Sunday, August 21, 2011

We Lost One of Our Own...



I regretfully report that we lost one of our own this past week with the passing of Tim Kalisch....

Tim has ridden with the RMCC from the from the early 2000s. Tim was not your typical cyclist. With his small but muscular frame, numerous tattoos, and flat-top haircut, Tim seemed to resemble a Harley Davidson enthusiast more than a cyclist. But...boy could he ride! Tim, along with fellow club members Jim Kraychy and Sargent McDonald, repeatedly decimated RMCC course records during the 2000s. In fact, Tim's time of 6:06, established during the 2009 Stove Prarie 200 km (part of the RMCC 1-2-3 Stage Race), still stands as a course record to this day.

Tim was a tenacious competitor on the bicycle. He raced as a Category 3 American Cycling Association (ACA) racer with the Natural Grociers (Vitamin Cottage) team. Tim was a phenomal downhill rider, carving corners with the skill of a downhill ski racer. Even more impressive were his abilities on the flats. No rider understood the benefits of aerodynamics better than Tim, who who could ride with his head perched on his handlebars (without the assistance of aerobars) for hours on end, allowing him to close huge gaps or place impressive distances on his competitors. Tim also rode with the quiet confidence of a skilled poker player. Tim was always very stoic on the bike and was never easily phased by adversity. He never complained about riding in brutally cold temperatures or in stiff headwinds. Tim would just ride...and ride hard!

More importantly, off the bike, Tim had a warm personality that drew outsiders into the club. My own personal interests in the RMCC were sparked by my interactions with Tim (as well as Sargent McDonald and Jim Kraychy). I learned more about riding a bicycle from watching Tim ride than from any other rider I have ridden with. In my own personal experiences of riding with Tim, I will never forget my first RMCC Tuesday night hillclimb in 2004. While ascending Lookout Mountain along Hwy 40, Tim dropped me like a paperweight during an effortless, out-of-the-saddle final push to the top of the mountain. I remember saying to myself, "Man, that guy is good! I've got some serious work to do to keep up with him!" And I was always inspired by watching Tim and Jim ride Lookout Mountain repeats throughout the season. Tim understood the benefits of training hard and teamwork...

Well...if Tim gets a chance to read this...I have heard through the grapevine that they race El Caminos in heaven. And if they don't, I'm sure that he will have no problem taking them on his bicycle...

May you rest in peace...

You will always be an idol to me. You will be missed by all of us...



MVL  


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