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The "Legend" unexpectedly passed away yesterday in the middle of a ride on Grand Ridge yesterday whilst accompanied by his close friend Art Tuftee.

More recent converts to our great sport may know Len from his vigorous and consistent sawing activities. Him and Pete Partel and others spent last winter clearing the route for Predator, and you may have seen his posts recently about all the great work they have been doing on the new Ollalie route. In addition, for the last 5+ years he has been the principal agent in clearing deadfall off many of our favorite backcountry trails each Spring with particular emphasis on Greenwater and the Middle Fork. In the past year he was instrumental in certifying Evergreen members in sawing and standing up an ongoing certification process.

Enormous contributions to trailwork and access, but the last 5 years only scratches the surface of his part of NW mountain biking.
Len was an early board member of BBTC. He was one of the first to help construct the first BBTC website. He was deeply involved in saving the Middle Fork and getting Ollalie on the map.

He was the first person I knew (talking about the early 90's) who was getting out the map and putting together true epic rides - He was the one that introduced us to Goat Mt, Strawberry Ridge, and even much of the Greenwater trails. My other nickname for him was "The Slogfather" because he was the guy who introduced many of us to 6+ hour rides, and campouts, and weekend destination riding - that is, real mountain biking.

But Len was so much bigger than just his contributions to PNW mountain biking.

It sounds trite and you often hear people speak well of the dead, but I am telling you now that Len was absolutely the most positive and happy person I ever knew. When you were with him, he made you feel like you were his best friend. I literally never saw him angry, and the closest emotion I could ever ascribe to him like "depressed" would be when he felt a certain frustration over some interpersonal situation. He was a one man ambassador for the sheer joy of mountain biking. Or sawing. By which I mean, life !

One of my favorite Len stories was a St. Helen's campout in the late 90's. We were on the first day of a multi-day riding trip and slogging up some sandy horse chunder ditch. I was like, "screw this I"m saving my legs for the rest of the week". And Len came plowing by me churning up this crap trail. I was like "whatever, burn yourself out". Then another pitch, and the same thing, Len comes churning by me while I'm walking. The 3rd or 4th time, I'm like screw this, and I start pedalling and chasing him. We spent the whole week challenging each other up EVERY slope and by the end of the week we were unstoppable. To this day I say that is the week when I truly learned to climb and fell in love with that aspect of the sport.

Regardless of that story, Len was not a competitive guy, he had the same damn grin on his face whether he was leading or lagging.

It was fortunate the a pre-planned party of many of Len's friends occurred tonight, the same night many of us heard the news, or I would be truly distraught at this moment. I lost a father and a father-in-law in the last year, but Len is the first loss of a contemporary that has made me weep. I bemoan not just the loss today, but the loss of so many future good rides.

Len is 2nd from the right in the photo below (this is on Noble Knob). I found I only had this one photo of him. If anyone has other photos or memories, please post them up I would like to see them and save off as many as I could.

Because of his early involvement in PNW mountain biking, because of his contributions to the club and to the trails, and because he touched so many members of the PNW mountain bike community, and because it was alliterative, his nickname was already "The Legend". Now that he has passed he truly has become - The Legend.

Tomorrow is promised to no one, so enjoy every minute of the worst moment of the worst ride.

Sky Soil People in nature Travel Wilderness
 

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I never met Len, but I Positive Rep'd him one time telling him how much I appreciated what he did for the community, and act that now feels grossly inadequate. I was on Grand Ridge yesterday, and stopped to cut back what was left of a downed tree someone had partially cleared. Contributing in that small way is due to the inspiration I have gotten from Len and others I know that contribute. While doing the work, I was thinking about Len and the others that have inspired me. Condolences to those that knew him, and RIP Len.
 

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Thank you Preston for posting that great story of earlier days with Len. I have a shot here of him doing one of the many things he did best: Sawing. This isn't the impressive stuff of the 410 or anything like that, but represents him getting out and helping clear trails after every windstorm on our local trails. This is out at Tolt on June 2, 2014: Human Natural environment Forest Tree Woody plant

It must be roughly the same vintage as Preston's photo, as it looks like the same shirt to me!

Len, you'll be missed, but we'll carry on!
 

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God's speed Len

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#1 resolution... Ride it like I stole it!!
 

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Len made one feel always welcomed and was fun to be spend time with...his riding, his sawing, and his personality. Len and I rode together just a couple times but he did get me into the chain saw world of trail workings around 2013. Within a couple hours of clearing blowdowns...he had me convinced I could clear anything with a chainsaw. I ended up buying my first chainsaw and gear from him.

Len...I will miss you. RIP...

Cheers,
Mike
 

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Wood Soil Helmet Saw Tool
Natural environment Forest Outdoor recreation Old-growth forest Woodland
Natural environment Forest Old-growth forest Terrestrial plant Nature reserve
So sad to lose one of the finest people you would ever meet. Since we lived on opposite sides of the Cascade Curtain, I never got the chance to work with him as often as I would have liked, but we stayed in contact and he would always throw out an irresistable invite to a work party that involved sawing big logs or tough situations. Last year we worked together as he was developing the Evergreen Saw Certification Program (which will be his legacy) and he came over and helped me saw lumber for the bridges at Squilchuck State Park. I will never forget the Easter Sunday that a bunch of us headed up Tiger Mountain to buck out some big, tangled blowdown on Silent Swamp. We had a blast clearing the corridor and splashing some rotten snags along the way, what a fun day. Thanks Len for the memories, you won't be forgotten by this old wood rat.
 

