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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.

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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

  • tim October 22, 2007 at 10:25 pm

    Godspeed, Brett.

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  • Caroline October 22, 2007 at 10:40 pm

    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!

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  • erin g. October 22, 2007 at 11:01 pm

    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.

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  • Scott October 22, 2007 at 11:01 pm

    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.

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  • James Kirk October 22, 2007 at 11:10 pm

    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.

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  • Todd Boulanger October 22, 2007 at 11:15 pm

    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.

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  • Tony Pereira October 22, 2007 at 11:25 pm

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

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  • scoot October 22, 2007 at 11:32 pm

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

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  • G-man October 22, 2007 at 11:46 pm

    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!

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  • toddistic October 23, 2007 at 12:17 am

    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!

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  • Matt Cardinal October 23, 2007 at 12:32 am

    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.

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  • 2ndaveflyer October 23, 2007 at 12:58 am

    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.

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  • Bearhat October 23, 2007 at 1:02 am

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

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  • erikv October 23, 2007 at 1:05 am

    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.

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  • Roll Hardy October 23, 2007 at 1:48 am

    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.

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  • Tad October 23, 2007 at 5:32 am


    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.

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  • Caroline October 23, 2007 at 6:18 am

    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):

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  • KayDub October 23, 2007 at 6:53 am

    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.

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  • Steve October 23, 2007 at 7:10 am

    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.

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  • tori October 23, 2007 at 7:19 am

    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.

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  • ira October 23, 2007 at 7:19 am

    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.

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  • Darren October 23, 2007 at 7:34 am

    Condolences to the Bike Gallery and all its fine employees.

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  • pete zlatnik October 23, 2007 at 8:01 am

    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.

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  • amanda October 23, 2007 at 8:31 am

    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.

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  • Jeff October 23, 2007 at 8:36 am

    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

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  • Jessy October 23, 2007 at 8:39 am

    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…

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  • Joe October 23, 2007 at 8:42 am

    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..


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  • BYKFXR October 23, 2007 at 8:56 am

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

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  • matt hall October 23, 2007 at 9:06 am

    I miss you so much….

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  • ian leitheiser October 23, 2007 at 9:07 am

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

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  • Murray October 23, 2007 at 9:19 am

    Tragic. Does anyone know which BG he worked at?

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  • Jessy October 23, 2007 at 9:44 am

    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.

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  • Steve October 23, 2007 at 9:47 am

    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.

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  • ep October 23, 2007 at 10:00 am

    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.

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  • vespa October 23, 2007 at 10:24 am

    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 . . .

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  • Mike Bene October 23, 2007 at 10:32 am

    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.

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  • ricke October 23, 2007 at 10:54 am

    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!

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  • Darrin Joos October 23, 2007 at 11:13 am

    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.

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  • Marila Alvares October 23, 2007 at 11:17 am

    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.

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  • Jess Graden October 23, 2007 at 11:20 am

    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.

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  • Matt Picio October 23, 2007 at 11:24 am

    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.

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  • Mike and Jen Martin October 23, 2007 at 11:45 am

    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?

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  • not a lawyer October 23, 2007 at 11:45 am

    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.

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  • […] 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 […]

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  • Lon October 23, 2007 at 12:23 pm

    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.

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  • Matt F October 23, 2007 at 12:40 pm

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

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  • Robert October 23, 2007 at 12:50 pm

    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.

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  • Jerrod October 23, 2007 at 12:52 pm

    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?

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  • David Hopper October 23, 2007 at 1:02 pm

    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.

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  • Potestio October 23, 2007 at 1:23 pm

    Brett\’s loss is an incredible tragedy. Brett was obviously an awesome guy. I knew him as much from shopping at Art Media as through cycling, but I did not know him well. He was always super enthusiastic, friendly, and helpful. On behalf of the Cross Crusade, I would like to express our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends. We will honor him this Sunday. Ride in Peace.

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  • Mike & Marla Baggetta October 23, 2007 at 2:10 pm

    My wife and I are artists, not bikers, and came to know Brett through his skill and craftmanship building us canvas and wood panels for our artwork. Brett had the most amazing smile, the warmest heart, was one of those special folks that had a positive energy that you wanted to be around. Our hearts go out to Brett\’s family, those who loved him, rode with him, shared his passion for life and humanity. In addition to the biking community in Portland, the artist community has also lost someone special, there is a void that cannot be replaced…We\’ll miss you dearly Brett.

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  • Corey Omey October 23, 2007 at 2:23 pm

    Brett- I\’ll miss that amazing, contageeous smile of yours. Its amazing how much I can cry at the loss of a guy that I\’ve only known casually. I can remember seeing you on the street, and being happy the rest of the day just for the two minutes that we shared with small talk. Its the smile and genuine warmth and interest in everyone\’s wellbeing, for all those around you, that really makes you stand out. More people should be like you.

    I will cherish the times that we had together on the trails in Forest Park. Always great memories. The trails won\’t be the same without you. Keep the faith.

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  • Laatste Ronde » RIP Brett Jarolimek October 23, 2007 at 2:52 pm

    […] profile […]

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  • Caroline October 23, 2007 at 4:03 pm

    …sharing a little 2005 cyclocross video I took featuring Brett:

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  • Brandon Walker October 23, 2007 at 4:15 pm

    I honestly do not know what to write. Thank you for being such an incredible friend to me…all of us. all of our time together the past 7 or so years has left me with a lot of memories. all of which make me laugh.
    we did a lot of growing up since college or i least i like to think so. a lot of people came out today to wish you farewell and it was only a fragment of those you have enlightened with you just being you. you were always cheering us up. always being positive. to me your still sitting out at one of the old painting spots or riding around in the hills. you will always be in those places. i will miss you brett. thanks again for the apple cobbler last week. thanks for getting us together again.

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  • Patti October 23, 2007 at 4:55 pm

    If we could count the stars, there would be an increase in the numbers by one tonight…sparkling and beaming just as he did here on earth. Thinking of Brett and all who love him.

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  • Sean Casey October 23, 2007 at 5:01 pm

    I want to send my condolences to Bretts family and friends. A total shock and loss of a great person…

    I worked with Brett for several years at the downtown Art Media. I spent countless hours working with him, as well as the occasional after work gathering. He was truly a pleasure to be around.
    No matter what was going on around him, he seemed to always maintain an upbeat, positive attitude. I\’m sure his co-workers at the Bike Gallery can agree.

    The last time I saw Brett was last summer. He had already left Art Media some time before, and I had just left myself. I hired Brett several times to frame some of my paintings, and enlisted his help again in transporting some artwork to Oregon City. We hadn\’t seen each other in a while, but on the drive down he told me how happy I seemed. I was a little taken aback by his comment, since at the time I was going through some stressful, personal issues of my own. It was great to hear such encouraging words. He seemed happy as well, so coming from him, it meant a lot.

    Again, I feel for Bretts family and friends. He truly was a cool guy, and will be missed.

