After a relatively brief battle with cancer, we celebrated the life of our dear friend Sue Nikkel last Saturday. I searched my photos for a record of Sue from rides over the years. This was taken at Park Rapids for the 2011 Headwaters 100. We had a record turnout of 17 riders that year (if my photos are accurate). It was Sue and Rudy that gave inspiration to the founding of MIT in 2003, following a cross Canada ride. At the urging of Sue, Rudy, and Jac Siemens I joined in 2004. In those first few seasons Sue was a regular rider and we were quite well matched in speed and cadence. She was also a great friend and we had many good talks. Rudy & Sue remained good friends of ours both on the bike and off. Noreen and Sue met every Monday, over several years, for exercise and a visit. More recently they shared a wildly engaging bookclub (I had to leave the house when that gang got going…totally raucous!).
Sue was a dedicated fan of Leonard Cohen and it seems fitting to honour her with a line from one of his songs. “So come my friends, be not afraid, we are so lightly here, it is in love that we are made and in love we disappear.” ~ Leonard Cohen
Farewell dear friend. If there’s justice in the afterlife we’ll spend some of it riding together. Much love, RJ