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Mark J. Reynolds

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
memorial service.

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
for many."

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 France.

"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."