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Remembrances of Brett Jarolimek

Posted by on October 22nd, 2007 at 10:11 pm

*[Updated: 10/24, 12:39pm]

The victim of today’s fatal collision in North Portland was Brett Jarolimek. Brett was an employee of the Bike Gallery and his death has hit many in our tight-knit community very hard.

Brett Jarolimek racing at Alpenrose
a few weeks ago.
(Photo © Jonathan Maus)

“Artist, craftsman, son, brother,
cyclist, friend… I miss you Brett.”
(Photo: Bike Gallery)

Brett loved racing cyclocross. On Sunday, he placed third in singlespeeds at the Cross Crusade event at Rainier High School. It was his best finish ever. There are photos of him racing here, here, and here.

I never had the pleasure to meet Brett, but in speaking with several of his friends tonight, I wish I had.

*There will be a public, memorial event in Portland on Monday, 10/29 at 6:30 at Pacific Northwest College of Art (1241 NW Johnson).


NOTE: Please use the comments below only for remembrances and thoughts about Brett. Thank you.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

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tim
Guest

Godspeed, Brett.

Caroline
Guest
Caroline

OMG I\’m going to be sick. This is awful awful awful. I have known Brett since 2000, and his smile – even the little one he gave me yesterday – has always warmed my heart. This is the first friend I\’ve ever known to die, and die like this, awful, and I\’m in shock.

Brett baby, we all love you now and forever and just want to smile at you again!

erin g.
Guest
erin g.

My heart goes out to Brett, his family, and friends.

Has a memorial ride been planned yet? If so, I hope to attend to express my condolences. Sadly, I was unable to attend Tracey Sparling’s memorial ride…but I never dreamt that I’d be planning to attend another so terribly soon.

This is a horrific tragedy. My thoughts and prayers are with Brett and his loved ones tonight.

Be safe, everyone.

Scott
Guest
Scott

Brett, you were a great guy and a fun racing buddy. My love and thoughts go out to your family and friends. You will be missed my many.

James Kirk
Guest
James Kirk

I was hit by an SUV a couple of hours before Tracey Sparling got hit. By bike was totaled, but I was mostly unhurt.

Today, a couple of hours after Brett Jarolimek got hit, I was test riding a replacement bike at Bike Gallery.

I\’m neither particularly spiritual nor paranoid, but this gives me the creeps.

Todd Boulanger
Guest
Todd Boulanger

Also a word to the press and reporters covering this a similar traffic \’accidents\’.

Please do not use the word \’accident\’, as these incidences are not an act of God, but often avoidable.

Use terms like: \”crash\” or \”collision\” instead.

Tony Pereira
Guest

Brett had his best cross result ever on Sunday. Nice job, buddy. We\’re all gonna miss you.

scoot
Guest
scoot

My sympathies to his friends and family. I didn\’t know Brett Jarolimek – was he also an artist/woodworker?

G-man
Guest
G-man

To my good friend BrettStar, you truly are a one of a kind individual and your memory will always keep me motivated and smiling. Those of you who new him will know exactly what I mean. Brett was a happy-go-lucky, hardworking, farm boy from Idaho with an open heart, to all things good.

Portland is not the same all of sudden…

To all of Bretts friends out there, let\’s make him happy by doing what he loved…Ride our bikes!

toddistic
Guest
toddistic

so depressing, my wife worries about me now when I ride. the system is broken when a person can take the life of another and be exonerated by the police department. I never knew Brett, my prayers are with those who where close to him.

Be safe!

Matt Cardinal
Guest
Matt Cardinal

Hi,
Brett was a close friend, a brother. Anyone who knew him knew a bright, happy, fun, passionate man. I can\’t believe this happened. Artist, craftsman, son, brother, cyclist, friend… I miss you Brett.

2ndaveflyer
Guest
2ndaveflyer

Yeah; I go down the road with Aaron right now. I\’m a health and safety officer so I naturally want to know details and see what can be learned or how accidents can be avoided.

I don\’t want to do that now. This is just a big, big, tragedy. It doesn\’t matter right now, for me, who or when or how. I\’m just in shock.

I don\’t know if there are jumps or chainrings for Brett now, but I hope so.

Bearhat
Guest
Bearhat

Brett, may you be riding in a better place now. Rest well.

erikv
Guest

Horrible news. My best wishes to Brett\’s family and friends. I\’ve no doubt our cycling community will give the support that they need right now. Best wishes to all.

Roll Hardy
Guest
Roll Hardy

Brett, We spent the last 7 years figuring out who we were, what we could do, what we could be in life, and a post about it cyberspace is just a slap in the face.

Your friendship with me is most coveted. Aside from your love of bicycles which we both share you were an amazing artist, a sensitive soul, a banjo picker who loved life so much in all its quirks and nuances-in short, a rare GIVER in a world of takers. I cannot express the saddness in my heart to lose you, but you can be sure I will express what I can slowly in tribute to you and all the goodness that was in you.

