Remembering Steve Larsen

Join us in offering a remembrance of Steve Larsen, who passed away at the age of 39 on May 19, 2009. Steve was a loving family man, loyal

friend, and world-class athlete who inspired everyone he met. Please contribute photos and text to this website. We hope this site will become a lasting and positive refuge for Steve's family and friends.

Steve in the News

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My first memory of Steve of Steve and John Geiger waking me up at 11:30pm telling me that Steve needed a massage. I kinda laughed, and asked if they were joking. They weren't.... Over the next four years I spent quite a lot of time traveling with Steve. Steve had the best work ethic of anyone I've ever worked with. He was always focused on the next race, and what it was going to take to win. He did come out of his shell and cut up from time to time, but for the most part it was all about racing. Men like Steve are few and far between. He always spoke about his family, and I know he loved you guys very much. I was a better manager and soigneur because of Steve. He helped me a lot. There are too many funny stories to post.
There aren't enough words to fill the space in the world that is missing with Steve gone. He was truly a special person, and he will be missed by all.
Carrie, I'm very sorry for your loss. I've got some of the slides from The Schwinn Team photo shoots if you want any of them.
Cory Worf - Jun 19, 2009
I'm relatively new to the bike world, so I never had the good fortune to meet or know who Steve was, but after reading Jasen Thorpe's "remembering Larsen", he sounds like an amazing person. My deep felt sympathies go out to his family and friends.
Cindy - Jun 14, 2009
I never had the pleasure of meeting Steve, but he was one of my first triathlon heroes. My favorite memory was while reading a Frazz comic strip, he spoke of having a Steve Larsen photo on his wall. I could only laugh knowing that I too had a photo of him on my wall. Rest in Peace Steve.
Stephen - Jun 12, 2009
My only encounter with Steve was a very brief, but I was still impressed. Was preriding the Xterra course at Richmond one year, I think '06, and Steve & a couple other guys came up behind me. I stayed with them for a cpl mins, although that wasn't easy. Probably the only reason I could was that the course wasn't marked yet, so Steve & his buds were trying to figure out which way the route went. They finally stopped, trying to guess. I volunteered a direction I was pretty sure was correct. Steve turned to me, asked my name, introed himself and shook my hand, then announced to the rest of the group that "Charlie thinks it's this way", as if I had any credibility whatsoever, especially compared with Steve and his pards.

I've always remembered how gracious that was, for Steve to go out of his way to recognize & treat me so well, even though we had never met before and never would again. Truly a classy guy.
Charlie Redmond - Jun 11, 2009
A CANDLE IN THE WIND
*BALLAD TO STEVE LARSEN


