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Memorial Fund established for fallen cyclists’ wife, newborn son

By Fred Dreier

A photo collage of Mike Janelle put together by friends of the late cyclist.

A photo collage of Mike Janelle put together by friends of the late cyclist.

Photo:

It’s been half a year since Mike Janelle died in his sleep of sudden heart failure at his home in Vail, Colorado. A favorite in the mountain and endurance road cycling communities, Janelle was known just as well for his wide smile and large personality as his tenacious racing style.

He was a member of three winning Race Across America teams and recorded a plethora of victories in Rocky Mountain-region mountain bike races. Just 40, Janelle passed away five months before the birth of his son, Mike Jr., who was born on April 7.

Now friends and family of Janelle have established livelikemike.org, a foundation to raise resources for Janelle’s wife, Maribel, and the couple’s child. Larry Leith, president and founder of Tokyo Joe’s restaurant — Janelle’s team and sponsor — announced the launch of the Web site in late May.

“The purpose is simple … to pick up financially where Mike left off. To give Maribel and little Mike the push start they need now and the hope they will need later on,” Leith wrote in the Web site’s mission statement. “Together with the help of Mike’s wonderful friends, family and people like you, we can accomplish this goal. This is what friends do.”

All proceeds go directly to the Mike Janelle Children’s Trust, which directly benefits Janelle’s wife and child. A $40 donation buys a selection of gear, including a livelikemike shirt, stickers and a free meal at Tokyo Joe’s. The foundation is also selling Tokyo Joe’s team apparel emblazoned with the “Live Like Mike” insignia.

For more information, visit livelikemike.org