STEVE TILFORD CELEBRATION OF LIFE

It has taken some time to get around to posting this because it is still close to impossible to believe that Steve will not be showing up on our doorstep again or that we’ll never see each other at a bike race or bike show or some special event where he was to be the main attraction. If you couldn’t make it to Steve’s celebration of life on April 23rd, what you missed was not sad event. Quite the opposite. The mood was festive and the Tilford Tales being exchanged brought as many laughs as tears.

Three speakers MC’ed the night. Michael Asnier, the promoter of America’s most iconic bicycle stage race, the Coors Classic, and Ned Overend were long-time friends and their tributes reflected their love for Steve. The surprise speaker was Seth Davidson who had only known Steve for a short time. His eulogy was a thing of beauty and luckily, you can read it on Steve’s Blog (click here). Please take the time to read it. Out loud. To a few friends.

Professional photographer and Tour de France winner Marianne Martin captured the event with remarkable photos. They are on her Facebook page (click here). I have no idea if those photos are accessible to all (Facebook still baffles me). While no match for the magic that Marianne captured, here are a few of my snaps.

What’s wrong with this picture? Riding in Topeka with sunny skies, warm temps and no wind! Steve would not approve of this memorial ride. He’d want wind, rain, sleet or snow (plus a gravel surface) to make things interesting.

This is the guy who introduced me to Steve (and Trudi) way back in the 80’s. Michael Fatka owned SRC Racing and Michael’s Cyclery in Ames, Iowa. It was so good to reconnect with Michael. Thanks to Paul Biskup for shooting the photo.
Roy Knickman (left) and Michael Asnier sporting a vintage Michael’s Cyclery cap.
Andy Hampsten, who lives in Boulder, Colorado, when not leading tours from his other home in Tuscany, Italy, was teammates with Steve for many years.
From left are Kris Tilford, Steve’s brother, Sue Sutton and Rita Robbin.
Steve would have approved of the art gallery in Lawrence, Kansas, used for the celebration. In fact, he would have loved it.
Trudi is one of the strongest people I have ever met. She was the perfect match for Steve. All our hearts are with her.
Marianne Martin, Melissa and Sue Sutton.

Marianne Martin photo bombing Paul Biskup and Michael Fatka.

Always loved this photo used in a Tilford profile that appeared in Outside magazine.
No Steve celebration would be complete without a ride. This group left from Steve, Trudi and Kris’ home in Topeka, Kansas.
Hope I get this right. From the left: Jimmy Mac, Andy Hampsten, Tim Hinz, Paul Biskup, Jeff Bradley, Trudi Rebsamen, Roy Knickman, Kris Tilford, Michael Fatka (who brought this motley crew together in the first place), Pete Caron, Andy Caron, Matt Caron and Ned Overend. Photo by Marianne Martin.

 

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