There are some people in this world that you can’t help but be drawn to. People you can’t help but respect, admire and love.
Steve Vihel was one of those people.
There was evidence of that last night in the stories his friends told about him at a celebration held in his honor
Steve died Thursday after a lengthy medical battle stemming from heart failure.
In his 31 years he made an impact on many peoples’ lives.
“He wouldn’t want you to be sad,” one of his friends said to me Thursday evening. He is right, Steve wouldn’t want his friends to hurt, he wouldn’t want them to be sad.
Even in the hospital — battling his own medical issues — Steve was concerned for his There and Back Bicycles customers who had become friends. Did that frame come in? Did that repair work? Did your daughter get over her cold?
It’s hard not to be sad when you lose someone like him.
There will be details about memorials, about the future of the shop and how to help his family, but now is the time to remember Steve and celebrate who he was and the impact he made on so many individual people and on the community.
I’ll remember the good times I had with him. I’ll remember the new trails we explored together. I’ll remember poring over the bike-gear books to make sure we selected the exact right part for the bike we were building.
I’ll remember the exploding fist bumps and jokes he cracked in his hospital room on my weekly Thursday visits.
I went for my weekly visit yesterday. He was with his girlfriend and his family. Their body language was enough for me to know I shouldn’t disturb them, but I left a note for Steve.
I told him I was honored to call him my friend. I know I’m not alone.
Please share your memories of Steve in the comment section.