adam for an adventure. I always left feeling good, thinking how wonderful that was that father and son were sharing such neat experiences….precious memories that now will have to last him a life time.

    Skiing, fishing, biking, hockey games, music………wonderful memories.

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  1. […] to remember a good friend and a lasting motivation in my life. RIP Adam. Read about him here, and here. I am sure he would get the joke. ~~ Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Rainy day. […]



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