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  • […] is a perfect day, clear in the low 70’s. another cyclist was recently lost and i am saddened by this event, but makes me realize we all have to be defensive […]

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  • Joel October 23, 2007 at 5:33 pm

    My girlfriend Michelle and I moved to Portland in 2005, and on our very first night here, we were invited to a concert at the Crystal Ballroom by none other than Brett Jarolimek. He was only a co-worker with Michelle for half a day, yet he still went out of his way to make two people he barely knew feel welcome in their new city.

    Although we only got to hang out on a few occassions after that (as you can tell, he was a busy guy!) I\’ll always remember his quick wit and his smile. Brett was a quintissential Portlander, and a great guy who will be missed by everyone he came in contact with.

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  • Joel October 23, 2007 at 5:33 pm

    My girlfriend Michelle and I moved to Portland in 2005, and on our very first night here, we were invited to a concert at the Crystal Ballroom by none other than Brett Jarolimek. He was only a co-worker with Michelle for half a day, yet he still went out of his way to make two people he barely knew feel welcome in their new city.

    Although we only got to hang out on a few occassions after that (as you can tell, he was a busy guy!) I\’ll always remember his quick wit and his smile. Brett was a quintissential Portlander, and a great guy who will be missed by everyone he came in contact with.

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  • … at October 23, 2007 at 6:30 pm

    […] friend of mine passed away in a collision with a truck yesterday […]

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  • Amber Pence October 23, 2007 at 7:06 pm

    I went to high school with Brett, he was a very dear friend of mine. When his parents moved to Grangeville he lived with my family before we graduated. He was funny, nice to everyone and a tender person. I am very sad to hear such news, but happy to see he was part of such a great community in Portland.

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  • Robert October 23, 2007 at 8:37 pm

    Hi Brett. I didn\’t know you, but I saw you there. I am so very, very sorry.

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  • Betsy October 23, 2007 at 8:47 pm

    I am just sick. Brett was not my \’friend\’ per se, but I would definitely classify him as an influential and special person in my life. It was due to his patience, encouragement and knowledge that I transitioned from mountain to road biking. It\’s true – he had a wonderful smile and such a great disposition. He was a fantastic person – obviously he left an impression with everyone he knew.

    I am just broken hearted. I wish I had a chance to thank him for his help.

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  • kevin gilmore October 23, 2007 at 8:57 pm

    After getting the call from my fellow Art Media friends – all of us who worked for years with Brett, I was shocked. I am still riding around on my mountain bike turned speedster thanks to Brett\’s generous deal he gave me on a set of his road tires after my taco\’d tire experience. Brett was one of the first friends I made when I moved to Portland. We had many adventures, many beers, and many laughs. mr. jroll, I am going to miss you my friend!

    My thoughts go out to everyone that feels this loss, especially his family, his brother, and Mike his old landlord!

    Ride on.

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  • todd October 23, 2007 at 9:03 pm

    Brett, i did not know you nearly well enough. I remember being there in the shop when you had your new bike built up just weeks excited you were, and how excited we all were for you. i can\’t remember all the countless times you lapped me in the singlespeed/b\’s races. you\’ll forever be remembered. I hope your tragic passing can be bring change to this world. I\’ll miss you.

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  • Robin October 23, 2007 at 9:06 pm

    Although he graduated before my attending PNCA Brett graduated from the school in \’03.
    Tonight I\’ll be saying prayers for his family, friends and everyone out there on a bike.

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  • […] has died in our city. Another wonderful person the kind that “lights up a room”. Brett Jarolimek was someone who I never met but get the impression I would have thought was […]

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  • kevin gilmore October 23, 2007 at 9:35 pm

    was sitting here remembering a ride brett took me on. i am not a huge cyclist, just a friend of brett\’s. we started at his old apartment on yamhill and cruised out to sauvie island. it was a beatutiful ride around the sauvie loop. i was dog tired and i remember the smile on brett\’s face looking back at me struggling to keep up with his pace – for him rather slow. i\’ll never forget that solitude, the beatiful blue skies and the farmland. i used to love to hear stories brett would tell about growing up in Idaho. one i remember is his grandfather used to put on the sprinkler – the big giant farm type sprinklers – in the middle of the icy cold winter. i used to always bust on him for his early employment as a kid helping with the rabbits on the farm. it has been a while since we last caught up brett, and i am so sad to know i missed my chance to say hello again.

    i\’m going to finally frame up that etching of the cider press you gave me one christmas.

    high five.

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  • david mosher October 23, 2007 at 9:49 pm

    As one of the owners of Art Media, I would like to express for all of us how deeply saddened we are by the loss of Brett. He was a positive spirit, always great to be around and had a great smile that I will always remember. Brett worked for us for three years. In that time he made his mark on our world and the worlds of our customers, always helpful, always there. Many times he came in to work sore or slightly damaged from some biking event, but always had a happy face. He was sometimes a little goofy, like dancing crazy with Brandon & doing Karaoke at our Holiday Dinners. We are all better for having known Brett.
    Our condolenses to his family. We\’ll miss you Brett.

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  • kent October 23, 2007 at 9:57 pm

    \”If life is that period of time that runs from the instant the doctor picks you up by your feet and waits for you to start crying, until the moment when your old friends raise a glass in memory of your passing, then the measure of a man\’s life comes down to how many old and good friends he\’s been able to make and and hold onto over the years.\” …undoubtedly Brett Jarolimek was a great man.

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  • matt October 23, 2007 at 11:01 pm

    It tears me apart to hear that such a fine man was taken from us.

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  • Michelle October 23, 2007 at 11:23 pm

    brett was my first friend in portland. over 2 years ago now and a friend via art media, after only my first day of work and only 2 weeks of being in a new city i felt like i already had a good friend. he was so easy to talk to, so fun to be around, always upbeat and kind and funny. what an amazing and lovely person. i can not believe the tragedy that has happened. he loved everyone and everyone thought him to be such a wonderful spirit. no matter how i felt on any given day, if brett walked into the room i was in… it was suddenly a warm sunny day in portland. i\’ll never forget you buddy… thanks for all the smiles you\’ve given me. you will be so very missed…

    all our love,
    shell and joel

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  • s.anita October 24, 2007 at 2:47 am

    my heart is with you brett, as well with your friends and family -hurting right now. i am so so sorry. i didn\’t know you personally, but i absolutely know your smile. this hits hard. as a former student at pnca and an artist, i remember you from art media. as bike kid, i remember you from bike gallery, which is my shop. you are/were so warm and friendly….helpful. and now missed.

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  • Lindsay Loveland October 24, 2007 at 7:12 am

    I was shocked to hear about Brett. I went to high school with him in Burley, ID. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.

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  • michelle ross October 24, 2007 at 7:48 am

    My partner Megan and I are so stunned to hear this news. Brett was such a bright bright spirit. He took care of our dogs for us and I was on his Thesis committee at PNCA. Megan worked with him at Art Media. He had such a respect for his working class roots, his paintings celebrated the beautiful and ordinary, hard work and challenge. He had a true lust for life and yes – a smile that lit up a room. My heart goes out to his family and friends, as we keep him in our hearts these difficult days.

