Ryan Suenega: Farewell

04.25.2011 | 4:33 pm

201104251604.jpg This morning, Team Fatty-Philly Co-Captain Jen Yuan (Philly Jen) emailed me, saying one of the most-loved members of Team Fatty — Ryan Suenega — has passed away while hiking a treacherous trail in Hawaii.

Jen reminded me that Ryan was instrumental in the success of Team Fatty-Philly last year. Other people have emailed me as well, expressing sadness at Ryan’s loss. Kelly K put it really well:

I knew him only a little bit from Philly, and since then through Facebook, but his kindness, generosity, good humor and his gentle spirit are all reflected in the remembrances on his FB page. Team Fatty lost a good one.

A friend of Ryan’s has posted a blog entry with a little bit more about what happened, and what a remarkable person he was.

For myself, I appreciate that Ryan spent his life having fun and helping others. And he died in context of the way he lived. I can’t help but admire that.

Team Fatty’s thoughts and prayers are with Ryan’s family and friends. We’re going to miss him.


  1. Comment by cece | 04.25.2011 | 4:46 pm

    I never met Ryan, but reading about him made me wish I had. Blessings to his family and friends.

  2. Comment by Carl | 04.25.2011 | 4:57 pm

    I am in shock. As one of Ryan’s Team Philly friends, I can’t believe he is gone. He was such a nice guy. It was such an honor taking him and Tommy for “water ice.”

  3. Comment by Clydesteve | 04.25.2011 | 5:03 pm

    Mahalo, Ryan

  4. Comment by Ashley | 04.25.2011 | 5:10 pm

    RIP Ryan :( We’ll miss you in Philly.

    Fatty, also note, I believe Ryan’s mother was diagnosed with cancer recently. We’re working on figuring out a way to give back to his family. I’ll be riding for them both, that’s for sure.

  5. Comment by Philly Jen | 04.25.2011 | 5:22 pm

    I was simply crushed to learn this morning of Ryan’s passing. My heart goes out to his many friends and to his family — especially his mother, who is another warrior with us in the same fight that brought Ryan’s Team Fatty family together. He was so loved, and will be much missed.

    (We’ll be thinking of during the Broad Street Run on Sunday, Ryan. And when I fall asleep in my race gear the night before, I know your spirit will be there to laugh at me in my dreams.)

    “One of the illusions is that the present hour is not the critical, decisive hour. Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.” — Emerson

  6. Comment by Doug (Way upstate NY) | 04.25.2011 | 5:36 pm

    I was really bummed this morning when I heard about Ryan. We met last year for the first time in Philly. We shared some burgers (and cake) at the Fatty Picnic and dinner Sunday night after the ride. I can’t say that knew Ryan really well. So it struck me as a little strange that I felt so bummed. I went riding at lunch today because I needed to get out and away from people for a while (for a lot of reasons). And while I was riding I thought.

    Philly Jen said it really well in the LS Philly video last year. “It takes a great leap of faith to embark on such an ambitious endeavor with strangers.” That leap makes us a community. We share good times and we share challenging times. We can be apart most of the time but come together as a group when we have the opportunity.

    Ryan, I will be thinking about you when I ride in Sacramento and when I am riding 100 miles in a short boring loop. Peace.

  7. Comment by Joel P. | 04.25.2011 | 5:40 pm

    So I only spent part of two days with Ryan in Philly last August but he had part of my heart and became one of my heroes. That says a lot about him. RIP Ryan you will be missed.
    Joel P.

  8. Comment by Erin | 04.25.2011 | 5:43 pm

    Oh, terrible news. Rest easy, friend.

  9. Comment by Maggi | 04.25.2011 | 5:48 pm

    Getting to know Ryan has been one of the highlights of the LiveStrong experience for me. Not only did we immediately become friends upon our first face-to-face meeting, but it was a friendship that continued since then via Twitter, Facebook, his blog, LJ and e-mail. He was prolific in his posting and writing, and even moreso in his support and encouragement of all of his friends.

    I ended up leaving work today, with the intent of just going home, but ended up detouring to a good place to ride instead. I could hear his voice in the back of my head, reminding me that I was JUST saying I needed to get more miles, chiding me for the very idea of giving up such a gorgeous afternoon, a day made for riding.

    I will be thinking of him this week, during the Broad Street Run; I will be thinking of him the week after, when I tackle the Quad County Metric (on some of the same roads we use for LiveStrong Challenge), and I know that I will be thinking of him for a long time to come.

    Aloha, Ryan, and mahalo. Go with speed, go with love.

  10. Comment by NYCCarlos | 04.25.2011 | 5:52 pm

    Farewell indeed. Ryan, you will be sorely missed.

  11. Comment by Penina | 04.25.2011 | 7:04 pm

    Mahalo to a real mensch.

  12. Comment by Paula | 04.25.2011 | 7:44 pm

    So glad to see Team Fatty take a moment for our Twitterlulu Braddah and shining star, Ryan Suenaga, aka, @rsuenaga. It was an honor to help sponsor his Philly @Livestrong trip last year. He loved it! He loved meeting all of you and making great friends.

  13. Comment by zac_in_ak | 04.25.2011 | 9:41 pm

    RIP Ryan I only knew him from twitter but we shared a bond of Aloha (my home) and bikes in common.Sad to see you go. Sadly His mother & aunt are suffering health issues so for his family my prayers….

  14. Comment by Jenni | 04.26.2011 | 6:53 am

    The shock is still with me. I can’t say I knew Ryan well in person, but he was one of those people that you just felt you knew forever. To make an initial friendship was to make a lasting friendship.

    My heart breaks for his family, already experiencing so much sadness and tragedy. If anyone is reading this, please know you have prayers coming from far away.

    I took a ride too yesterday, I hammered and I soared, and I’m grateful to Ryan for giving me that and reminding me how precious life is. So so sad to say goodbye.

  15. Comment by Debi | 04.26.2011 | 7:08 am

    Although, I don’t know Ryan, I understand this was a tragic loss to Team Fatty and the world in general. I will say a prayer for his family.

  16. Comment by Cheryl | 04.26.2011 | 9:20 am

    Ryan had such a great spirit. He was a typical member of Team Fatty – someone you just met but yet you’ve felt like you’ve known them forever and someone you will never forget. Such an inspiration. I loved reading his facebook accounts of his training and running the Honolulu marathon this past year.

    We will all miss Ryan. My condolences to Ryan’s family and all of his friends.

  17. Comment by NancyP | 04.26.2011 | 12:09 pm

    I remember meeting Ryan in Valley Forge during the 2010 LS Challenge as a bunch of huddled under a tent during a downpour – he was full of energy and excited about being in Philly for the ride, despite the rain. It sounds like his life, the way he lived life was a wonderful mixture of curiosity, compassion and engagement with a good dose of frankness thrown in to keep things real – a lovely way to be.

    May he rest in peace and may his family find peace and strength now and in the days to come.

  18. Comment by Mike Roadie | 05.1.2011 | 7:20 am

    Aloha, Ryan. Rest in Peace. Mahalo for your contributions to Team Fatty and the world.
    We are worse off without him, and a better place because of him. Aloha…..

  19. Pingback by Fat Cyclist » Blog Archive » 100MoN Race Report #15: Team Fatty at the NYC “Velodrone” | 06.22.2011 | 6:54 am

    [...] (Serious aside: that’s Joel sporting board shorts in memory of our beloved team member, Ryan) [...]


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