FIVE CHILDREN AND A WIFE
WHEN HE LOST HIS YOUNG LIFE
RUNNING AROUND ON THE TRACK
NEVER TURNING TO LOOK BACK

DIED DOING WHAT HE LOVED
NOW HE'S WATCHING ABOVE
WE'RE TOGETHER AT THE POOL
HIS LIFE WAS SHORT ON THE SPOOL

IN FOURTH GRADE MET HIS LOVE
SHE WAS LIKE A BEAUTIFUL DOVE
TOOK HER DANCING AT PROM
HER PETITE HAND IN HIS PALM

HE DROPPED OUT OF HIGH SCHOOL
KNEW WHAT HE NEEDED TO
HE WAS A STAR RACING BIKES
HE STARTED OUT WITH HIS TRIKE

TRAINING HARD ALL THE TIME
TO CROSS THAT FINISH LINE
IN A SNAP HE WAS A STAR
THEY KNEW HE WOULD GO FAR

LIVED LIFE TO THE FULLEST
AND BARELY EVER STRESSED
MARRIED THE LOVE OF HIS LIFE
SO HAPPY SHE WAS HIS WIFE

FIRST CHILD WAS A LITTLE GIRL
WAS TREATED LIKE A PEARL
BUT ONLY ONE IN THE FAM
ALL THE REST WOULD GROW TO BE A MAN

THE TWINS WOULDN'T KNOW DAD
VAGUE MEMORIES, SO SAD
NOT TELLING THEM WHAT HAPPENED
SO THEY WERE NOT ENLIGHTENED

"BABBO GONE" MARCO SAID
WHILE LAYING IN HIS BED
CARRIE CRIED EVEN HARDER
COULDN'T KEEP HER COMPOSURE

IN A THUMP ALL THINGS CHANGED
FOREVER RE-ARRANGED
HAPPY LIFE SPENT TOGETHER
WAS WASHED AWAY FOREVER

NICEST MAN IN THE WORLD
WE ALL WERE UNFURLED
WHEN CAME THE NEWS OF HIS DEATH
WE ALL BECAME OUT OF BREATH

STEVE WON'T BE FORGOTTEN
NEVER THOUGHT OF AS ROTTEN
HIS DEATH SO SHOCKING WE CRINGED
HE WAS JUST A CANDLE IN THE WIND
RAVEN HEINZ-GARCIA - Jun 8, 2009
The first time I heard of and saw Steve was at my first ever Ironman in my favorite place, Taupo, in my home country, New Zealand. I really respect and feel for those who put everything into such a hard sport. As an amateur it is not too hard to train and complete an Ironman. We finish hours behind the guys like Steve, who, are actually swimming, cycling and running on the edge of life and death considering the times that they can complete such gruelling races in.

My heart goes out to you and your family and all who were blessed to know you.

Thanks for the inspiration.
Angus McDonald - Jun 8, 2009
I had the good fortune of racking my bike next to Steve's at the Pacific Crest Half Ironman in 2004. I introduced myself because I knew who he was and he was very gracious. I had lived in Davis at the time he had the bike shop and I was in awe of his accomplishments as a cyclist and a triathlete. My heart goes out to his wife and kids; he was truly awesome and I can only imagine the loss they feel. BB
Robert Buzzo - Jun 7, 2009
IN MEMORY OF "THE MOUNTAIN CAT"
Tuesday May 19th,I lost a friend.I was Steve Larsen's Soigneur for his years on Scott,and Schwinn.I would like to state that working with him was a complete pleasure.Steve was a
perfectionist.He told me in my early years,"If you want to be a great Soigneur,here's what we did on Motorola!"He told me,"Carry luggage in the airports,and bring it to the rider's rooms,you'll be a King!" I still do it to this day.Steve brought an incredible amount of professionalism to Mountain Biking.Wearing a dress shirt,and running gel in his hair for every interview,would replace the "granola" norm of the sport.Being the only guy in team meetings to vote for staff to get some of the rider's purse, to support our 15 hour days.He knew we worked hard.He would win the National Championship,and made sure he gave me a jersey in appreciation.Something staff member's all cherish! Drew Carver,Steve,and I would spend a summer listening to "The Jerky Boys" comedy CD.We approached announcer Peter Graves with a joke from that CD."Please call Steve the mountain cat!",we requested!Steve LOVED it,wanted to be called it all the time.Bringing coffee as a gift during massage,to pull me through.Once again,he knew how hard as staff we worked.Going through Vermont with Cory Worf,and myself,throwing potatoes at signs.Steve would always break the norm of Cross Country mentality,and get crazy.The potatoe would come back from the sign and hit him right in the forehead!Loved his laugh!Hangin' with the downhiller's as a cross country rider was taboo.Steve would let it hang out,just trying crazy stuff! I went to visit this past winter.He gave me a poster of Steve Larsen Realty for my garage.We would kid I was gonna take his many signs ,and put them on random houses.He would laugh and say,"Salami!!!" I had heard that for over a decade.Steve would make the level,and tape measure a commonality,much to our surprise.We would call him road geek,for fun,but be amazed at his perfectionist ways.
Being able to visit in Davis in 2000, and bring Ernesto Fonseca to test with Max was Steve's way of helping other athlete's.Steve, when you met me on the Interstate 5 that day and drove forever to meet me.You and I will never forget! I will miss "The Mountain Cat!" The man who made me a great Soigneur!Because he cared!Steve your inspiration is still with me.THANK YOU!
Salami - Jun 6, 2009
I crossed paths with Steve a few times over the years around the Palo Alto area. Always cheerful, an open and friendly guy. My favorite memory of him is sharing a bleacher at a Stanford basketball game. He had a real appreciation for the efforts of other people, and a generous soul.

Dave Ross
Portola Valley, CA
Dave Ross - Jun 4, 2009
2003--my first pro race (and only pro season), Ironman New Zealand. Steve started next to me in the cold Lake Taupo. We exchanged elbows fighting for air among the flailing arms & feet. We swam side by side until the turn around. He put a little time on me before the end of the swim, not much. But this "machine" put another 50 minutes on me between then & the rest of the race. This is one guy that had the motor, and the butt-whooping ability to hand most people their rear end back to them on race day. Best wishes to Steve's family in this time of need. To his kids...follow the path and make your dad proud, be strong & unwaivering in your search to be successful--he'd want that for you.
Kevin Konczak - Jun 3, 2009
I always followed Steve's incredible journey through amateur and professional sports via the racing news scene. I was not a racer, just a voyeur, admiring from the distance. Steve and I went to elementary school, junior high and high school together. Although our paths crossed rarely, I always found him interesting. Quiet at times, unbelievably focused and driven, and a smile that put people at ease.