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  • TimD October 24, 2007 at 8:32 am

    Sorry Brett. We are not supposed to go out that way. I ride with a heavy heart…

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  • Marshall October 24, 2007 at 8:36 am

    Brett was/is my roomate. Everywhere I turn there he is. From his goofy Burley High School student body card from his senior year, to his new cards for his Artcraft framing business, to the desk that he put under this computer and to the table of my dad\’s that he refinished, twice even. Generous, stoked to be on a bike-any bike, always quick with some Jarolimism, and living in positive Brett-land. I know that time has to go on and so do we but I still expect him to come bouncing down, body bent in perma-bike rider position to put on the water for his coffee and head downstairs for his morning constitutional. Goodbye Brett. I hope your safe and know that your rollin\’ around on two wheels somewhere, Love, Marshall

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  • Christine Caurant October 24, 2007 at 9:47 am

    Friends and Family of Brett,

    I didn\’t know Brett, but your heartfelt comments and memories are so wonderful and descriptive– I wish I had the chance to meet him.

    I lost my brother Patrick in cycling \”accident\” with a car last year– I only hope that now Brett and Patrick are riding together and sharing their passions for cycling with big smiles on their beautiful faces.

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  • Bri and Matt Weatherly October 24, 2007 at 10:21 am

    We are very good friends with Brett\’s brother Brian and have known Brett for many years now. As others have said Brett always had a big smile for you whenever you saw him.
    Brett you and your family are in our hearts. You will be missed by many.

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  • James E October 24, 2007 at 10:21 am

    Ride on, Brett.

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  • saraiderin October 24, 2007 at 10:59 am

    I left a rose today at Brett\’s ghost bike. One of the most common comments and one that I commented on myself, was his wonderful sense of humor. Brett you will be missed. love, Sarah

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  • Brett Jarolimek at Race Cyclocross! October 24, 2007 at 11:18 am

    […] died on his bicycle in a fatal collision on Monday. We love and miss you. is a new site about cyclocross racing and […]

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  • jennifer October 24, 2007 at 11:29 am

    your memory is everywhere I look. May all of the love that is coming your way from all of the people you have touched get you where you need to be in peace. you will always be in my heart.

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  • Martin October 24, 2007 at 12:28 pm

    I didn\’t know him really well, but I knew him enough to say he was a really nice guy, easygoing and helpful. He made wood canvasses for my art for about two years, and eventually explained the process enough to me that I learned how to do it on my own. This is a shock. I can\’t believe it. My condolences to his family and friends. Nice to have known you, Brett.

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  • rachel austin October 24, 2007 at 12:29 pm

    Oh, Brett! I feel sick hearing the news – that such a beautiful person could die in such an ugly way. We will continue to remember you full of life – your goofiness, your smile. You were one of those people I hoped life would be extra good to. Our hearts, thoughts, and prayers go out to his family and friends. You are missed.

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  • Fritz October 24, 2007 at 2:29 pm

    Brett and I went to PNCA together, where I now teach. Just last night at school I noticed the memorial for the young woman PNCA student, killed by a truck 2 weeks ago, had been taken down. What a tragedy to see her photo and flowers replaced by Brett\’s this morning. There\’s something so inextricably wrong about having a life so swiftly ended, permanently vanished. Nobody, our hearts rage, should have to have a yearbook photo in a frame with birth and death dates taped to it. Not that young, that swiftly.

    Brett was such a sweet guy, always smiling and upbeat. We\’ll miss him sorely.

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  • JL October 24, 2007 at 3:02 pm

    Brett sold me my bike at Bike Gallery in April. What a nice, nice, patient, sweet guy. I came in for 2 or 3 days straight, staying after the shop closed with my indecisiveness trying to pick out the right bike and he was so, so helpful and kept smiling even when I was there after the shop closed and was probably keeping him late. I have a terrible memory for names and faces but I definitely have remembered him as that super nice guy at BG who put up with my bike shopping and was so patient and helpful. I was just going to come in and have it tuned up. So, so sorry for all his friends, co-workers, and family!!

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  • Big Mike October 24, 2007 at 3:15 pm

    Bret-Boy, one of my adopted sons, I will miss you terribly. You helped keep Jr. in line and brought joy to us all. From your best Prefontaine to your pink wig and dress to the frantic plunger searches, you always brought a smile to my face. 10 years was not enough time! I am reminded of you constantly by your work on my walls, even if it was by jarolimk! Get It, you goof? Goodbye til…

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  • Megan Faria October 24, 2007 at 3:27 pm

    it\’s hard to say goodbye to brett. i am sad i didnt keep in touch with him like i wanted. i worked with him at art media for a couple years, and he taught me how to clean my bike. his laugh and smile were contagious. when i look back on the time our paths crossed, i feel laughter and jokes and warmth and excitement. his energy was so vibrant, it is easy to remember the feeling he left with people.

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  • Beth October 24, 2007 at 5:09 pm

    Dear Brett\’s family and friends,
    May you continue to feel his warmth, love, and that amazing smile! He was a FANTASTIC man! You know that his parents and family loved him a LOT. Try to keep the good memories and feelings close. That\’s what I am doing. He treated everyone with love and kindness, what a great gift.
    Keep him close…

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  • megan metz October 24, 2007 at 6:51 pm

    I was shocked to hear the news about Brett. I knew him from our years working together at Art Media. He had a creative and adventurous spirit and besides being enthusiastic about his riding, he was a wonderful painter. He was a joy to have around; even with the most difficult customers, he would be totally patient and at ease. He gave them his undivided attention, just as he would to a friend.

    Later, while he was a student at PNCA he would house sit and take care of our dogs – we knew they were in good hands. One time he took the dogs with him to the coast and went on a ten mile hike..this was more than the older dog had handled in years!! When I asked him how it went, he laughed in a way that told me it must have been quite an adventure. I knew I would never hear the whole story – and it was just like him to be able to laugh about it. He always managed to look at the bright side of things.

    And so, in the spirit of his smiling face I have to tell myself to look at the bright side of this tragic situation: that on his way out, he was doing something that he truly loved to do. And that hopefully, when the end came it was quick and painless, and whatever good thoughts he had from his ride on a beautiful, sunny fall day were carried along with him.

    My heart go out to all his family and friends.

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  • Jeff Struck October 24, 2007 at 7:47 pm

    Man, this is horrible. Just tonight I actually got a chance to look at the newspaper…and I\’m so sad to read about Brett\’s death. He came to a few Thursday morning \’cross practices and Wednesday night \”mountain bike school\” sessions. Indeed, he had an absolutely infectious smile…For folks like me who knew him through cycling but didn\’t know him well otherwise, his \”knowing nod\” and happy smile is unforgettable. I\’m sad to learn of this terrible news so late, and at the same time gladdened to read such kind tributes to a wonderful guy.

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  • Mike October 24, 2007 at 10:49 pm

    JP, Jen, Chimo and I sat around tonight missing you. We love you.