I can\’t stop and be so sickened- and I know you would have smirked and agreed with me of how disgusting that what was once so beautiful should come to an end under a garbage truck.

Thankyou for your life with me and our friends, we were all blessed by knowing you.

Tad
Guest
Tad

Dammit,

When I keep thinking about him it\’s his smile that was so bright it could punch holes clean through the winter glum in a heartbeat. I didn\’t even know you all that well but I\’m really going to miss you Brett.

Caroline
Guest
Caroline

Thank you Tony (#9) for pointing out that it was Brett\’s best cyclocross result on Sunday. A podium finish with a teammate!

Here\’s a great photo of Brett from Sunday (10/21/07):

http://tinyurl.com/2pqhet
(off velophoto.exposuremanager.com)

KayDub
Guest
KayDub

Like others, my wishes go out to Brett\’s family and friends. I saw my first Cross Crusade event two weeks ago, and it gives me some comfort to know the Astoria event, however somber, will provide everyone with a chance to celebrate a life cut short.

As a longtime year-round commuter, please be safe everyone. Act like no one can see, and no will stop, and use many lights as enter the winter season.

Steve
Guest
Steve

My God, no. Not Brett . Brett is an amazingly talented artist and such an incredible person. I can\’t say was. I\’m numb. Saturday, Brett, I told you that as nice as the bike gallery team was, that you were exactly the kind of guy we would want on our team…..
Who wouldn\’t have wanted Brett as a teammate?
My heart and thoughts go out to and your friends and family.

My God we will miss you.

tori
Guest
tori

Brett\’s quick smile and goofy sense of humor conveyed his true heart. The sweetness and light he brought changed each of us who knew him for the better.

You are missed, Brett.

Best wishes to those who loved and were loved by him.

ira
Guest

it rips me apart to hear that brett is gone. we have ridden together a lot and to realize that death can hit so close to home, to some one as kind and wonderful as brett, is hard. brett will live on if we all just keep pedaling, think of him and smile.

Darren
Guest
Darren

Condolences to the Bike Gallery and all its fine employees.

pete zlatnik
Guest
pete zlatnik

A group ride was always more fun when Brett showed up. Then again, any occasion that Brett showed up with his friendly smile was a good day. It won\’t be the same without you my friend.

amanda
Guest
amanda

What a tragedy. I\’m very thankful for this site which helps get the word out about incidents like this and lets us know who these people are. It\’s a very sad day and my heart goes out to all those who knew him.

Jeff
Guest
Jeff

Last Spring my wife and I went into the Bike Gallery- looking to get her a new road bike. We were fortunate to have Brett work with us- for two days as we drove him crazy trying different models/ manufacturers.

Simply put… Brett was an incredible individual. Even though we only crossed paths that one short time, he made me, and my wife, better people…

Thank you, Brett. For being a good person in this crazy world.

Jeff and Yvonne

Jessy
Guest

Does anyone know if this is the Brett that used to work at Art Media on Yamhill, circa 2003? Did he have tattoos on the back of his elbows? I can\’t seem to confirm or deny this on my own…

Joe
Guest
Joe

rest in peace bike brother, know that
all the people you touched will only have great thoughts of you.

cyclists are like this, they love eachother regardless. how many ghost cars
do you see? none..

Peace,
Joe

BYKFXR
Guest
BYKFXR

Everyone in the bicycle community has lost a partner. We all send our thoughts and condolences to Brett\’s family and friends.

matt hall
Guest
matt hall

I miss you so much….

ian leitheiser
Guest
ian leitheiser

This shouldn\’t happen. Peace, compassion and safety to everyone.

Murray
Guest
Murray

Tragic. Does anyone know which BG he worked at?

Jessy
Guest

Sigh… It must be the same Brett. That new picture confirms it. So sad. He\’s the only guy I ever had the nerve to ask out. He was so nice I just couldn\’t resist. He also helped me frame some of my artwork. This is a terrible loss.

Steve
Guest
Steve

Jessy, (#30)
I\’m sorry to say that yes, this is the same Brett who worked at Art Media on Yamhill in 2003.

Brett, I\’m really havig a rough time but your numerous friends here are helping me. You are so loved and appreciated beyond words.

ep
Guest
ep

Yes, he had worked at Art Media. And did a framing business, and did some nice painting. And got into yoga. And looked out for his neighbors, and had a fucking great laugh. He was an experience cyclist of course, but when I was brand new, he made me feel welcome. He didn\’t even let on to how patient he was being. He was great to talk to on long car rides. I saw him less after he found love, but he seemed content. A handsome devil, that one. After he sold my friend his old bike (and set it up so nice for her, her first real bike), she said, \”please let him be single!\” He was such a charming person.

vespa
Guest
vespa

What a tragedy . . . a senseless tragedy. My thoughts reach out to Brett, his family, friends, co-workers, and all those who had the good fortune to meet him.

In addition to any memorial planned in PDX, perhaps all who wish to participate can ride a silent lap in Astoria in his memory. Maybe before the SS race . . .