In high school I had the privilege of getting to know his wife Carrie. We sat next to each other in Mrs. Studer's chemistry class when I was a senior and she was a junior. Yes, she was a very smart lady! An awesome athlete in her own right (I believe receiving a volleyball scholarship to Stanford?). I knew in high school that Carrie would be a very successful "class act", no matter the path she chose.

The Larsen's love and dedication to each other and their children is awe inspiring. Steve's passing is a great equalizer. Reminding us of life's precious moments and encouraging us to dig deep and aim high.

My heart is heavy and sending my deepest condolences to the Larsen family.
Amber Fitzsimmons - Jun 2, 2009
My heart breaks for all of the moments in his childrens' and wife's lives that he will miss. I understand he was a great competitor and his loss will be felt there, but it is all those family moments, small and large, that have the most meaning. May it be some small consolation to know that so many held him in such admiration first and foremst for the person he was and then for the athlete.
Doug Robinson - Jun 2, 2009
Invariably cyclists assess the other riders before a group ride. I was always stoked when Steve showed up for rides in Bend, because ultimately the ride, and my ride, would be defined by his formidable abilities and competitive spirit. It was simply a privilege to ride with him.
Though serious on group rides, he always found the time and class to congratulate others - including my wife - for their (athletic) performances.
Well, back at you Steve. Congratulations and thanks to Carrie for being a great wife and mother! For if it were not for you, countless athletes would not have reaped the benefits from working out or racing with Steve. And thank you Amalia, Massimo, Bunnar, Marco and Matteo for sharing your father with us.
And thank you Steve!
Robert Sheasby - Jun 2, 2009
On the MTB side of things, I did not know Steve well when he first came around...I was too wrapped up in gravity events. But I knew of him, knew of his incredible talent (first time I really watched him was an XC in vermont, he was so hungry for victory)...I would see Steve in the pits and he just seemed like a happy guy. Then in 1999 in sweden he stayed next door to my wife and I at the same hotel, we had meals with Steve and got to know him-so glad we did, what a neat guy.

We came to bend a couple of years ago and Steve was out of town, we were so bummed we did not get a chance to catch up with him, then to hear this news, man, not right. I Ieft the bike scene years ago and went to the fontana mtb race this year to say hi and show my 3 yr old daughter what "mommy and daddy' used to do and a couple days later my friend Iron told me Larsen was at fontana and I was so bummed I missed him again.

Great man that Steve Larsen, he will be missed even by those of us that did not get to see him often.

Healing thoughts to your family and kids.
Stikman - Jun 2, 2009
I never personally knew Steve-- I listened to interviews with Steve, went to UC Davis, shopped at Wheelworks, and had endurance sports in common. To Steve's family-- I was inspired by the words and commitment that he had for his wife and children. He will be my inspiration for the rest of my life on how to put family first. I'm so sorry for your loss-- having a father that died when I was 20 years old helps me understand how you guys are feeling. I wish you guys the best as you guys journey through these rough times.
Matt Lucero - Jun 1, 2009
keep on flight brother!
Roberto - Jun 1, 2009
the echo of Steve's death has reached also Italy where he lived at the beginning of his roadie career. I still remember when we sat on a bench in front of the lake Como and I taught him Italian, he was so involved in learning everything of the place where he lived! naturally we couldn't do without getting friends, and so with his wife. After they moved back to the U.S. we had the chance to meet again, everytime he was in Europe we found the time and the way to meet.
So it looks to me, I have lost a member of the family. It's a great loss, I hug Carrie and the kids and I know he'll help them pass through this hard time.
Simonetta and family - Italy
Simonetta - Jun 1, 2009
The news of Steve's death hit me very hard. My deepest condolences go out Steve's family and friends. I first met Steve at the Olympic Training Center in 1988. Just a year older than me, he seemed light years ahead in ability and maturity. I watched him ride away from all of us so many times that I assumed he was like a lot of the other top junior riders -- full of himself. So it was a huge and pleasant surprise when we rode together on a composite team at the Washington Trust Cycling Classic in Spokane, Washington, in 1990. Steve was kind and unassuming. And I remember thinking that he gave the lie to the idea that being a top athlete meant being a prima donna. The next summer I saw him finish second to Lance Armstrong at the national road championships in Park City, Utah, and I will always remember how gracious he was when interviewed by the announcer. As I moved away from cycling, I continued to follow Steve's career with interest and admiration, always remembering the lesson that he had taught me so many years before: it is possible to be great and good at the same time.
Jacob Hacker - Jun 1, 2009
I can remember racing against Steve as a junior throughout CA in the mid-late 80's. What a competitor. When he showed up, thus began the the race for 2nd for the stronger riders, and for pack fodder like me, it was a race against getting lapped or pulled due to time cuts.