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  • Patrice McShane October 24, 2007 at 10:54 pm

    I heard about Brett today. I am far away, and have been for several years, but I am still so sad and nauseated. We shared a home during my happiest period of Portland life. He was a great roommate and a caring friend. He would grin and widen his eyes and I would giggle. One year, he was a giraffe and I was a flasher. The bike grease he blooped on my slippers is still there. I love him for all these things and I can\’t believe he is gone.

    My old friends, I am thinking about you and I will try to come to the memorial on Monday.

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  • kevin gilmore October 25, 2007 at 7:18 am

    I can\’t seem to stop refreshing this page. I keep seeing the sadness and pain of old friends and aquaintances, and although I feel so far away on the opposite coast, I somehow am feeling connected to all of you through this blog. Be strong and keep remebering the happiness that was Brett Jarolimek.

    If anyone had the chance to see Brett\’s impression of a little kid racing on his one speed cause he\’s late for dinner and the street lights are on please laugh out loud. It was my favorite jarolism.

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  • amy October 25, 2007 at 8:11 am

    All I can think about is how silly he was. He would do the goofiest things, and make us all laugh our heads off at the shop. Days always seemed to pass so pleasantly when he was around. He was a bit of a challenged by getting to work even remotely on time, but he would come up with the most ridiculous stories that we would laugh and instantly forgive him. People who he helped just loved him. I was constantly getting fan mail about him. We would talk endlessly about awesome mountain bike rides and beautiful single track. I think that he would be the one who would be cheering us up right now. In fact even in my grief, just thinking about something like
    \”capt.underpants\” brings a smile to my face. He was such a gifted, bright, patient, kind, and sweet member of our cycling family. You are sorely missed my friend.

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  • Rustin Brewer October 25, 2007 at 9:06 am

    Brett helped me pick out my bike at the Bike Gallery during the summer sale. At the end of a long day he was friendly and helpful. I spent just 20 minutes with him but I recall his enthusiasm and advice every time I ride. He shared his gifts with strangers. Reading through these comments lets me know that his spirit is one very special to many others. To his family and friends, I am so sorry for your loss.

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  • NE October 25, 2007 at 11:11 am

    Brett, we miss you man. Whenever you\’d drop in the shop, it was good. Extra good. Patrice just reminded me of the evening spent on the river checking out the Flaming Lips four songs at once music trip. Did we ever get them all sychronized? Always hard to tell with those guys. Yesterday, I had quite the hangover from to much Jim Beam and sorrow. Or maybe it was just water from the Williamette. I thought I was mostly done with this grieving thing for the year. I miss my mom and I miss you. Please take her for a ride, will you. Go easy man, it\’s my mom. Peace & godspeed to a fellow gentleman and scholar.

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  • […] did not know Brett Jarolimek but he has touched my […]

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  • bri m October 25, 2007 at 11:30 am

    I can only hope I can touch others and be a good soul, the way you have been. Thank you for visiting me across the ocean and having that time to know you. I will always look for you in your Bondelae Swe.

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  • Brandon Walker October 25, 2007 at 11:54 am

    i just want to thank everyone for the comments and memories. i keep coming back to this site to \”hang out with brett\”. the comments are bringing back things i had forgotten about. matt and i were talking yesterday about the rain pants he had made for himself. he was so excited to get them finished, he wanted to show them to me so he put them on…..and they were about 5 sizes too small. the look on his face was priceless. of course then he had to walk around in them to get me laughing until my ribs hurt. so many good times.
    one night at about 3 in the morning (years ago) we were riding back to my house. we came to an intersection and i yelled left turn brett. he of course, thought i said \”right turn\”. we talked of our slow motion wreck for weeks ( we were probably going about 5mph). on every ride since if he was next to me i would yell left turn brett. since i was the newbie on the long training rides i was of course way behind. he was always the one who rode back to meet me. then riding up a steep one he would say \”almost there, keep going\”. course it would be another 10 or 15 minutes till we reached the top but he helped me up. stories and memories of him are helping me and all of us up right now. see you in idaho brett.

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  • ruben October 25, 2007 at 12:16 pm

    It was a great day to have off from work and go ride. Brett stopped into the shop to say hi, it was always a pleasure to have his company. just like any other day. I have good memories of early spring rides in the cold, watching the tour at six in the morning, an evening of fireworks with all our friends. I\’m glad to have known you Brett.

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  • […] Jonathon Maus at has done great work covering the accident and its aftermath: the cyclist was a competitive racer and Bike Gallery employee; apparently, the driver of the truck has a […]

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  • Saska October 25, 2007 at 3:10 pm

    Dearest Brett,
    The loss of you has cut deep, it\’s so tragic to lose the ones that we love and admire. Your gumption, charisma and silly ways are unforgetable.
    I will never forget you playing the banjo in your straw hat after the bacon/tooth incident,danger dock day/birthday,nor the Brass Monkeys. You were by far the best trumpeter(sorry Matt and Travis).
    The firepits, bike races and saturday breakfast will never be quite right without you there. It will be hard to believe that your not just fashionably late.
    The love you had for your friends and Sarah was immense. Thank you for the time that you spent with us, and for keeping matt and I warm during the winter.
    We love and miss you so much.

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  • phae October 25, 2007 at 3:22 pm

    to # 48, there is a memorial service in Portland on Monday at PNCA

    *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).

    i wish i could be there. my thoughts are with all of his friends, family, co-workers. and the huge communities of people that he was such a positive part of . .

    xo i have only happy thoughts and memories of him

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  • Ellen October 25, 2007 at 5:45 pm

    Thank you Brett

    I have only known you for one year. I found you to be very nice, and a caring person. I am shocked to heare of your death today. You always made the best painting panels for me. You gave me your scrabs, and we had great talks. I will miss so much.

    Love Ellen

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  • Kortni and Brandon October 25, 2007 at 5:54 pm

    We were high school friends of Bretts and fellow horse riders in his home town in Idaho! We were saddened to hear of his death, but happy to read all the people that he had touched while in Portland. He equally touched our hearts a long time ago when we were all friends and growing up together. We will miss you Brett and our thoughts go to his friends and family at this time.

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  • Ellen October 25, 2007 at 6:09 pm

    We were all blessed to have had Brett come into our lives. We are looking forward to seeing you again.

    love from all of us

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  • Samuel Rowlett October 25, 2007 at 9:42 pm


    I really can\’t express how bad I want to be back in Portland and give all those who knew you a huge hug. You were a brother in Painting to me, one of a group of friends from PNCA that always seem to cross paths no matter the time that passes. You don\’t know how sorry I am to have missed you last time I was back.

    As sad as I am, I can\’t help but chuckle when I think of one of the last times I saw you. I went to watch you, Cardinal and Elizabeth rip it up at PIR, anyway after we had a BBQ. I think you ate, like 8 veggie burgers. I remember giving you crap about eating like a sixteen year old, and you being all serious, explaining how you had to eat that much just to keep up with all the calories you expended riding. Otherwise you\’d waste away. Then we all laughed when you got up to put another one on the grill.

    I\’ve spent the last few days in the woodshop making the finest damn stretcher bars I could(still, not as good as yours). Tomorrow I\’m going to paint my ass off. I know whatever unknown landscape you\’re in now, I can see you riding your bike out to some foreign vista, and using colors we don\’t have here, paint your own skinny ass off.

    All my Best,


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  • Alyssa and Seann Brackin October 26, 2007 at 8:58 am

    We are deeply saddened to hear this tragic news. My heart goes out to his family and friends and anyone who had the delight of knowing him long or short. Seann and I stayed up late art making and talking about Brett and how the room really was brighter anytime he was in it. He had such a presence, he looked you directly in the eye and you knew he was there… and of course that smile. Brett, Your light will be carried within all our hearts.

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  • Interstate commuter October 26, 2007 at 9:37 am

    I did not\”know\” Brett, but when I started commuting, a few years ago, I had just ridden up Interstate hill & my bike was making a funny noise. Brett was with a couple of other \”spandex men\” and saw me checking out my bike. He hug back and asked me if he could take a look at it. He was so at ease & generous with his time & expertise…I did not take him up on his offer since I was a few blocks from home & wanted to learn to deal with bike issues on my own. I saw him quite regularly going up Interstate for the next couple of years. I was floored when I saw the photos of him at the ghost bike…Heartfelt wishes to friends and family of his. I hope that something good comes out of this tragedy.

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  • CTodd October 26, 2007 at 10:01 am

    I never had the pleasure of meeting him either. I\’m kind of in that space of I-don\’t-know-what-to-say.


    Screw resting in peace. Raise hell, Brett!!

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  • JoshB October 26, 2007 at 11:38 am

    Oh crap, Brett. I have gone so far away, to the East for the winter. I got word of Brett\’s death on my way to Vermont, in the rain, as the sky grew dark. I\’m still trying to wrap my mind around him being gone. It doesn\’t seem like this can be real. I wanted to go east and have everything back in Portland be suspended in some sort of safety gel, preserved in my absence. I wish I could be there, to absorb what has happened, to be with others that understand what it means.
    I envied his skills, how Brett just figured out wood working out of need. He was one smart cookie. He came up with great ideas. Even if that \”folding\” work table weighed 300lbs. Brett was proud of his work while never being smug. And yes, his humor and optimism and smile knocked me off my grumpy ass more than once. I am sad and I am pissed. I will miss him for the duration. But I\’ll also be carrying around some of his life, memories of times we had, definitely the laugh, some things that can not be taken away. To everyone here, please take care. -JB

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  • Harmony October 26, 2007 at 2:25 pm

    With a hole in my heart and swollen eyes I suck down tears of this horrible news. I know that he would rather I put on a little Dylan and brew up a pot of coffee and enjoy the many memories we shared. Brett took me on my first tandem bike ride back in 1997 outside of the WOU campus. His humor, care, talent, drive, and love will live forever. I have a great photo of he and I at a club on my 21st on either side of this drag queen, her nails bright pink and wrapped around our shoulders. I know the potato dance…I will continue to ride and remember your grace.

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  • Mark Rupert October 26, 2007 at 4:33 pm

    When I met Brett a few years ago through my wife Amy and others who worked with him at Art Media, he immediately struck me as one of the most kind- hearted, energetic, and open people I had ever met. I\’ll remember our chats about art, photography, and our mutual love of the out doors.
    My most sincere condolences to Brett\’s family, to Sarah, to his friends, and to everyone else who has been touched by his loss.

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  • » Blog Archive » stencil October 26, 2007 at 8:42 pm

    […] sure most of you have heard about the death of Brett Jarolimek in Portland on Monday. I never met the guy, but it’s always sad when a member of the cycling […]

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  • […] Apparently, someone chose to express their grief and love with this absolutetly stunning stencil of Brett Jarolimek.  It’s impressive and breathtaking and startling.  I […]

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  • Addie Rehberg October 27, 2007 at 2:09 pm

    I went to college with Brett, he touched my life in so many ways. He could always make me laugh, cry and smile. Brett, A star shines brighter and I thank god for you each day, for blessing my life in so many ways. I will always treasure our memories!
    Love you-

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  • Jamee October 27, 2007 at 5:25 pm

    Brett has been a dear friend. I cannot bring myself to believe he is no longer physically with us. I do know that his memory will shine in all those who were blessed to have crossed his path and through that he will always be right next to us, smiling, dancing, and just being Brett. I love you Brett and I will hold you close to my heart forever.


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  • Jarolimek's & Sarah October 28, 2007 at 7:52 pm

    Our family would like to thank everyone for their kind words, thoughtfulness, and support during this difficult time. It has meant a great deal to all of us to know Brett was so dear to so many.

    The Jarolimek Family and Sarah

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  • Kris October 29, 2007 at 9:24 am

    Dear Brett,

    Yesterday was a beautiful fall day at the Halloween Cross in Astoria and it looks like everyone was having a great time, very much like the Halloween Cross race in Yamhill two years ago when I shot that picture of you, dressed up as Captain Underpants.

    We were also missing you very much… You were always there for a chat, a cheer and smile and then you would go and give it all you had during your race. We all will have to make up for that now, but it\’s a small thing to ask in exchange for the generous love, friendship, and the many smiles and laughs you gave us.

    Ride on in peace, dear friend. You will be in our memories forever.

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  • Toni October 29, 2007 at 11:10 am

    As a member of Brett\’s family, I want to thank all of the biking community for your support at this horrible time. Our family will never be the same. Keep praying for his parents, brother and sister, we need all the positive energy we can get and we appreciate all of you.

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  • Mariah October 29, 2007 at 5:06 pm

    Stunned. I knew Brett from art school. I had some of my best lifetime laughs with him. One time, with tears in my eyes, i had to excuse myself from a final painting critique because he was making me laugh so hard… Something about a \”whale\’s tail\” and a \”frog\’s leg\”… I often think about that moment.

    To his family and friends: i am soooo sorry for you loss.

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  • Speechless » patch October 29, 2007 at 5:55 pm

    […] been a few days since Brett Jarolimek died underneath the tires of a garbage truck. I’ve been speechless. So soon after and so […]

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  • kate b October 29, 2007 at 6:22 pm

    wish i was still in portland and could go to a memorial. i guess people all over the country are thinking of you brett. i keep remembering the night that you jumped in front of every photo dasha took. it is truly a tragedy to lose such a sweet goofy man. my heart goes out to all your loved ones.

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) October 29, 2007 at 10:01 pm

    Tonight was the memorial ride and remembrance ceremony at PNCA for Brett.

    The ride was on Leif Erickson road in Forest Park, a beautiful backdrop and a place he loved to ride through.

    The service at PNCA was very touching. Many people showed up and shared heartfelt stories, thoughts, poems, etc…

    His brother, who looked much like Brett, shared a great story of a hiking trip they took together.

    I feel like I finally know Brett a little better now and I will not soon forget him and what his life (and death) has meant to our community.

