Thursday, December 13, 2007

We Lost A GREAT Friend!

I got a call tonight and it was one of those phone calls you will always remember. It was Matt and he told me that Kenny had passed away suddenly while on a business trip in Canada. Matt, thanks for the call. Kenny was one of those kind souls that made the world a better place. He was ALWAYS a pleasure to be around! Kenny, I will miss you and I am keeping very fun memories of you and will be praying and doing what I can for your family. Below is an email Matt sent out! Lets all be praying for Kenny and his family. It wasn't that long ago we lost Doug McFadden. Let's not forget any of our riding buddies. We spend so much time together enjoying our sport and one of the beauties of our sport is we get to really know one another. Kenny was always someone you loved to be riding next to. God Bless all of you!


I don't really know how to say this, but I just got the news that our good friend and fellow rider Kenny Harbaugh passed away suddenly today. I don't have all the details but apparently he was in Canada on a business trip (he worked for Patagonia) and suffered a fatal heart attack or brain aneurysm or something like that, they're not really sure. He leaves behind his wife Heidi and two small, beautiful children, Garrett and Greta. He was just an all-around great guy and this is a terrible loss. I'm sure we'll be arranging a memorial ride or benefit in the very near future, but until then please keep his family in your thoughts. He was a great rider, a great friend, and a great father to his kids. We'll all miss you Kenny.




befoot said...

very sad day.
I road with Kenny when he just started Mt biking.I remember him huffing and puffing trying to keep up but it was not long before it was me trying to keep up with him. he was alway a joy to ride with. even though I had not seen nor talked him for many years I thought of him often. lots of good memories.
Gods speed to you my Friend.
all my best to his family and friends

Billy B.

Marco Fanelli said...

Ken goes way back in SB cycling and he touched a lot of people. I'm really sorry for your loss. Thoughts go out to all family and friends.


Ride Ventura said...

Here Here. Kenny was a good friend and always had a smile on his face. He will be sadly missed.

He was a lot of fun to mix it up on the Patagonia lunch rides. Screaming down the Ojai bike trail at 30 mph was the way Kenny liked it.

Our lives are richer having the memories of Kenny Harbaugh in them.

al y said...

Well Bud, I would rather be writing to you than about you… Any day of the week! Where do I start? I clearly recall our first meeting. I think you were the first guy that worked in the fab lab. With the phone room and the fab lab next to each other and our mutual passion for all things bike-like we spent a bunch of time hanging together. I'd walk into the fab lab and talk shop or just ask what you were working on. It was really cool to see you testing different fabrics and chatting about the testing equipment and all cool fabric tech talk. Another cool thing is you would be cranking the tunes and singing. You kept me updated on the local and Santa Barbara music seen. Thanks for the CD's I still have one of the cuts that you gave me from one of the local jam sessions. I'll treasure that. It's going in the vault. I would say "you should do vocals for a band or something." He had the knack for lyrics and loved to belt out the tunes… I was serious. He would just smile and keep singing.

I was sporting the old red 1987 Team 7-Eleven Serrota and Kenny was sporting a Kenny Special battle ship gray rig. I knew I liked him right off the bat. Kenny was a breathe of fresh air--- the roadie culture is full of big egos and no one treated each other nicely, especially; if you hadn't "earned" it. I guess it is Kenny's big hearted nature that made all of that trivial. Man, what a rock star. So much joy, so much fun. I've been reading all of the blogs and they all mention those absolutely delightful qualities that Kenny possess. If it were possible to holographically project the imagary that is in my head from all of time spent on the saddle riding along side or in pace listening to you sing, whistle, tell tall tales, instructing me on proper pedal setup, seat position, upper body alignment, your excellent spanglish jive talk, it would be epic. I can safely say that anyone who has ridden or just hung out with you would agree--no doubt. It was so cool to have you ride up along side and place your hand my shoulder say something cool, and, likewise to see you do the same with others. The crack-up is when you would ride up to someone and pinch there butt. That was so funny. I'm not sure how some people took to that. I would just shake my head and chuckle..

I've read several Kenny stories and I thought I'd add a cool Kenny story as well. This one illustrates his mechanical and quick solution attitude. Kenny, Chris Carroll, Brian Marsoun and I participated in team time trial at Pt. Mugu several years back. Chris had borrowed a set of disk wheels for the event. During the event Chris' rear wheel cassette fell apart. We pulled over to the side of the road to determine a course of action. Kenny asked if anyone had brought a key. I pulled my car key from my jersey pocket. Kenny grabbed it and popped the back wheel off. The problem was that the locking ring spun off and the outer gears came loose. He popped the gears into place, spun the lock ring into place and, with my key, tightened the locking ring back on with sufficient torque to lock the gears into place. He popped the rear wheel back in and viola we were back in business. We all hopped back on the bikes and proceeded to catch and destroy our competition. Whoa!!!

Kenny was such gear head. In addition to his wrenching ability he loved all things fast and technical. I always checked with Kenny before purchasing or working on my bikes. He definitely had a knack for the mechanical. He was so funny with the tape measure. If he felt that there was a setup issue he would pull his measuring tape and start to do his lecture. Precision is the name of the game when Kenny was involved. Whenever I had a problem he would grab his tool set and start to fix the issue or just let me use his tools, whereupon, I would expect a call detailing how to properly bleed my brakes or replace my headset--whatever the case.

Oh yeah.. And, there's Kenny the giver. I can't convey what it was like to have Kenny drop by my desk and just give me stuff: I have a drawer full of jerseys, cycling bibs, helmets that he gave me. Kenny would come by and just give. The killer deals. It wasn't about saving money it was about how Kenny loved to light up people's day. I'd go home that evening and walk in with stuff/gear that he had given me or acquired, walk over to my wife and say, "look what Kenny gave me." If I wanted to buy any bike related thing I'd justify my purchase to my wife by saying something like, "well, Kenny thinks it's a good idea or Kenny's good with it, therefore, I should do it." Yeah, that's the way it typically went and I'm good with that.

Going back to the fab lab era. I recall when Kenny moved from the Fab Lab to Production. That was funky because I couldn't just drop in anymore. But, the cool thing is that he was able to infect all of the people in that area with the Kenny bug. Sometimes I wonder how you were able to get any work done because so many people would come to you for all kinds of cycling advice and feedback. That was just cycling.

I guess now that I'm putting pen to paper (so to speak) it feels more real. In one sense that sucks and on the other, well; I don't know. I'm still looking for the silver lining in this. I just keep thinking and praying that someday (when and if I pass through the pearly gates) you'll be there saying something like: "Vayamos vatto loco. I got something para you ese'…" It'll be good.

Asta la proxima Buddy