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This still sickens me. On one of our recent convos, Len and I were discussing (among many different things) the awesome future for I-90 corridor biking. As we drank our beers, we talked about how cool it will be to eventually hook all the way up from Tiger to Hansen Ridge; he said he hoped he'd still be in riding shape to enjoy it 10 years or whatever down the road. I laughed. It was a ridiculous comment. That man was a freight train and I knew full well nothing would ever slow him down. I used laugh everytime we hit Middle Fork for the trip up to Dutch Miller and back; there I'd be with loads of Gu's and bars, sandwhiches and Gatorade, and there he'd be with a snickers and a 24oz bottle. He was built of something most people only dream of.

Another trip on Len's favorite Middle Fork, we had just reached the top drop in by DM, and there sat two day hikers who had come from Alpental. They'd taken a wrong turn at Goldmeyer and were now 14 miles from their waiting car at the MF trailhead, and late in the afternoon. They asked if we could give their loved ones a call once we got back to coverage and let them know how late they'd be. Well, that didn't sit well with Len at all... He knew they were tired and overextended. He told them to get the few miles down to Dingford and he'd pick them up there. We did the top section of the trail and then Len peeled off out onto the road just so he could get back to his jeep faster, completely foregoing the payout for grinding up all the way up to Dutch Miller. He picked them up and shaved hours off their debacle. That was Len. I've never met a person more kind, or more willing to help you out.

I have so many more thoughts, but for now, here are some pics of some of the wonderful memories I have with The Legend.











































RIP Len.
 

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I met Len twice at the _same_ spot on the singletrack just above Goldmyer, and once on the opposite side on the road. Once each year, I was going up, and he was coming down clearing the trail. On the road, he showed me a huge tree had come down the ravine and lodged itself into some boulders. I didn't recognize Len that time at first, but he knew immediately who I was. Smiling and cheerful.

He was an instant kindred spirit and I always wanted to work with him. Maybe later - I was thinking and missed out. Thank you, Preston, for the well-written eulogy, and everyone for your stories and pictures.

I'll be thinking of Len when I stop to do some trail work on backcountry rides.
 

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Carpe Limitem!
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Len was quite simply the nicest guy I ever had the privilege to ride with. Preston and I were on one of his famous 5-day marathons at St. Helens in the 90s and on numerous mind-numbing climbs the smile never left his face. I did not come equipped for "dry camping" and Len was quick to help me out with the stuff I was missing including cooking me a hamburger for my birthday dinner one night. Just a small example of his endless willingness to give freely and with grace. Rest well, Len.
 

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Yebo Numzaan
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What I would give to spend one more afternoon with Len. Such a mentor and inspiration since meeting him when I first moved to WA.

As mentioned previously Lenny along with the other BBTC legends taught many of us how to suffer on a mountain bike. This photo was from one of those epic St Helens trips with the crew...Lenny on the right.

Bicycle tire Tire Wheel Bicycle wheel rim Bicycle wheel


I will cherish so many good memories...including some good times in Golden CO when we were both there for work. One was how he coaxed me up the trail (and then down) after a rattlesnake had crossed in front of him on the climb.

Damn...I already miss his infectious smile every time I would bump into him on a trail.

LEGEND!

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I first met "The Legend" about 8 years ago. I was serving on the Evergreen BOD when Len came to a board meeting to talk to the board about some topic that he was passionate about. While the topic of that talk is long forgotten I will never forget Len's passion.

We shared an enthusiasm for trailwork and it was my privilege to work side-by-side with him at Paradise, the Middle Fork and Ollalie where I experienced his knowledge his passion and his humor. I'll never forget some of our first workparties together - Len generously came out and shared his time and talents with the Paradise Valley trail crew one winter as we rebuilt the Red Alder trail. There was this one corner that was just nasty - wet, mucky and had a weird camber. We fixed it and moved down the trail but Len was just not quite happy with the fix. We kept telling him it was good enough but Len would not let that corner go. Over the next couple of week Len re-built that corner at least three times before he finally called it good. I still smile every time I ride past that spot thinking about Len digging, filling and pushing big rocks around while covered in mud. To me that corner represents all that is good about Len - his generosity, the endless enthusiasm, his passion for doing it right and his tenacity to get the job done.

This was a good man who made an impact and left a legacy. My condolences to his family. You were taken too soon Len and you'll be missed. I hope to dig with you again in the next place, wherever that is.
 

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I never knew who Len was and strangely on a trip to Scotland a few years ago, there was another Washington native in the group. Turns out to be one of the nicest MTBRs I have ever met and so knowledgeable about the local trails. Len was a talented rider and after figuring out who he was, a truly generous person to the local trail community. I was fortunate to spend a week with him and hear some of his amazing stories. He'll be missed.
 

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What I would give to spend one more afternoon with Len.

Damn...I already miss his infectious smile every time I would bump into him on a trail.

LEGEND!
Absolutely agree. I've never known anyone with such enthusiasm for every activity and such a welcoming and friendly demeanor to everyone he met. I don't think it's really sunk in yet how much we're going to miss him.
 

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Justin Vander Pol
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Such a giant of mountain biking here in WA. This was before my time, but I'm told he started the Evergreen Boot Camps that became our huge rider education programs. There are hundreds of you out there that were introduced to riding because of him.

I love the guy, and his infectious smile will never be forgotten by me. I'm glad I had to honor to work with him on various trail related stuff over the last 15 years. From sawing to trail work to land manager meetings to lobby day, he was always there and always a joy to be around.

I want to see a trail named in his honor.
 
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