blue squirrel

after a self-imposed 20 year absence from cycling, the sport i love, i am back and dedicated to holding my own in the superfast 40+ catagory. this blog will tell the journey, the highs and the lows, the team [team becher+] and it's cast of characters, our sponsors, supporters, and other local riders that make it happen... [anonymous comments are lame, cowboy up and put a name or start a blog]

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Anyone with information about the incident can call (213) 847-4261.

[UPDATE 2010.03.19]
finally justice for my good friend chris and loving wife michele. we all miss you chris, you can't be replaced.   READ HERE

[UPDATE 2008.02.01]
Random violence kills a man who saved lives
L.A. police have a suspect, but they have no idea why anyone would have killed Christopher O'Leary.
article LA times

[UPDATE 2008.01.30]
from the LA times

Christopher O'Leary, 34, a white man, was fatally shot near the intersection of Lincoln Avenue and Avenue 46 in Highland Park on Sunday, Jan. 20. O'Leary was on his way to the store when a man or youth approached him and shot him. A passerby discovered the body and reported it to police. The motive is still unclear, said homicide Det. Lewis Lenchuk of LAPD's Northeast Division. O'Leary was transported to Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena, where he was pronounced dead at 9:11 p.m.

O'Leary was an employee at the Department of Public Health in the Sexually Transmitted Disease Prevention Program. Having a doctorate in medical anthropology, O'Leary assisted in launching two STD prevention campaigns, according to Harlan Ortabalatt, a colleague. The first, "Check Yourself," was aimed at preventing the spread of syphilis among gay men. The second, "I Know," attempted to prevent the spread of chlamydia and gonorrhea among women of color. He was scheduled to give a presentation about the campaigns at the National STD Prevention Conference in Chicago and the International AIDS Prevention Conference in Mexico City later this year.

Those who knew and worked with O'Leary described him as an astute and vibrant person. "He would make you come alive," Ortabalatt said. "It would heighten your level about life." Unanimously, friends and colleagues have taken comfort in the idea that O'Leary was his usual self that Sunday; he was happy and enjoying life. Read O'Leary's obituary in the Sacramento Bee for more. Anyone with information about the incident can call (213) 847-4261.

[UPDATE 2008.01.30]
from the sacramento bee

O'LEARY, Christopher M.
Born on June 1, 1973, and taken from us tragically on January 20, 2008. Survived by his wife, Michele Rose O'Leary, mother Regina Cresci Southard, stepfather Michael J. Southard, father Michael I. O'Leary, brother, Sean M. Southard, sister, Catherine C. Southard, aunts, Catherine and Maureen, friend, Helen Degen, grandparents, Gerald and Nellie Cresci, uncles, Rob Burness, Damien and aunt Susan, Guy, and Gerry Cresci, and his beautiful dogs, Flora and Spike. Christopher was a National Merit Honor Student, who graduated Suma Cum Laude (1995) in Anthropology from UCLA, completed his PhD from the University of Michigan (2002) in Medical Anthropology and thereafter pursued his passion for public health advocacy as a GS14 government employee for the federal Center for Disease Control to the date of his death. In addition to his tremendous talent and work ethic, Christopher, fluent in four languages, loved traveling, running, cooking, arts, and being around the house with his wife and animals. His loss is greatly felt but his love and enthusiasm for life will be remembered by all. A memorial to celebrate Christopher's life will take place on Saturday, Jan. 26 at 10am, at St. Philomene's Church, 2428 Bell St., Sacramento. Remembrances can be made to Sacramento SPCA, Sacramento Children's Receiving Home or Sund/Carrington.

UPDATE 2008.01.30
memorial / service for chris will be saturday feb 2 at 1pm.
location: hollywood forever cemetery, 6000 santa monica blvd., hollywood, ca 90038
after the service there will be light refreshments at chris and michele's house [call or email michele for info].

[original entry]
i am sorry to relay the tragic news that one of my best friends, dr. christopher o'leary phd., was killed this past sunday in a senseless act of violence, in los angeles. i don't have many details and i am still in a bit of shock [denial] over the whole thing. i received an email earlier this morning from his sister relaying the news. we had just had dinner with chris and his lovely wife michele on saturday night. they had bought and moved into a home in the eagle rock / occidental college area [the house use to belong to the college and was used by the dean], and it was our first visit to see the house and we all walked down to a new restaurant / bar in the neighborhood for dinner. i was impressed with the number of new art galleries, restaurants, cafes, bars in that part of eagle rock [eagle rock blvd.], as i am usually in carb deficit while suffering home with my head down, from a hard training ride. the neighborhood was always known as rough and had a bit of gang activity over the years.

chris worked for the CDC in los angeles and had traveled, worked and done research in remote areas around the world. chris was one of those guys you always wanted to hang around with and was also a huge dodgers fan like me. he and michele were my neighbors for a while and we would always meet up in some local dive bar for a few rounds and a few good laughs. our 4 dogs would raise hell in the neighborhood together and berlin [my little killa] has a soft spot for chris's dog spike. she would always let spike know that she was in charge and take him down and stand on top of him. chris and i also shared a fondness for hot peppers and his habanero plant is still growing in my court yard, a constant reminder of what a cool guy chris was. i will never forget the time he invited me to dine with him at the professors club at cal tech, while he was teaching there, nor any of the great cards he and michele would send when one of my dogs was sick.

chris will be missed by more people than i know and i surely will miss his wacky diatribe and laugh. chris did so many good things for mankind, it is tragic to know that one of mankind's weakest links took his life. this glass of chimay is for you my friend.

chris leaves behind his wife and friend michele, flor and spike.

[michele, chris's wife, wacky in her own right]

[chris and me hanging, chris is the good looking chap on the left]

[chris hamming it up]

[you know who]

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Monday, January 21, 2008


[the following is an excerpt from a good interview on velonews w/ floyd landis, he basicly says what i was trying to say a while back about rules, "if you have rules, enforce them, don't make them up as you go along or ignore them when they aren't convenient" he also makes good points about rock racing [hard for me to admit[, and who represents the cyclist [it should be our olympic committee, usacyling, but it is not]

NR: You don't think there can be a bottoming out, a purging of the old mentality and a new beginning?

FL: That's not what I am saying. That's fair. I'm not saying there can't be less crime because the rules are enforced in a better way. All I am saying is that there is always going to be the argument that our team is clean, so we don't have to focus on winning. And that always accuses everyone else, and it's always ambiguous, it's always vague, and you never really know. Cycling is a very small version of the way the country works - you have rules, you have a government, you have people enforcing them, you have a police force.

It's a good system, but everyone has to follow the rules. Everyone. The cyclists, the police (in this case USADA), the government (in this case USA Cycling), everybody has to adhere to the same standard. You can't say, well because we had a bunch of cheating before, let's just convict everyone and clean this thing out. That's no way to fix anything. That will never work. First of all it's an irrational way to deal with it. It is completely nonsensical if you talk to anyone in the real world, they'll say that can't possibly be the way things are supposed to be. You have to have a set of rules, and the people enforcing the rules and the people following the rules all have to follow them. Of course, I'm not saying it's going to be perfect. Sometimes an innocent guy is going to be convicted, sometimes the guilty guy is going to be exonerated, but you have to make sure that both sides follow the rules to the same standard. You can't just say, well, we just know everyone is cheating so f--k it, we're just going to do what we want because we don't care.