Sunday, April 18, 2010

Farewell JB

We are going to miss an amazing friend, John Blaszczak, who passed away Thursday.  He was one of the most selfless individuals I have ever known.  He loved cycling and photography, and leaves us his words and photos on his cycling blog as well as his photo blog

BJ and Bob have a slideshow posted BJ's team blog. JB is pictured seated below in 2007 after Tripower had won the team BAR in Virginia's Cyclocross Series. 

The things that I remember about JB always involved him serving others.  When he started cycling, he immediately jumped in and started photographing others.  He earned a media spot in the first and only pro race that went from Willamsburg to Richmond back in 2006 and a RAAM qualifier in 2005.  He was always on hand to photograph fun things, like Mike Hosang proposing marriage to Brenna Santora on the bike.  He trained for long endurance events, like the 18 hours of Scout's Honor, but of course, he spent much of his time and energy there documenting others in the race (See his blog for that one--scroll down on this page.)  He loved people and was a true natural at recognizing the good in others.  And he is well known among cartographers for appropriately naming Southside Hampton Roads "The Island."

Today we dedicated the first ever "Williamsburg War" ride to JB.  Mike Hosang organized a ride that started with a loop at New Quarter Park, followed by a road ride to the William and Mary Moteka trails.  We then linked more road to Freedom Park, did a loop there, then returned to the Moteka trails and back to another loop at New Quarter for 50 miles.  There were several teams represented--Tripower, All About Bikes, JRVS, Vanderkitten, and Siegler.  Rob Igram did a fantastic job with navigation.  JB's heart was always in mountain biking, and most importantly, he loved any ride that involved multiple teams.

JB was my biggest influence when I started blogging.  He started a cycling blog shortly after I did, and his talents have inspired and motivated me ever since.  He knew how to look at the subtleties and pecularities of cycling and put names to them, Seinfeld style.

1 comment:

Buck and Dee Dee Winfield said...

We didn't know him well but were very fond of his kind words and photography. Tragic loss and he'll be missed in many ways.