From the Los Angeles Times
Friday, January 16, 2004
His Many Friends Remember Bicyclist Killed by Cougar
Mark J. Reynolds 'touched many lives,' a longtime teammate says at a
By David Haldane, Times Staff Writer
Mark J. Reynolds, an avid mountain biker killed by a cougar last week while
riding in Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park, was remembered Thursday as a
competitive sportsman and thoughtful friend by those who shared his passion.
"He touched many lives," Todd Galati, a longtime teammate, said at a
memorial service in Anaheim one day after the cyclist and professional
motocross agent was buried in his hometown of St. Joseph, Mo. "I know he
touched mine. I'm honored that Mark called me his friend, and I know I speak
Reynolds, a 35-year-old Foothill Ranch resident, died Jan. 8 on a trail in
the South County park when a mountain lion mauled him as he crouched to fix
a broken chain on his bike.
Authorities believe the same lion, which was later killed by sheriff's
deputies, also attacked another cyclist, Anne Hjelle, who remained
hospitalized in fair condition in Mission Viejo.
"He died in such an outlandish manner," Randy Wilson, a former teammate in a
San Diego-based club, said of Reynolds. "None of it makes any sense, and I'm
not dealing with it very well."
The people gathered to honor him at Sunkist Community Church included many
from the cycling and racing world.
Sitting in a back row was Gerard Bisceglia, chief executive and executive
director of USA Cycling, the Colorado-based governing body for competitive
cycling in the United States. Several speakers were professional motocross
drivers represented by Reynolds. And Galati read the 100-member-plus
audience a letter from Lance Armstrong, five-time winner of the Tour de
"Mark was a bona fide hero," Armstrong wrote. "He gave his time, his heart,
his passion, and at times, his money."
Another moving moment came with the reading of a poem written by an
anonymous admirer: "I ride ahead. Do not wait for me too long. I do not
sleep. I am not gone, but over some ridge, riding, riding, riding."
Friends said Reynolds often asked fellow cyclists for donations to help
needy children obtain their first bikes. In lieu of flowers, therefore, his
family has requested that donations be made to a fund set up in his name:
the Mark J. Reynolds Memorial Children's First Bike Fund, c/o OMS Sports,
2300 E. Katella Ave., Suite 430, Anaheim, CA 92806.
"He was very modest and very determined," fellow rider Melissa Fletcher told
the crowd. "He was always putting other people ahead of himself. He was
always looking to make other people feel good about themselves."