Mike Bene
Guest
Mike Bene

This is devastating. Words cannot begin to express the magnitude of this tragedy.

I\’ll never forget the ride we took through Forest Park on your birthday a couple of years ago or driving up to Cooper Spur for the start of the Hood Classic. You were telling the trip you had just taken to Italy.

Thanks for the battles in the last two Cross Crusade races. Your spirit is gonna be right there with us for all of the races, but we will miss you nonetheless.

Thanks for the rides, man.

ricke
Guest
ricke

i met brett when we we\’re racing for veloshop and did some rides with him. i never really could keep up with him. and that smile of his never stopped. damn i\’m gonna miss him!

Darrin Joos
Guest
Darrin Joos

Brett was one of those few people that could make you feel better just by stepping into the room. I will miss and remember him always.

Marila Alvares
Guest
Marila Alvares

A young life cut way too short. I\’m still in disbelief… your bright smile flashes through my head, and tears come to my eyes. You were awesome to ride with, and your contagious laugh spread through the Bike Gallery everytime you were around.

Jess Graden
Guest
Jess Graden

I remember when Brett missed his start at one of the Mt Hood Classic stages a few years ago, showing up at the line wondering where everyone went. With a giggle and a push from the rest us, he sped off down the hill after the field…

We\’ll miss you, Brett.

Matt Picio
Guest

Brett, I never got to meet you, but I hope that where you are the riding is fine, the company pleasant, and the experience sublime.

My sincerest condolences to all of Brett\’s family and friends.

Mike and Jen Martin
Guest
Mike and Jen Martin

Brett will always be a joy in our hearts. I met him in 97, he\’s been there through the major milestones in our lives… Our first house, our first christmas, our wedding, countless thanksgivings and wonderful evenings. Jen and I love you, between the art on our walls and the animals figurines he left us in trade for snickers bars, he will always be in our hearts…

anybody know the potato dance?

not a lawyer
Guest
not a lawyer

I met him Sunday at the cross race.

He seemed like a very nice fellow. He was psyched to be riding a new custom bike. I hope he is riding it someplace now.

trackback

[…] person who got me into this whole wide world of cycling was killed yesterday, struck by a garbage truck while riding in the bike lane of Interstate. I met Brett when I worked […]

Lon
Guest
Lon

Brett helped me purchase my bike several months ago. When I visited Bike Gallery, he was always so quick to help and was unbelievably helpful and patient. I supected that he was a talented rider, but he was very modest.

His parents must have done a fine job raising him. I feel for his family and friends for their loss. Its really tragic.

Matt F
Guest
Matt F

Your in my thoughts Brett… You will with out a doubt be missed! Peace be with you always.

Robert
Guest
Robert

My condolences go out to Bretts family and friends, and anyone who knew him.

I was shocked to see the paper this morning. I have nothing but good memories of Brett.

When I was racing seriously back in 2003, Brett was a fine art student that lived down the hall in in my apartment building. He was the friendliest neighbor I have ever had. He invited me out to his student art showings, gave me a tour of the school, showed me the paintings he was working on. He said hi whenever I was in Art Media, where he had worked at the time. He always had a huge smile on his face and was eager to meet new people and make friends.

He had done some recreational mountain biking, and he was tall and lean like a cyclist, so when I saw he had a nice steel Lemond I invited him out on a team ride in the early spring. Once we hit the hills he just took off. He had so much natural ability. He finished at the top of Logie with our Cat. 2 riders that first day.

I had talked to him about joining the team that I was on, but he wasn\’t sure how much racing he was going to be able to do between school and work. I was really excited when the season came around and I saw him at some Mount Tabor races riding unattached. The course fit his abilities perfectly. He finished well and it wasn\’t long before he was on a team and winning races as a Cat 4.

I was racing less as he was racing more, but it was always impressive to see his steady improvement, and we always had to say hi and catch up with eachother.

Just the friendliest guy. He will be missed by everyone who knew him.

My understanding is that the funeral would be in Idaho, but if anyone gets information on a local service, please pass it on.

Jerrod
Guest
Jerrod

Even though we didn\’t know Brett, my wife and I feel a large hit. I trust that the bicycling community of Portland will respond with love, generosity and intelligence.

Is anyone planning a memorial ride? Tonight at 5:30?

David Hopper
Guest
David Hopper

I didn’t know Brett before yesterday, but ironically I rode with him on his final ride. He came down Springville and turned on to Bethany just ahead of myself and a coworker during our lunchtime ride. We caught up to him, and we rode up Old Germantown together. He was a really friendly guy. He was strong, so I tried to keep the conversation going so he wouldn’t drop me. He talked about his job, cyclocross, and his girlfriends foray into triathlon. We heckled my coworker for starting too fast and fading quickly. He was just a really positive, uplifting kind of guy. At the top, he continued on his way. I just cannot believe what happened after that.

My condolences to all of his friends and family.