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  • Elgin October 29, 2007 at 10:08 pm

    I miss you man , I wish I could see you again , just to let you know how I feel about you .I will never forget you.

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  • keira October 31, 2007 at 1:18 pm

    I just now realized that the cyclist I\’d been hearing about involved in the crash last week was Brett. I knew him as a customer at Art Media. It was always a highlight for me to come in and talk to him! He was so sweet, clever and funny.. I truly enjoyed our interactions and had a pretty big crush on him! I hadn\’t seen him in years, but am so, so sad to hear about this loss. My thoughts are with his family and friends, he was such a wonderful spirit.

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  • kevin gilmore October 31, 2007 at 7:11 pm

    as the days pass, i am still thinking about the fun times i shared with brett. it has been some time since we caught up, and i guess our friendship had faded a bit. but it seems everyday i am reminded of some goofy thing we did. just another hello to the others that shared a friendship with our man brett. mr. j-roll. i keep seeing those spiral tatoos in my brain. i miss you brett.

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  • Aja Volkmn November 5, 2007 at 8:06 am

    I will always remember those days at the gentry with Arianna Mike and Brett. …Good times. All of my love.

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  • James McDonald November 5, 2007 at 8:15 am

    Really sad to hear about this. It brings home how dangerous cycling can be even for an experienced cyclist. I commute about 36 miles 2 days per week and on the run I\’ve had a few close calls with buses etc. I guess our enthusiasm for the sport outweighs the risks. Rest in peace.

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  • Caroline November 5, 2007 at 9:32 pm

    Still thinking about Brett every day…

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  • Steve D November 7, 2007 at 11:03 am

    Dear Brett,

    I miss you, buddy. Your family is wonderful. Meeting and talking to your brother at the memorial was such a gift. Part of the gift was hearing a voice so much like yours again, and in seeing the Jarolimek warmth and wit very much alive. And talking also to Sarah- such an amazing woman. You would be so proud of her.

    I feel so lucky that I got to tell you how much we all appreciate you in the cycling community the night before… well, just before.

    Your silent lap in Astoria was stunning, hauntingly sad and beautiful. You are so loved, and so missed.

    Thank you for the perfect racing weather, and also for the perfect memorial ride in Forest Park, where we first met. I was surounded by your dear friends, including so many who also first met you on Thursday night rides, over seven years ago.

    I\’m not surprised you\’ve gotten yourself in such a position of power over the weather already. Can you help us out for next Sunday\’s race?

    Thank you, Brett, for bein on my mind, and for helping me to see even more of the beauty in life, and for thinking even more about being careful on my bike. I firmly believe that this will help keep me alive in what I hope is a long participation in all things bike.

    Thank you for your your family, Sarah, your team, and all your friends who are all keeping you very much alive. We miss you. I miss you.


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  • Felicia Ferruzza November 7, 2007 at 6:07 pm

    When my cousin Del died suddenly 2 years ago, it was comforting to read the many kind words of friends and people we didn\’t even know, expressing love and support on a website memorial. I hope that Brett\’s family and Brett\’s Sarah find comfort in these beautiful written remembrances.

    Sarah, I hope that you find comfort somehow, in this sorrowful time. You two were such a lovely couple, a beautiful couple. I remember when you two came to one of my open houses and how sweet that was of you.

    Brett was an amazing individual, such a sweet man. I always enjoyed working with him at the BCC. He always had a smile and a twinkle in his big blue eyes.

    Life and death are born together, Difficult and easy, Long and short, High and low-all these exist together, arrive together, Sound and silence blend together, Before and after
    -Tao Te Ching

    Love and Blessings to Brett, his family and his Sarah.

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  • Stacey Widick November 9, 2007 at 9:49 am

    I am so sorry for everyone\’s loss. I did not know Brett, but when I\’m out commuting with everyone daily, it feels like one big family. This is a true tragedy.

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  • John Frey November 10, 2007 at 5:38 pm

    Brett, I didn\’t know it was you.
    Why man. I stopped to pay respects for someone. I saw a photo of you. I cried so damn hard.
    I always worried about you beating me when we rode, I had to fake it a lot.
    I\’m sorry I sold you that frame that didn\’t fit you very well, I didn\’t know.
    You were the best sort, the top shelf- the void is so sad.
    I don\’t want to cry anymore, but I can\’t help it.

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  • Larry G November 14, 2007 at 9:41 am

    I do not know any of you, but your posts are moving. As a fellow CX racer from Colorado directed to this post through the new CX Mag blog site, this tragedy is something we all fear as riders…tell all your cycling friends how much they mean to you…and race hard for those who no longer can…best thoughts.
    Larry G

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  • […] Brett was our friend and we miss him. There is a memorial fund set up in his name, and I’d like you to help me contribute by buying a “King of the Mountain” cycling cap. Rubric: Caps, Cycling, Haiku, HeartPrevious Post: San Francisco Next Post: Kid: a Haiku […]

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  • Bogdan November 26, 2007 at 9:22 pm

    I met Brett two years ago thanks to his reputation for being skilled at framing art canvases. A friend passed his name and number onto me and I visited his place to drop a couple of canvases and to pick them up. I noticed his artwork and we chatted a bit about it… Too short of a conversation. I always thought \”I\’ll go back to see him with other canvases and we\’ll have a longer conversation about art\”…

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  • Joel November 27, 2007 at 5:07 pm


    Man I miss you….the past month has been difficult…especially on Sundays when I have to check in at the Cross races and their you are on the list waiting to check in as well…It makes me smile thinking about how much fun you had at cross-especially how much fun you made it for everybody else…SSCX worlds was off the hook…you would have killed it man!…Hillsboro Stadium was proably the muddiest and coldest cross race ever…you would have loved it!…

    I am making a point to live life to the fullest and appreciate all of those that surround me…although I am sad, thinking of you continues to make me smile

    Joel Grover

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  • AnalogueAndy December 4, 2007 at 3:30 pm

    RIP Brett, from over the pond. From a kindred spirit; You were clearly so fondly loved and thought of. I didn\’t have the pleasure of meeting you in life and I\’m sorry I\’ve only come to know you through the fact your life has been so tragically cut short. My thoughts and love go out to your family and friends. A fellow \’crosser, keep riding. Andy

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  • […] challenge, that we won! And I had no more mishaps, although sadly there were some notable cycling tragedies this fall. I hung the bike up the last day of September, but I have been carpooling with my bike […]

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  • […] did notice two black and white photos of Brett Jarolimek on the wall. one of which was stenciled on the wall where his accident occured and will soon be […]

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  • Steve D January 28, 2008 at 12:58 pm

    very much missing you. I\’m thinking of you, your friends and family. Your stories are alive on our rides, and you will always remain in our thoughts. Right now, though, I just miss talking, racing and riding with you, and running into you randomly all over town. I am sad. At least I can still go here and find solace among the comments and love. Peace.

