Checking In


Everyone: The ride here at RKP may be a bit bumpy for the next week or two. While I’ve got a couple of different posts I’ve been working on and a great many reviews I’m trying to finish, I need to let you, our devoted readers, know that my stepfather has passed away. This man was a giant in my life. I met him when I was a 14-year-old Boy Scout and he was instrumental in me achieving Eagle. I like to brag that I’ve known him longer than my mom has.

That’s Byron, above, attempting to teach my son Philip how to put his shoes on. I shot that photo over Memorial Day weekend; it’s the last image I ever took of him.

While I’ve managed to write both an obituary and a eulogy for him, writing about touring my old stomping grounds or finishing that review of the Zipp 202s is something I don’t seem to be managing.

I’ve also ground to a halt on the thank-you notes that have been going out to the 360-odd people who contributed to the beer fund. I’ve completed more than 300 and I aim to get through them all, even if I’m not capable right now.

What I’m really trying to say is that we’ve set expectations for you about how frequently you can find new content here. This year, Thanksgiving may have to involve a bit more football for you. I’m sorry about that; I’ll be back as soon as I’m able.

What comes to mind as I think about Byron is this: The measure of any man’s influence can be seen in the way the lives of those he loved change in his absence.



  1. Troutdreams

    So sorry to hear of your loss. That he as a Scout Master then as a step father made such a strong connection with you at age 14 says a lot about the man. The picture says much of the rest.

  2. Alberto Roldan


    I am very sorry for your loss. Certainly no worries about getting content to us in this difficult time. We will be waiting when you get back.


  3. Jesus from Cancun

    I agree with everyone else. I wish your soul and your family’s heal quickly.
    We’ll be waiting here. I am not going anywhere else.

  4. Peter. Leach

    Hi Patrick
    We should all prioritize people first.
    My thoughts are with you and your family. The absence will always be there, just as the influence will always be there.

  5. Alex C


    Terribly sorry to hear about your loss. Take all the time you need, we’ll still be around when you’re ready.


  6. Jay

    Our heros come in many forms; their deeds far less public but decidedly more profound and lasting than those we read about in the daily news. Cherish the memories-and let them live on in the lives touched – at least that’s what I tell myself to cope with the loss of loved ones…
    May the road rise up to meet him and there always be a tail wind at his back.

  7. westridge

    Sounds to me like you have your priorities right where they should be. Just from what little I see I sense your stepfather typically left things better than he found them. I am sorry for your loss.

    1. Kathryn Vowell

      As a Scout Leader, he taught the scouts exactly this! You must have been a Boy Scout yourself.Byron spent 35 years in Scouting.’

  8. Wes

    Your last sentence brings tears to my eyes as I think about the long life my father has had and how he struggles to Parkinson’s in the twilight of his life. Thank you.

  9. Full Monte

    I’ve had the fortune to have had both a father and a step-father. Quiet giants and heroes both to those that knew and loved them. There is no day that passes that I don’t have a flash of memory of one or the other. The twinge of loss fades over time, replaced by a sense of overwhelming gratitude. My hope is that you, Padraig, can move from grief to that place where you carry your step-dad with you on every ride, every moment of parenthood, his example your guide. Peace.

  10. Ryan Surface

    Patrick I lost my Dad 3 weeks ago so I completely understand the need to take time. Do so, as Vic said we’ll still be here.

  11. Mike Dublin

    Great picture, gives us an idea of the kinda man he was. Many happy memories no doubt. My condolences and take care of yourself..

  12. P Poppenjay

    My gratitude and thanksgiving to each of you for your kind and loving comments. Full Monte: I would love to meet you someday.
    Patrick has given me his loving support and guided discovery as I face a new journey in my life. He is the man that each one of you would be blessed to have as you start begin such a journey.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *