Passing of John Hughes, RUSA #46

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John Ellis

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Feb 17, 2024, 10:21:58 AMFeb 17
to Randonneurs USA
Originally posted on Colorado Rando group. Reposted here for other RUSA members who may have been friends with John.

John Hughes - friend to so many in the rando and ultra communities and to RMCC - passed away unexpectedly on February 4.  His widow Carol has posted John's obituary  She plans Celebrations of Life on February 23 in Granby, CO, and tentatively on March 15 in Boulder.

John was friend, riding partner, coach, and mentor to many.  Found out more about John's cycling career, his time at the helm of the UMCA, coaching and writing, and more in this profile:

Remembering John Hughes

after a brevet, relaxing with friends
hughes_j.jpg

Paul G. Rozelle

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Feb 19, 2024, 1:47:19 PMFeb 19
to John Ellis, Randonneurs USA
I remember meeting John on my 4th brevet ever, the Last Chance 1200k in 2005.  Back then, you could qualify for RAAM by riding a 1200k in 65 hours or less if you declared your intentions to the ride organizer beforehand.  I'd done so and was looking to have a pretty fast ride.  (Youth, ambition, and inexperience are a disaster-prone combination.)  As a volunteer on the ride, John knew this and also had awareness of what I was trying to do because of his UMCA presidency and generally knowing everything that happened in the ultra community.  

Anyway, I set off at a blistering pace with Mike Sturgill and Ken Bonner.  Riding away from Ken somewhere around the 400km mark should have indicated to me that I had no idea what the hell I was doing, but . . . see youth, ambition, and inexperience . . . it didn't and heedlessly I pressed on.  Needless to say, I couldn't sustain this and when I got to Byers, with around 200km to go, I was utterly trashed.  John was working that control but he must have been momentarily away so I signed in on the clipboard in the room, stuffed my face, and went to sleep.  I could sleep all night and would still have roughly 14 hours to ride it in and make 65 hours, so that was my plan.

The next morning, I sat greatly refreshed -- showered, changed, and with something like 9 hours and counting at the "overnight" control -- at a breakfast spot adjacent to the control hotel, deeply immersed in a huge meal and the Sunday newspaper.  The waitress had helpfully left an entire pot of coffee on the table after she grew weary of regular requests for a warm-up.  This was my state of bliss when an animated John Hughes burst through the door, clipboard in hand, and emoted with shock and exasperation, "What are you DOING?!?  You're in a bike race!" as he gesticulated to my now ancient sign-in time on his clipboard and the lack of a sign-out time. Concerned that I wasn't going to meet my goal of qualifying for RAAM, he'd tracked me down and was intent on doing anything and everything possible to help me in that endeavor -- which from his perspective involved getting my ass back on the bike seat and down the road to the finish in Louisville.

And though I only ever met him this once, this little vignette summed up everything I'd come to learn about John over the ensuing years through others' experiences with him and through the occasional email correspondence we kept up.  John wanted to help me and he'd do anything and everything he could to make sure I met my goals.  All he knew about those goals when he burst into the Cowboy Cafe that crisp September morning was that I wanted to qualify for RAAM and the sight of a cyclist eating pancakes with his shoes off rightly didn't give him assurance that this was going to happen.  John soon figured out that I was still going to make that goal but that I was equally intent on trying to recover and turn what was left of my suffer-fest of a ride into something more civilized than what it had been.  In this, John was equally supportive as he'd have been were I chasing a course record, which was the pace I'd started out on.  "Get back on the bike!" quickly turned to chatting about our backgrounds and we discovered that we both loved hiking and backcountry skiing.  I finished up breakfast, put my shoes back on, and made it to the finish at John Lee's house with plenty of time to spare.  Nearly 20 years later, I remember talking with John about our experiences skiing Mt. Shasta and various lines in the Sierra.  I wouldn't have remembered or cared a whit about finishing 15 minutes (or 10 hours...) faster.  John saw that, met me where I was at, and gave me what I needed to meet my goals.  That's the mark of a great coach, mentor, and friend.

Ride on, John, and see you again someday at the final control.

Paul ROZELLE 

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Tim Foon Feldman

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Feb 19, 2024, 3:55:53 PMFeb 19
to Randonneurs USA, John Ellis
Also originally posted on Colorado Rando group and reposted here.

A Celebration of Life will be held 4 to 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 23, at St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church, 390 E. Garnet Ave., Granby, CO 80446.

I will be there. And I will make sure to pass on all of your reflections to his wife, Carol.

There will also be a remembrance in Boulder in March.

Tim "Foon" Feldman
Rocky Mountain Cycling Club
RUSA #4819

Michelle Grainger

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Feb 19, 2024, 4:24:36 PMFeb 19
to Tim Foon Feldman, Randonneurs USA, John Ellis
THANKS TIM.

There is another memorial on March 15th at R Gallery, down town Boulder with two parking garages next door. 4-7 and another zoom at 5:00.

Michelle

Michelle Grainger
michelle...@gmail.com
www.athleticexcellence.net



> On Feb 19, 2024, at 1:55 PM, Tim Foon Feldman <timfoon...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> Also originally posted on Colorado Rando group and reposted here.
>
> A Celebration of Life will be held 4 to 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 23, at St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church, 390 E. Garnet Ave., Granby, CO 80446.
>
> I will be there. And I will make sure to pass on all of your reflections to his wife, Carol.
>
> There will also be a remembrance in Boulder in March.
>
> Tim "Foon" Feldman
> Rocky Mountain Cycling Club
> RUSA #4819
>
> On Mon, Feb 19, 2024 at 11:47 AM Paul G. Rozelle <proz...@gmail.com> wrote:
> I remember meeting John on my 4th brevet ever, the Last Chance 1200k in 2005. Back then, you could qualify for RAAM by riding a 1200k in 65 hours or less if you declared your intentions to the ride organizer beforehand. I'd done so and was looking to have a pretty fast ride. (Youth, ambition, and inexperience are a disaster-prone combination.) As a volunteer on the ride, John knew this and also had awareness of what I was trying to do because of his UMCA presidency and generally knowing everything that happened in the ultra community.
>
> Anyway, I set off at a blistering pace with Mike Sturgill and Ken Bonner. Riding away from Ken somewhere around the 400km mark should have indicated to me that I had no idea what the hell I was doing, but . . . see youth, ambition, and inexperience . . . it didn't and heedlessly I pressed on. Needless to say, I couldn't sustain this and when I got to Byers, with around 200km to go, I was utterly trashed. John was working that control but he must have been momentarily away so I signed in on the clipboard in the room, stuffed my face, and went to sleep. I could sleep all night and would still have roughly 14 hours to ride it in and make 65 hours, so that was my plan.
>
> The next morning, I sat greatly refreshed -- showered, changed, and with something like 9 hours and counting at the "overnight" control -- at a breakfast spot adjacent to the control hotel, deeply immersed in a huge meal and the Sunday newspaper. The waitress had helpfully left an entire pot of coffee on the table after she grew weary of regular requests for a warm-up. This was my state of bliss when an animated John Hughes burst through the door, clipboard in hand, and emoted with shock and exasperation, "What are you DOING?!? You're in a bike race!" as he gesticulated to my now ancient sign-in time on his clipboard and the lack of a sign-out time. Concerned that I wasn't going to meet my goal of qualifying for RAAM, he'd tracked me down and was intent on doing anything and everything possible to help me in that endeavor -- which from his perspective involved getting my ass back on the bike seat and down the road to the finish in Louisville.
>
> And though I only ever met him this once, this little vignette summed up everything I'd come to learn about John over the ensuing years through others' experiences with him and through the occasional email correspondence we kept up. John wanted to help me and he'd do anything and everything he could to make sure I met my goals. All he knew about those goals when he burst into the Cowboy Cafe that crisp September morning was that I wanted to qualify for RAAM and the sight of a cyclist eating pancakes with his shoes off rightly didn't give him assurance that this was going to happen. John soon figured out that I was still going to make that goal but that I was equally intent on trying to recover and turn what was left of my suffer-fest of a ride into something more civilized than what it had been. In this, John was equally supportive as he'd have been were I chasing a course record, which was the pace I'd started out on. "Get back on the bike!" quickly turned to chatting about our backgrounds and we discovered that we both loved hiking and backcountry skiing. I finished up breakfast, put my shoes back on, and made it to the finish at John Lee's house with plenty of time to spare. Nearly 20 years later, I remember talking with John about our experiences skiing Mt. Shasta and various lines in the Sierra. I wouldn't have remembered or cared a whit about finishing 15 minutes (or 10 hours...) faster. John saw that, met me where I was at, and gave me what I needed to meet my goals. That's the mark of a great coach, mentor, and friend.
>
> Ride on, John, and see you again someday at the final control.
>
> Paul ROZELLE
>
> On Sat, Feb 17, 2024 at 10:22 AM John Ellis <jell...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Originally posted on Colorado Rando group. Reposted here for other RUSA members who may have been friends with John.
>
> John Hughes - friend to so many in the rando and ultra communities and to RMCC - passed away unexpectedly on February 4. His widow Carol has posted John's obituary. She plans Celebrations of Life on February 23 in Granby, CO, and tentatively on March 15 in Boulder.
>
> John was friend, riding partner, coach, and mentor to many. Found out more about John's cycling career, his time at the helm of the UMCA, coaching and writing, and more in this profile:
>
> Remembering John Hughes
>
> after a brevet, relaxing with friends
> <hughes_j.jpg>
>
> --
> You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Randonneurs USA" group.
> To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to randonneurs-u...@googlegroups.com.
> To view this discussion on the web visit https://groups.google.com/d/msgid/randonneurs-usa/bcb85f15-80b3-4f8f-8f58-406e4e437753n%40googlegroups.com.
>
> --
> You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Randonneurs USA" group.
> To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to randonneurs-u...@googlegroups.com.
> To view this discussion on the web visit https://groups.google.com/d/msgid/randonneurs-usa/CACVqCta7RZa3OKo4dMzg7mk5h%3DhGr4pvdLjk9BqYbM7J3HSUaA%40mail.gmail.com.
>
> --
> You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Randonneurs USA" group.
> To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to randonneurs-u...@googlegroups.com.
> To view this discussion on the web visit https://groups.google.com/d/msgid/randonneurs-usa/CAHPxVHzc5ucSysvc1LfsOrptOYt3G22qUOwr4%2BDYFfDDVE8-yQ%40mail.gmail.com.

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