The Seattle International Randonneurs lost a friend in July when member Steve Hameister suffered a heart attack during the July 28 300km. Efforts to revive him at the scene and in the hospital were unsuccessful.
Steve started riding with SIR in 2005. Never one of the fastest riders, he was always one of the most determined. He rode his first full series with us last year, combining it with rides in CA and OR for a RUSA 2000km award. This year he rode a difficult 1000km in poor conditions as part of his training for Paris-Brest-Paris. I supported that ride; Steve was matter-of-fact about the challenges and determined always to finish, which he did—one of six (of eleven starters) who finished that weekend. He came in wet, happy, tired, and proud.
Steve gave back to the club as well. For a 400km in June, I needed a volunteer to sit at the top of Stevens Pass all night to man a control. When I put out a last-minute request for help, Steve was the first to respond. Manning a post over 100 miles from home, Steve was a welcome sight to the riders at the end of a difficult climb.
Paris-Brest-Paris was on his agenda. He was there in our thoughts and memories.
A letter from Anita Hameister
July 31, 2007
The farewell took place tonight for all family. It is yet so surreal. I went thru his belongings and saw his passion yet again.
Steven drank in nature, didn't enjoy loud machines. Sailing, biking, hiking...never snow mobiles, power boats......He didn't get it why someone wanted to disturb the amazing sound of the natural world. He told me to try to imagine riding in the middle of the night in silence. Watching stars when the road felt safe to look away. He said the stars were intoxicating. Oh, and seeing eagles and hawks soaring, wow.
He only called me once when he said he was in Aberdeen and felt he couldn't finish, needing me to come get him. Next morning he was chipper and had finished. He felt good about his personal best. The journey and completion was his deal.
His journey in this place of time and space were authentic. He felt a kinship with all riders. Raw effort, compassion for the struggle I believe kept him in the sport . His competition was with himself.
I thank you all for being part of his joy. I am sad to lose such an amazing man. He was a good Husband, Father, Grandfather...he was gentle and caring in a very deep way.
If any pictures of him are floating around in the past rides, please forward them.
With gratitude to all, RUSA........ Keep it up. There are lots of guys you make a difference to.