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  • Corey Omey February 13, 2008 at 8:56 am

    I miss you. It\’s been a rough morning.
    I got to hang out with Steve last weekend, and we got to talking about you, remembering your smile. What a great person. I ride past your memorial every day…..but today the ghost bike was gone…..maybe to go to another site, to help us to remember another person taken away from us. I stopped for a while, tried to make an arrangement of the flowers, memorial objects, photos, and plants that I remember you by every day. I\’m hoping that there can be a permanent memorial someday soon.

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  • […] rolled home as fast as I could, passing by the memorial for Brett Jarolimek as I went.  I thought of how fragile we are on these two-wheeled machines. Flesh and blood […]

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  • roll March 28, 2008 at 12:14 am


    I miss you so much now, some time has gone by and I need my paintings framed and some coffee and so much more in regards to you and it just sucks…I\’m working with some very kind folks to make a poster for you and I need to come up with something to say about you for it and I have too much, and I\’m stumped and crying and I miss you as always. I will do my best to figure it all out. We all want just another moment. I miss you so much. I\’m doing cycle oregon for you this year…those views are going to last forever and you know how funny it is that I\’m even signed up to try. love you.- Roll

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  • Dyann April 24, 2008 at 8:05 pm

    I just bumped into this about Brett today and feel horrible that I never knew that it was he who was killed in that accident with the garbage truck. I knew him from the Bike Gallery where I spent many afternoons fixing up my bike or buying items to ride. A very nice and kindhearted soul. I too will miss him!

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  • kissy October 20, 2008 at 12:23 am

    Today, I sat on the hill, in the sun. knitting a heart, in orange and blue.
    I cheered for the usual suspects.
    I added an extra, silent clap for you.
    Forever in my thoughts

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  • michelle January 22, 2009 at 11:52 pm

    hey buddy… just saying hello. thinking of you tonight… and not sure how to say anything. i miss you a lot… wish i could give you a call. it’s been a long time… wish we could go to the night lite again soon. all my love… and thinking of you always.

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  • Gretta J February 12, 2009 at 11:48 am

    Brett, we have your exact likeness in our hallway greeting us every morning thanks to your dear friend, Roll. Somehow, he managed to capture that sparkle in your eyes which is good to have around again- if only in a very altered and distant way. We have been telling Harper more an more about his uncle and he looks upon pictures of you with excitement. I wish you could see how much he is like you- exuberant, creative, playful and kind. All our love, Gretta

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  • Brian Jarolimek February 12, 2009 at 5:44 pm

    Brett, you were my brother, friend, and best of all doppleganger, no words will reach how I feel, reading messages reminds me of how full of life you were and how much you can teach someone to love the world. Your and my life were parallel if only divided by towns I cared for your friends as you’ve cared for mine. Everyone needs to know as Brett would say: “this monkey’s gone to heavan.”

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  • Sarah May 14, 2009 at 10:29 pm

    I miss you baby

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  • Harmony June 4, 2009 at 9:11 pm

    You are at the front of my mind, in the wind while I ride, in my thoughts and in my art. Keeping me thinking about what this life thing is.
    I met John downtown Seattle and he handed off a box of Commuter Cuvee from PDX. I can’t imagine my life without having crossed your path.

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  • Mike August 19, 2009 at 10:17 pm

    Hey buddy… Well we’ve got about 6 weeks till little Kate will be join’n us. I wish everyday you were here to spoil the shit out of her. I think of you everyday, whether it’s Dylan, memories of The Gentry, the potato dance, or every time I see a cyclist. We miss you, and love you.

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  • Karen Jarolimek August 24, 2009 at 10:37 am

    Mike we are so happy for you and Jen. Can’t wait to meet Katie. We miss Brett terribly, he was interesting, challenging and compassionate, we never had a day without laughter. We were truly luck parents to have him for as long as we did, We think he is with his big brother Mark, telling him all about his family and friends. Our hearts always will have a big rip and tears are close. But it is always ln my mind, Brett would say Mom Everyday is a gift and we need to take joy in everything. We miss you Brett and love you.

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  • Mike Baggetta October 16, 2009 at 12:05 pm

    I was working with some wood panels and came across a couple that you did for me. Had your stamp on the back. Really miss you man, you did great work and it was always fun to stop by your house and chat about art or your last bike race. Coming up to two years now since the accident, seems like only yesterday you emailed me. We really wish you were here, would love to show you the latest artwork we’ve been doing, and see that smile of yours again…

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  • Brandon October 22, 2009 at 6:39 pm

    Hey Brett,
    So we moved to SF this past August. Went out to the Marin headlands a couple weeks ago on a solo ride. Thought about you while riding. Still laugh about all our adventures together. Late night painting, bike rides, drinks, camping, dance parties, banjo playing with the missing tooth. Remember the phosphoresence in the sand that night and Matt’s “spirit quest”. Funnest coastal camping trip I ever had and memories I will laugh about till we meet again. Miss you man. By the way I am now starting the balding myself. But you still had me beat by a long shot.

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  • Brian Jarolimek October 3, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    Brett, we have to keep this alive. Know one yet has written about you this year and I thought I should be the first. I miss you. I have the painting Rohl did of you on my mantle, it brings me such relief everyday. I hope you look down on my family and know I’m doing the best I can to give my kids the best lives. Friends talk about their brothers/sisters and wish I had more to tell them, but don’t. Just the past. I’ll keep your spirit alive as much as I can but know that there will always be a big hole where you should be. We were all cheated I feel much remorse and anger some days. Take care of yourself I’ll see you in the here-after.

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  • Mom October 5, 2010 at 9:21 am

    Brett, another year is almost gone by, we miss you as much as ever, I miss your laughter, smile, and enthusiasm for life. We are all trying to do our best and live life like you would want us too, but it is hard some days..I hope we make you proud..I love you take of Mark until we are all together Mom

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  • Mike October 18, 2010 at 10:13 am

    Hey Buddy, it’s been a tough month. I looked some pictures of you the other day, it’s still hard everyday. I found the pics of us over at the beach with the girls…that year downtown was easily one of the best years of my life. Thank you Brett! Jen, Kait, and I love you.

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  • Caroline October 18, 2010 at 10:30 am

    Just because we don’t write on this website doesn’t mean we don’t think of Brett. I am reminded of him several times a week, and am rewarded with smiles, compassion, motivation, and perspective. RIP dear heart.

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  • david haines October 22, 2010 at 8:53 am

    I just cried my bike for 14 miles, laughing the whole way. You are so missed, Brett. Every day.

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  • Mom October 22, 2010 at 9:26 am

    Thinking of all the good times we had today with you Brett, you always made us laugh,,,when we have supper at Brian’s tonite…I know you will be there laughing with us….love you so much, hugs to you and Mark…mom

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  • brandon walker October 22, 2010 at 9:50 am

    hey brett,

    sitting here about to start work, i have been thinking about you lately. the other day michelle and i were laughing telling stories about you from our days at art media together. still making me laugh man. i have a picture of you hanging in my office, it was the day we were all painting at the coast. still the best coastal camping trip ever. anyway, we all miss you down here. i gotta go before the tears start, i am at work. gotta be a man and all….i will go on a ride through the headlands and marin this weekend. we never rode that route together but it feels kind of like you are riding along side me when i think of you.

