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Police say Portlander Boyd Littell fell from his bike, then died in Colonel Summers Park


Courier Boyd Littell and his work bike-12.jpg
Boyd Littell in 2016.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

A man who was well-known among many in Portland for his cycling and musical prowess has died.

40-year-old Boyd Littell was found early Tuesday morning in Colonel Summers Park. The police confirmed his identity a few minutes ago and said he likely died after falling from his bicycle.

We’ve also heard something similar from a source close to Boyd: That he crashed while riding his bike, hit his head, walked over to the park, lay down, and never woke up.

I met Boyd for the first time in January 2016. I was on a break from work at the Stumptown on SW 3rd Avenue downtown when his bike caught my eye. Boyd worked as a messenger (when he wasn’t playing drums in his popular band ADDverse Effects) and rode a highly customized, white Klein road bike with flat bars, carbon tri-spike wheels, lots of personal flair and an obviously courier-influenced aesthetic. I ended up chatting with him for a while and shared a little profile of him here on BikePortland. He seemed like a very creative and interesting guy. And today, reading through all the tributes to him from friends on his Facebook page, he was even more creative and interesting than I ever knew.

Dee Branham, co-owner of a local courier company and friend of Boyd’s, tells us Boyd made his final radio dispatch at 8:30 pm on Monday from Yur’s Bar & Grill. Dee and others are looking for people who might have seen or talked to Boyd between then and when he was found on Tuesday morning. If you know anything, get in touch and we’ll connect you with Dee.

Our thoughts are with Boyd’s family and friends. May he rest in peace.

UPDATE: Here’s a memoriam sent to us via email by a member of Boyd’s family:

Boyd Littell, found in SE Portland park, 40 years old, died of a bike accident

He was Susan [None Binkley] Greer’s dearly loved brother. Keever’s uncle. He was Bob Littell’s son. His mother’s [Jaquine Hudson Bly] baby, and older sister Morgan’s [Rogers] little brother. He so revered his late brother. He was the time keeper for so many dance classes over the years, at OU and Modern Dance Arts, and others. He was the band mate of the most talented musicians in this town. He was a romantic, with the prettiest, most talented girlfriends, and he was so many’s good, great, best friend. If you knew Boyd, there were too many friends to count, mutual friends, that you had in common, that you respected for their choices, their talent, their inspiration. Now Boyd’s gone, but I want you to know, how he was special. Any of us could tell lots of stories about our friend, his friends, our mutual friends, and the good times that we had. But let me leave you with this: Bob Littell, Gee’s dad, always had his eye out for a beautiful cloud formation in the sky, and on a good day, nothing could get better than the beauty he found in the clouds, and he passed that appreciation of beauty to Boyd, and every time Boyd stopped to talk, to update me on his life, his music, his challenges and his successes, when there was a beautiful cloud in the sky, you could feel that special connection Boyd had to his dad, and the beauty he found in his life. That he passed, probably looking skyward, possibly searching for his closest connections above, is only fitting, and comforting, in this horribly saddening moment of our loss. Remember Boyd when you look to the sky, and know his kind thoughts are with us, as we grieve his passing.

You were cared about, you were loved, your friendship and attention was appreciated and cherished, by oh so many. We are all so sad, as we gather various places to celebrate your too short life.

From his ADDverse Effects friends
From his Mama Sweet friends
From his Dance School friends
From his The Ils friends
From some of the prettiest girls in town

we will miss you, we cherish you, we promise to embrace your “joie de vivre,” exemplar that you could be. Thanks, kind, caring friend. We love you. Thanks for touching our lives.

Such sad news, [the evening before my 67th birthday,] from Colonel Summers Park, near Southeast Belmont Street and Southeast 20th Avenue before 7:43 a.m., October 31, 2017.

For more on Boyd, read this post from the Portland Mercury.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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