(06/17/2002)

Riderless bike taken to Old Glory

By Bob Weaver

Participants in the Sixth Annual Appalachian Bike Classic lowered their bikes to the ground as words of memory were spoken of avid mountain biker Sgt. Gene Vance, who was recently killed in Afghanistan.

On the loudspeaker, Jack Downs said "He gave much for all of us, so we could be here today."

Vance had been a frequent participant in the Calhoun race.

A riderless bike was pushed up the green hillside of Calhoun County Park and placed beside a giant American flag. Doing the honors, longtime biking friends, Steve Thaxton and Mike Boyes.

Young and old riders, waiting for the race's starting gun, stood in silence watching the distant flag, remembering Vance, who was described as a "kind and gentle man."

Young and old quietly remember Sgt. Vance

Even the young shed tears as taps was played in his honor.

A few moments later, the competition began.


Hur Herald from Sunny Cal
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