Saturday night I was given tragic news. My team mate and friend Dwayne Goscinski sent me a txt reading "In case you didn't hear, AJ died in a plane crash yesterday. I just thought you would want to know."
For anybody that doesn't know, I've been racing in the National Ultra Endurance 100 miler series for the last three years. Well someone of that series that I looked up to was AJ Linnell one of the fastest of the single speed category. He often times duked it out with Gerry Pflug and Gordon Wadsworth. He was a true force to be reckoned with, and always left a wake of snapped wrists.
He wasn't just a hella fast tuff as nails off road bike racer. He was a husband. He loved to live and be awesome. He lived in Victor Idaho which sits at 6400ft and surrounded by mountains. He skied, snowboarded, climbed, hiked, and biked. He also was a engineer for a solar power provider Creative Energies. I wouldn't be surprised if there was a crazy amount of other stuff he was also involved in like crochet circles and little boats in a bottle making.
After the races he always had a smile on his face even if he wasn't on top of the podium, and was never cocky or arrogant like many "fast doods" are. Another thing that was so special about him is how he always gave credit where credit was due to the winners.
AJ always gave 110%(probably more) but made it look easy. It was awesome!
AJ man, it goes with out saying that me and a gnarly amount of others will miss your presence, but we will for damn sure honor your passing. And as silly as it may be, I'm glad I told you how great of a smile you had while we were warming up before True Grit Epic a month ago, and at the very least happy I was able to cross paths with you in life.
I'll miss ya man.