In Memory of DaleRider1
Chris Cannon, 1953 - 2000
Davenport Iowa USA
Chris Cannon, aka DaleRider1, died doing what he liked
best - mountainbiking - in his local Scott County park on January 14th 2000.
He was the most respected person at our favorite site - www.mtbr.com
Chris wrote this poem after the ultimate MTBR gathering --
The Last Ride
A ribbon of riders before me I see
sinewy threads between deep green trees
translucent rays of morning sun
stand out the jerseys the riders have on
Oh I long to catch the moment
for in my mind Ill always foment
the sight of silent riders weaving
solemn in their thoughts of leaving
Before unknown and now connected
each others moves are still reflected
in the images that remain within each one.
I pray the ride is never done
Chris Cannon, July '98
The first photo above was taken near the end of that ride.
"Remember the man, the person and the humanity he gave to everyone freely.
Speak to him. He'll hear you.
When in doubt think of what he would do.
By remembering, we keep his dream alive.
We have been celebrating his life, and by continuing on doing the right thing as he would,
the memory of him will live forever in our hearts, minds and souls.
Make his passing a celebration of what he stood for.
Grieve for now, but ride tomorrow with his passion."
- fred³, Jan 15/00 (Fred Clark)
".....how fleeting it all is; enjoy every moment you have, and enjoy the people you love, because none of us is promised tomorrow."
- Jennifer Lesher Jan 16/00
Cascading ripples of stone and sand
lay before me on the land I love so much.
Stair steps of nature these compressed
fragments of the ages.
No straight course will they beckon me to take
because life is not a vector.
I choose the flow and ways of ascent and descent
on dirt as I do in life.
'Bless the rider who picks the course and despite
mistakes is all the wiser for the ride.
Chris Cannon, July 1st '98
The Spirit of Mercer by Taino Grosjean (Chef)
The lot was barren, covered with drifts of powder, it stood silent and empty as the cold sun climbed into the sky. It’s always like this at this time of year – the days are short, the cold sharp as knives. No one wants to venture out. Yet, strangely enough, cars started pulling in, disgorging people in ones and twos; greetings were muted, as if something besides the cold was acting upon the arrivals.
More and more cars arrived… I noted some from my home, others from strange-sounding places like "Connecticut", "Pennsylvania", "New York", and "Maryland". The people all had bikes with them – common enough, but not for this time of year – and rode around the lot for awhile, keeping warm, as even more cars arrived. Finally, the cars stopped coming, and the people gathered in a group. They stood there for a good bit of time, even though they must have been freezing, and they all seemed to be either looking straight up or straight down. I felt something then… It was faint, and I brushed it aside, concentrating instead on this strange group of bikers.
At last all seventeen of them pedaled off along the paths created for them, whooping and hollering there, but still subdued. Curious… I followed their progress, watching as they rode over the log piles, through the streams, and around the trees in their path, riding through the snow and cold as if possessed. They rode as a group, taking frequent stops, shouting words of encouragement as the larger obstacles were reached and overcome, or laughing as someone went headlong into the snow. The faint feeling from earlier was much stronger, and I kept hearing someone laugh out loud, the joy in the deep voice obvious – I looked, but saw nothing.
Turning back to the riders, I let myself be drawn in by the energy coming from them. They seemed to warm the very air as they passed, as if they were pouring out part of themselves as they rode. I started wishing I could join them, riding around the trees, falling down the hills, getting stuck in drifts… It looked like so much fun. I floated along with them as they approached the lot again, breath steaming in the air, watching as all eighteen riders gathered again in the lot, shaking hands, laughing and joking. They all got back in their cars, finally, and drove off – except one. He waved to them, and stood in the lot next to his bike for awhile.
I realized that he felt like the energy that had come from the people who rode that day, and was just like me. I finally got up the courage to go over, and ask him why he didn’t leave with the rest….? He turned to me, gave me a big smile, and said, "Well, I think you have a really nice place to ride, here. I’d like to stay awhile, if you don’t mind…?" I welcomed him, and asked him his name.
He smiled and stuck out a big hand, saying "Call me Chris…"
If I can't ride I'll close my eyes
- Chris Cannon. DaleRider1
Rest in Peace but ride on forever. DaleRider1
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