Chris Contreras, Rest In Peace...

Word is beginning to circulate that there was a tragic crash during today's CBR Memorial Day Criterium at Dominguez Hills. Velo Pasadena racer, Chris Contreras, passed away at hospital as a result of injuries suffered after hitting a light standard at full speed during the Pro race. When I hear more, I will let you know as appropriate. In the meantime I wish to express my condolences to Chris's family, friends, and teammates.

Christopher (Cono) Contreras with Nelson Vails and Nick Contreras (via Facebook)

I didn't know Christopher Contreras (aka Christopher Cono on Facebook), other than as one of the many who might flash past as I stood along the curb of some nondescript industrial park and attempted to take photos. I didn't know him as one of the competitors lined up next to me on the start line of some local small city downtown. But I did know Chris as a member of our relatively small Southern California racing community; or better yet, as one well-known racer said, one of our "racing family." This fact alone speaks of a certain level of passion for the activity - to step outside the bounds of comfort and toe the line against some of the regions', the states', the nations' best racers, with the very real spectre of failure, that you just will not match up, requires a heightened level of passion.

Chris Contreras, from what I hear and read, went beyond this by delving into the realm of race promotion and organizing. He was the face behind the popular Fortune 700 fixed-gear road races over the past couple years. I attended one of these at the Rose Bowl and blogged about it at the Claremont Cyclist. This fixed-gear road racing stuff was a new concept to me, but I could clearly see the thrill and excitement resonate through the gathered competitors and spectators, only now realizing that it was through the time-consuming efforts of Mr. Contreras that this outlet was made available - clear evidence of his heightened level of passion.

It is not a far leap to imagine that this passion was carried into his relationships with family and friends, to life in general. I am sure much more will be said and written about Christopher Contreras over the next number of days, and weeks; they will help those of us who did not know Chris on a personal level to understand who he was and what his life meant to those people who did know him. Feel free to leave your remembrances, however small you think they may be, here or at one of the many other places where Mr. Contreras is being remembered.

*** Just So You Know: Proceeds from the June 9 CBR race, the Kool & Fit Criterium at Costa Mesa, will be donated to the Contreras family. ***

*** Join the Thursday Rose Bowl Ride (30 May), look for the Velo Pasadena tent and buy a memorial teeshirt for a minimum $20.00 donation. Proceeds will go to the Contreras family. ***

*** an additional way to contribute has been established at the Chris Cono Memorial Fundraiser, at gofundme. ***

Some remembrances of Chris can be found at:
Kryxtanicole's Blog
Wolfpack Hustle