Funniest part was, he would often follow up the junior races with riding in the senior categories, winning or placing there too. Unreal. I vaguely recall him doing just such a thing 1 year ('88?) in the CA district RR champs up in Bakersfield, beating the likes of top national-caliber riders (pro or semi-pro) AFTER winning the junior field earlier in the morning.

It was inspirational to watch his professional athletic career develop over the years. At the top in road, mountain, and triathlon. What a talent.

Heartfelt condolences go out to his family & close friends. Steve was a treasure and you can be proud to have called him dad, husband, or friend.
JM - Jun 1, 2009
For how high profile Steve always was he was amazingly low profile in attitude. I always thought how it was so cool how "mellow" Steve was despite the fact at any given race he could be "the Man". That was inspiring. Why not be an awesome person AND an awesome and awe inspiring athlete?

In the past couple of years Steve really showed that he raced because he loved it, still had the motivation to get better and wanted to be a great role model for his kids. The fact he was at Sea Otter with Massimo talking all about his son's win was really, really genuine and real. Proud Papa. Obviously a family with good genes as well.

Ross and I always though very highly of Steve. He always encouraged me to throw down, whether it was XTERRA or my very first half Ironman. As a fellow pro I always thought it was nice to see one of the pro men who had the potential to have the largest ego actually display the smallest. He was really, really, a cool guy.

The last time we saw Steve he looked to be in the finest form of his life. A life well lived and one that all of us can be stoked to have shared even a small part of it.

Our best to your family and a bright and happier future I am sure is still ahead with good memories to share.
Melanie McQuaid - May 30, 2009
My early memories of Steve were his Junior Racing participation at the Mammouth Cycling Classic stage race in the late eighties. My son was also a junior racer at that time, and remember the superior talent that Steve displayed. His progress up the cycling ladder in road racing, then the transition to a mountain biking career are well documented.

What seems more important to receognize is that Steve excelled by his talent, hard work and focus. Above all of that he was a great role model and inspiration to others.

If we recognize these great attributes, the bigger picture should reveal that Steve Larsen was a great human being that exbibited a humble and kind manner, and great love for his family. WINNING IS NOT THE MOST IMPORTANT....BUT, LIVING A QUALITY LIFE IS !!

The world is a better place because Steve has touched it!

Our prayers and thoughts are with his family.

Joe Manville
Joe Manville - May 30, 2009
I raced as a Junior roadie in California in the mid eighties, and there were two other Junior cyclists whose talent put them on another planet, and were idolized by the rest of us mortals; Lance Armstrong, and Steve Larsen.

When Steve showed up to the starting line as a Junior (riding for PDM!, no less), it was common to see him sit in for one lap, and then literally pull straight off the front, nobody able to keep his wheel, and lapping the field to win. His talent was beyond his years, and it sent a buzz of adrenaline through the pack just to get to race next to him for half a lap before he slammed everyone into submission.

I never knew him personally, but shooting pool with him at our condo in Mammoth during the Whiskey Creek Stage race, he seemed like a quiet and humble guy, with a tremendous focus. It was an honor to witness that part of his life.

God Bless Him, and God Bless his Family.
Scott Manville - May 30, 2009
I had the very great fortune of meeting Steve back at IM CA. From time to time he we traded emails. He took time to inspire the average age grouper, that made him a cut above the rest. RIP Steve Larsen, you will be missed dearly.
Bud LaCombe - May 30, 2009
I have not seen steve in years. maybe 20 or so. We use to race as intermediates at the age of 14. In 1984 steve beet me in the nationals in Milwakee, wisconson by a couple of wheels. I was second. Steve never looked back. Always a tough competitor and a good friend. I am sad to see you go and not catch up with you on facebook, like i have with some many other old friends. I wish you well where ever you go and I wish you family my condolences. Neal Fraser ( lost by a wheel in 1984 to the great Steve Larson)
Neal Fraser - May 29, 2009
I am from Brazil and, as an Xterra athlete, was always inspired by Steve and his gutsy performances. That shows how wide was his influence in the sports community. It is hard to believe that he is gone, but the spirit he worked so hard to develop will still guide us though the rocky patches.
Gustavo Ayres Netto - May 29, 2009
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