From: Mike M.
Subject: Doug Roether Memeorial ride @ Four Peaks
Greg D. were chatting last nite over tequila shots, and he suggested I give you a shout, and submit this little thing I wrote for the Velotopia blog about the Doug Roether memorial ride at Four Peaks awhile back. Thought it might be a good one for the homies. Feel free to post!
One for Day of the Dead
With fall firmly in place, I sat back and took stock of the events of this last summer. I concluded it had been a tough season. The worst of it was that we lost Doug Roether to a sharp and sudden battle with cancer in early September. I met him while riding our vintage BMWs when I first moved to AZ, and we were close ever since. He had been in the bicycle biz for well over 20 years, first as a racer, later at shops, then as the KHS rep. By all accounts Doug was a bang-up fella, and well known in the southwest. A true bike guy in all the best ways, he had checked out far too soon. So when the call came from Phoenix to attend a memorial ride at Four Peaks the Sunday after his death, I was all over it.
Four Peaks Brew Pub is actually in Tempe, close to ASU. It’s an old converted warehouse with a big outdoor area. -For sure, an easy spot to while away hot summer nights. The ride was going to start here, because it had been one of Doug’s favorites. From the pub we would go to his house nearby, and then come back for a beer. When we pulled into the place, I couldn’t believe all the people who showed. I counted well over 100 riders of all stripes. Lycra-clad roadies, mountain bikers, BMXers, urban types and retro-cruisers crowded the surrounding pavement. At 5:00 sharp we rolled out and it caused a big fuss on the road. We took up a full lane on some of the busiest streets in Phoenix. The long parade rode in silence. It was stirring to be in amongst the big pack, quietly moving along the 6-lane avenues, in command of the traffic.
When we got to his house, Doug’s wife, Deborah was waiting in the driveway. Members of the family were there too, snapping pics of everyone as we arrived. Some were in tears. She struggled to say a few kind words to the small sea of cyclists parked around her. Then, off we went again back to the pub. This time, Deborah was in the front of the procession. She rode a faded old fat-tire tandem with one empty seat. She said it was their “date bike”.
We finally made it back to Four Peaks, and found they had set aside the whole patio for us. It was filling up quickly, and sweet bikes of all sorts leaned on every vertical surface. Before long, pitchers, salads, and burgers were passed around. Old friends greeted and everyone got caught-up. As evening crept in, the late summer heat gave way to a breeze, and the din grew louder. I took a look around in the dim light. I saw industry folks, reps, shop owners, shop workers and fellow riders, friends and competitors alike. Hell, they even got the Trek rep and the Specialized rep in the same room, and that is rare indeed. We talked about Doug’s big heart and humor, and we wished he were here, like the old days. It was an emotional and fitting tribute.