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Monday, January 25, 2010

Rhett's Run Frozen

[Special Note:  I have a "Music Player" gadget, 4th down to the right. You may run audio from it or the video as you see fit by pausing the music player or muting the embedded video. Enjoy!]

This is the best of Rhett's Run from January 2nd, 2010

This is a fantastic trail that is publicly owned by the City of Columbia, but was created as a memorial to Rhett Walters by his father (needless to say a VERY wealthy individual). This may lead to the obvious question of, "What happened to Rhett, how did he die?"

Well let me tell you. Rhett was an interesting character to say the least. I knew him only casually through mutual cycling friends. Rhett worked briefly as a bike mechanic at Cyclextreme.

First allow me to share a story that is a prelude or at least provides some foreshadowing to Rhett's death that was to come. Years ago one of my favorite bike rides was out to Easley on route N. It used to have very little traffic and (still has) nice curvy rolling hills with a finish down a screaming hill that suddenly drops to the Missouri River. This road is also were I encountered Rhett and three of his cohorts on crotch rockets, absolutely flying past me and John Rhines on our road bicycles just before the turn around point down at Easley. They stopped briefly to say "hey" (John & Brett were co-workers) on their return from Easley. Then they took off like a bat outta hell, motors screaming, gears and clutches popping. Those bikes were loud, I could hear them going for a pretty long time. John and I both decided that they were crazy.

After some hard paced riding and minutes later John and I came around a sharp curve to find Rhett and his fellow motorcyclists stopped on the side of the road. One rider was just finishing pushing his heavy crotch rocket back on the road. I could see that he had gone off the road. His tire marks went deep into the open field and amazingly through an opening where a barb wire fence had been previously knocked down. It turned out this particular lucky individual had just purchased this motorcycle only hours earlier and was unable to keep the pace that Rhett was setting. (A funny side note is that this lucky rider was fairly upset that he had scratched the paint on the motorcycle!)

So Rhett liked to have fun and take some risks. I would say too much fun and too much risk. Late in April 1996 Rhett road his motorcycle to a local discotheque. A girl was impressed. Rhett asked her if she wanted a thrill and the rest was history. At a speed of near 100mph, Rhett impacted a car that pulled into their path. He died instantly and miraculously she survived. Rhett loved biking, his dad loved him and now we have Rhett's Run.

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1 comment:

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