Two great friends have passed away last week.
Charles Hansen was the first friend I made in Boulder, Colorado. He raced with me in my early days, and we shared many rides, travels, meals, dance parties and stories over the years. Charley studied physics at the University of Colorado, often playing stump the professor. He went on to apply it in designing the finest digital audio gear, amps and digital players, when he founded Ayre Acoustics. Made in Boulder with all employees paid well with full health care benefits, Ayre was (and is) revolutionary in many ways. Charley could understand how chips and transistors would interact with each other, and how to clear out the clutter in recorded music and make the listening experience as similar to a live event as possible. He worked hard, and would put in all night work sessions, and then tell me it was easy compared to being in a stage race. In 2006 he was hit by an out of control motorcycle while riding his bike. He was paralyzed from the chest down and was rarely free of pain for the rest of his life. He kept working on developing music reproduction because he believed in how it helped people recognize how beautiful the world is the more we listened.
We also lost our friend Rich Roat. Rich found Steve Hampsten through our bike company, and we have been fast friends and collaborators ever since. Rich loved riding with is son and friends, and was revered in his field of typography and design. One of my designer friends paid him the ultimate compliment when I mentioned I knew him. “Wow, you know Rich Roat? I steal his stuff all the time.” We are continuously indebted to Rich and House Industries for their wonderful work. Rich Roat loved cycling and was able to put that feeling into the many cycling projects he designed. Look at Richard Sach’s designs and you will see his touch. He worked his magic on our Hampsten decals. Same with our Cinghiale logo, and the wonderful poster of the Gavia. Working with Rich was never anything short of the most joyful emails of the day.
So, farewell to our dear friends who put their humanistic instincts to great artistic use.