Friday, February 16, 2024

Remembering John Hughes

It is with personal sadness that I report that John Hughes - friend to so many in the rando and ultra communities and to RMCC - passed away unexpectedly on February 4.  His widow Carol will be publishing details of a Boulder memorial scheduled for next month, plus his obituary.

John was my friend, and a wonderful riding partner to me and to others in the RMCC after moving to Boulder County in the 90's from the Bay Area. He also volunteered on Last Chance and other rides of ours.  A bit more about John ...

after a brevet, relaxing with friends
while sitting in my RAV4

Palmares - John was a Paris-Brest-Paris ancien, riding and finishing PBP'79, '87, '91, '95, and '99. I rode a delightful stretch with him at PBP'99 with his "gruppetto" of friendly randos, stopping strategically at bakeries and cafes on the way back from Brest. John set a course record at Boston-Montreal-Boston in 1992 (52:53). His final 1200k was the Rocky Mountain 1200 (in British Columbia) in 2004. John raced solo RAAM (the Race Across AMerica) twice, and won the prestigious Furnace Creek 508, a grueling 508-mile trek across the California desert.

UMCA - From their early days, John was involved with the Ultra-Marathon Cycling Association (now World Ultra Cycling Association - WUCA), and was the executive director of the UMCA from the 90's through the first decade of the millennium.  A full-time job.  Aside from RAAM and RAAM-qualifying races, John promoted the UMCA Year-Rounder Challenge, which he lured me into managing in the 1990's. You can see the spillover of UMCA year-rounders to this day, some of them becoming RUSA K-Hounds.

Tours - John put on a series of western tours, the Red Rocks tours in Utah, and the Pacific Crest tours in California, along and up and over the Sierra Nevada mountains. Challenging, incredibly scenic, but doable. John invited me to help scout out his Red Rocks tour, an experience which I thoroughly enjoyed.


Coaching and Education - John was a longtime cycling coach, dispensing advice to clients based on his personal lessons learned in ultra-cycling coupled with scientific expertise. John tried especially to help older cyclists deal with how age impacts performance levels and training. John had a weekly column in Road Bike Rider dispensing free but valuable advice, which he wrote until his passing. And John in collaboration with Dan Kehlenbach wrote the authoritative book you see above, on Distance Cycling. My copy is sitting nearby.

We will miss this wonderful spirit and companion.


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