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Cyclists gather at San Clemente Cycles on Sunday morning for a memorial ride in tribute to shop owner John Cuchessi.

 

Over the past week I had already seen that several websites, from newspapers to cycling teams and a few industry sites, had highlighted the Sunday morning ride from San Clemente Cycles, in honor of Cuchessi.  I knew that there would be a lot of people just because the word of mouth; I went to take some photos and had to keep backing up as people kept coming.  Finally I got the best shot of everyone from the roof. 

 

Originally, to me, 120 people would have been a lot but then it turned out to be about 350 I would guess.  The motivation for the ride was not only to honor Cuchessi but also to talk about his spiritual side that many may not have known he had. 

 

The street next to the shop, San Luis Rey, filled up, row by row, of earnest cyclists with a mixed stew of their affiliation to San Clemente Cycles, printed on their jerseys.  Bright, volcanic neon colors everywhere, it was hard to focus on any single one thing except the bright shining faces ready to ride.  Some announcements were made as everyone quieted down and a few spoke of their weekly prayer and fellowship time with Cuchessi on early Thursday mornings at the shop.  It was not easy to hear everything said but there was no doubt about the effect Cuchessi had on everyone that he came across.

 

A few more announcements through a big Cal-Trans road cone (a very low-tech P/A system) and the group moved together for a group photo behind a banner that read “We Love and Miss You John 5.25.08”.  I think I was supposed to be in the front for the shot but then ended up on the roof.  I could hear my name being called and knew I’d never make it down; everyone was ready to go and anxious.  Now I’ll have to find someone to stitch it all together in Photo shop.

 

I guess it’s always something and it reminds me of what Cuchessi always used to say.  After one shared personal catastrophe or another he would inevitably comment “Well, Bro…if it’s the worst thing that ever happens to you, you’re pretty lucky”

 

 

http://www.ocregister.com/articles/ride-sunday-cuchessi-2051708-san-clemente

 

http://www.cboards.com/blog/2008/05/long-live-san-clemente-cyclery.html

 

 

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=420958

 

 

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