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  • brandon walker October 22, 2010 at 10:05 am


    funny I just read my last message to you. i almost wrote the same thing as last year…can’t let that fly. here’s another that makes me laugh, “PANCAKES!!!!”. A brilliant moment, when you proceed to shake Travis while he is still clipped in at a stoplight. he falls over on top of me…dominoes. it has become an inside joke with Travis and I. okay, really have to go. keep pluckin your banjo. it is raining here in SF. makes me miss portland.

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  • Mom December 23, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    Merry Christmas Brett, I know you are sharing with Mark,,and will be with us. we miss you!

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  • Eloise February 25, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    Brett, When I met you back in Idaho I remember thinking…this guy is like sun! His light is endless. So now is your memory. Seeing your face in my mind, your amazing smile and the goofy and playful way you embraced life inspires me to this day. You were such an incredible young man. Thinking of you today and always. Your friend, Eloise

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  • Gretta Jarolimek March 1, 2011 at 11:37 am

    I met a cat named Greeley this week. The most basic things still throw me into a dither. Inexplicably, I then started wishing the last meal I made for you wasn’t that lousy lasagna. Just wanted you to know, I have gotten much better at my lasagna game these days. Winter feels longer and heavier without the promise of some time together. I am trying to keep your brother wrapped in love so that he doesn’t drift off into a million pieces like Mike TV. I feel like I have less glue to work with these days, but this can only be temorary, right? Love you, hugs.

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  • David Haines March 10, 2011 at 10:13 pm

    Remembering how you kept it funny when everyone else freaked out.

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  • suellen April 7, 2011 at 3:42 am

    Thinking of you Brett so often. Your photo is in my binder I use for teaching.. You were my friend as you were my student. Laughing always- observing minute details. One day you came into my office wearing buck teeth and we both were hysterical for days afterwards.
    It would be lovely to talk with some of the Jarolimek family one day. I was Brett’s art prof. in Monmouth. He was light and will always be in my heart.

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    • Mom April 7, 2011 at 11:08 am

      I would love to visit with you sometimes, Brett always spoke so highly of you. We don’t come to Portland as often anymore,, most of the charm has gone for us. Feel free to call me, our no. here if 208-983-2574. It still amazes me how many lives Brett touched..It makes me proud as a mom and sad there wasn’t more….karen Jarolimek

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  • Kissy June 13, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    Matt left for SF today, a mere 780 mile ride…I can’t help but think that you’re the sun shining on him, the tail wind making him fast, the sillyness that makes him laugh, and the friend that will keep him safe. Miss You everyday.

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  • Brian J. September 12, 2011 at 11:22 am

    I always hope this is a channel that you may check. Harper is five now and biking better than we ever did at that age. Fighting over my bike hat and always showing me up. Neil’s not to far behind. Neil has your expressive eyebrows and my straight hair. Think of you often, I ride the white bike daily. It’s a dream always to ride, but still drags tears out of every peddle. Wish you were around.

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  • Mom September 15, 2011 at 9:43 am

    I know you are with us, I feel you often, your laughter, imagination, someday we will all laugh together, the tears are always close…

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  • Mom September 15, 2011 at 9:58 am

    Brett, had Grandma and Grandpa’s 65th anniversary this week-end, made me think of you and the cousins, and family gettogether’s…so many good memories…wish you were there with us..

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  • Mike October 10, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    Hey buddy, just thinking about you a lot lately. We’ve been missing you quite a bit.

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  • Gretta Jarolimek October 17, 2011 at 11:22 am

    Oh, October.

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  • Mike October 22, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    Couldn’t have said it any better Gretta.

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  • Kissy October 23, 2011 at 1:53 am

    I’m wearing your t-shirt to the races tomorrow, It’s a bit tight and I know you would be laughing at me for the bad fashion choice. It’s been four years and I’m so sad for all you have missed, and for what should have been for you. I love you always and think about you all the time.

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  • Mom October 24, 2011 at 10:22 am

    A long October, we miss you.

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  • Kevin Gilmore March 1, 2012 at 11:54 am

    Just told the story of you, Brett, and how when things at the job got a bit mundane you’d whip out the “I got a really good job” gag. Still think of you often. I just read all of the comments here. Your family and friends are amazing.


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  • Mom October 1, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    Too many Octobers.

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  • mom October 16, 2013 at 8:05 am

    October tears

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  • Michael October 22, 2013 at 7:29 am

    Just coming by to tell you that there is so much love for you buddy. We miss you and think about you every single day.

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  • Brian Jarolimek October 23, 2014 at 10:34 am

    Thinking of you most days, still doesn’t go away, the pain, tears, missing my best friend. So many people still miss you and maybe this site is a portal to my dear brother. So I give a shout out! I still shred on the mtn bike for you and think good thoughts.

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  • Karen Jarolimek October 23, 2014 at 11:11 am

    always some memories everyday, good memories, miss making more, miss your smile, miss you, I always know you are close by. Love you so much.

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  • Todd Boulanger January 10, 2015 at 10:20 pm

    As the years go by, I think of Brett each time I ride down that hill through that intersection…and each time I check a truck’s right hand mirror for correct adjustment / damage no matter where. Rest in peace Brett [and other cyclists hit by a right hook truck.]

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  • Brandon October 16, 2015 at 8:27 pm

    Another year my friend. your in my thoughts as it is October. I (and my family) are now on the other coast and life is rolling by. Still miss you my friend. Keep looking out for all of us down here. Im sure everyone in the afterlife is jamming with you and your banjo, laughing till it hurts.

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  • Matt October 22, 2015 at 8:31 pm

    Missing you like always Brett. Thinking about you too Brett’s family.

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  • Brian Jarolimek January 10, 2016 at 12:14 pm

    Happy new year bro! I have your banjo, pretty fun stuff. Many memories if you still flows through me everyday. I missed you on Christmas but know this is how things go.

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  • Gretta Jarolimek March 25, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    Gave a presentation about loss and joy at our Hospice bereavement luncheon today. Thought of you. Death ends a life, not a relationship.

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  • Kevin Gilmore May 5, 2016 at 7:38 am

    Been on my mind all day, Brett. Found some old slides you helped me shoot in the basement of Art Media. And some photos of my first solo show in PDX – some great photos of you at the opening – I haven’t seen in 12-13 years…miss you buddy. I think about you often.

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  • Noisette October 27, 2017 at 1:20 pm

    Brett, it’s been 10 years already! Your cross bike is still hanging on the wall here in the shop, it is a nice sunny windy, perfect October day, wish you were here.

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  • Brian Jarolimek April 10, 2018 at 6:34 pm

    Been thinking about you a bunch lately. Getting ready for the biking season. With the whole family riding it takes time to groom the rides. We’ll never be as fast as you but we’ll try. Your always in our thoughts and prayers and will NEVER be forgotten.

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  • Michael July 18, 2018 at 7:28 am

    Hey Buddy, you were on my mind all morning. I was tell the kids stories about you this last weekend. Miss you.

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