One of the well known local racers, Rusty Potts, passed away yesterday from a long term illness.
I unfortunately did not know Rusty really at all other than seeing him on rides once in a blue moon. However, I did have one significant interaction with him.
At the end of high school or start of college, he sold me a small stack of random, decent condition bibs and skinsuits at one of the swap meets or such for super cheap, $20 for the pile or something like that. It was pretty clearly not quite what he wanted for them, but also pretty clearly about what 17 year old Joe had to offer.
I was incredibly stoked to have my first sets of clothes with race cut sizing, something besides generic Performance logos, bibs, and---wonder of wonders---skinsuits, for most of which I wouldn't otherwise be ready to shell out for some time. I loved them all so much, I literally rode them to pieces. I have pictures all over of me in those skinsuits because they immediately became my lucky, magic outfits that I wore under my Drexel jersey every weekend my first two years or so of racing, well after they started disintegrating and should have been retired. I did my first race in one, I did my hardest training in one, and I won my first race in one.
It was a very small thing; I'm sure he never thought about it again once he got home. However, it had a huge impact on me and helped push me to where I am in cycling. So, something to think about: You just never know what kind of positive, cascading effect any little help or friendly act is going to have on a new rider.
I'm very sorry about this news and know it's a loss, though I really knew him not at all.