BMX Community Mourns John Kovachi

October 19, 2011 by  

Cycling World Mourns John Kovachi

Some terrible news this morning out of Atlanta. Long time wheelbuilder, and BMX Industry friend John Kovachi has died at an Atlanta-area hospital. He was 46.

Going up to bed last night, my final thoughts of the evening were of John. Lyn and I knew he was in very serious condition…but also knew he had faced health challenges before, and had come out stronger than ever (John was a heart transplant recipient, more than a decade ago). It is chilling to now know that, as hopeful thought and prayers for John’s recovery were our focus here in Chicago, a timezone away, in Atlanta, he was likely in his final minutes on Earth.

I reached out to John’s brother, David, to express our condolences, and to offer our help in getting the family’s statement out to Johns thousands of fans in the BMX community–really the cycling community, in general.

The outpouring of condolences and messages of love and support from the BMX community has been immediate and massive, with thousands of facebook messages and tweets hitting the Internet before daylight.

We last saw John at the NBL Grand Nationals, barely 30 days ago. In times like these, you always find yourself saying “If only I’d have known it would be our last meeting.” A good lesson in there.

Kovachi Wheels, the company John founded in 1989, was the most respected company of its kind in our industry, and anyone who ever did business with him would agree that he was always there, as a member of the behind-the-scenes pit crew that made our fastest, and most promising athletes more than they could ever be without his help. We’re all fifth in the semi today, without John’s presence.

UPDATE: 4:53PM EDT: Doran Bradshaw posted the following on his facebook page:
Visitation will be held Thursday at Carmichael Funeral Home in Marietta from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. A Funeral Mass will follow at Transfiguration Catholic Church on Blackwell Road in Marietta Friday at 3 p.m.

There will also be a graveside service Thursday Oct. 27th at 2pm at Kennesaw Memorial Park for those that will be out of town this weekend.

We will be bringing you more on this deeply-loved member of our community later today. But as I sign off this piece, one of my favorite songs of all time comes to mind.

—Mike Carruth