As the cycling world already knows, we lost one of our two-wheeled brothers recently. Kansas City area cyclist Joel Dyke died in an accident at his home this week.
Joel leaves behind a community of friends and a loving family. Those who would like to provide some support to Joel’s family can donate via the Big Grin page. Tomorrow, January 3rd, there is a memorial ride for Joel for those who wish to ride in his honor. Information about the ride can be found on the Joel Dyke Memorial Ride page.
As soon as word spread about Joel’s passing, an outpouring of emotion and tributes spread through the cycling community. People were shocked and saddened by the sudden loss of Joel. There was a deluge of stories about how Joel had been a part of so many people’s lives. One theme was constant – Joel always had a smile on his face.
When I started cycling in 2004, Joel was one of the first people to work on my bike. I remember him taking the time to explain to me how to fine-tune my braking when making adjustments. He was welcoming and didn’t mind helping out a newbie.
The best way to see how many people’s lives Joel touched is to simply head over to his Facebook page and scan through the tributes, stories, and pictures that have inundated his page this week.
Here are just a few of the many stories and tributes to Joel:
Eric Struckhoff noted, “If you’ve raced or ridden cyclocross, alley cat, or gravel in the midwest, you’ll know that his contributions to cycling were as big as his grin. And that’s big. RIP Joel”
Gina Poertner shared her thoughts on Joel, “There is so much to remember about Joel. What I’ve been thinking about most lately are a multitude of conversations with him and Michelle over the years. He was full of ideas, creative, and always a spirit of fun. Even during the tough times he would make us laugh and bring us back to ourselves in a way that only Joel could pull off.”
Joel was part of an early group of cross racers who really helped get the cyclocross off the ground in the Kansas City area. Longtime friend Mark Thomas of LocalCycling.com shared a story on Facebook from their days together promoting area cross races,
“Sometime in the mid 90’s, Joel, Curt Bales and me were sitting in Jerry’s Bait Shop trying to come up with a name for the cyclocross series we were about to promote. Joel and I were drinking (I doubt Curt was). We were throwing out goofy Flemish Dutch sounding names. I know I had to permit the event the next morning. Whatever and whoever said the exact phrase will always remain unclear, but metal umlauts had to be included. I stuck it on the flyer as I best remembered with a hangover. Joel pounded wooden stakes to make those early years happen. While we laid out cold winter courses, we joked about hosting a national championship. By 2000 it wasn’t a joke.”
Joel’s contributions to area cycling are too numerous to list but they include assisting in building the cross scene into what it is today and a hand in the development of Dirty Kanza.
While the tragedy of losing a love one can make it hard to see silver linings, those who knew Joel can surely take some solace in the fact that he spent his last day with us doing what he loved, with those he loved. Who among us could come up with a better way to spend a day, riding some sweet new trails with friends followed by an evening at home with our family:
“Got to ride the sweet new trails at the Rosedale Arch in KC KS. I love that there are some great trails right next to my commute home. Love those trails!!! & 3″ red riser bars….big grin”
Featured photo via Sadie Jane
Joel and I met at the Trek store one afternoon when I was looking for every bit of performance out of my bike. I was new to cycling with not much ability and I was sure that if I spent more and more money I would go faster. A smile from lamb-chop to lamb-chop was displayed as I explained everything that I needed to be done “as fast as possible” to my machine before the group ride in two-hours. Joel sincerely put EVERYTHING aside and placed my bike on his stand because he could see how important it was to me to get fixed… and get out there in the wind. I eagerly watched as he not only did what I asked but added several simple services to my “steed” which I was sure were tricks that he was only sharing with me.
This past August at a crit in KCKS I rode from Independence to meet Matt Maher and cheer on some team-mates as they raced on a day I had chosen to recover. I sat for two-hours beside Joel while he wrenched on bikes and shared some of the most pleasant conversation. He had just returned from the Dirty Kanza and shared humbly about his performance and his experiences. I asked Joel….do you remember the first time we met? He laughed and said, “you were wound tighter than a clock!” But you brought me a six pack of IPA beer after I fixed that junker you were riding and I was sure you did well at the group ride that day….
And by the way Kevin….its not the bike…its the engine.
Joel, i know you are adjusting ALL the important bikes in Heaven.
I will speak to your children and tell them what a wonderful man you were and let them know…its the engine.
Can someone let me know if Joels fathers namewas Patrick. I have been trying to track down a Joel Dyke living in Kansas City. I am one of his cousins who wanted desperately to meet him. We visited once on the phone when my mother, uncle Pat’s sister had major heart surgery. We lost touch and have recently tried to reach out after having lost his number. I am praying this is not my cousin, but have a sinking feeling it is.
This is Tim. Margarets brother. I too hope that there are two Joel Dykes as he and I are cousines but never met . I am going to Belize (or hope to) and would like to connect with Patrick who is Joels father. By his looks this Joel is my cousine so this is very difficult to read regarding his passing. Sounds so much like me its scary. Can someone who was tight with Joel reach out to me, It would be appreciated.
Sent a message to your email address regarding your questions.
Tim and Margaret, yes, this is the Joel you were looking for.
My name is Michelle Davis; I’m Joel’s wife. Widow, now, I guess. In any event, feel free to contact me via e-mail (removed for privacy) and we’ll do the best we can to connect.