Vail cyclist remembered on Web | VailDaily.com
Melanie WongVail, CO Colorado

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Vail cyclist remembered on Web

Preston Utley/Vail DailyA Web site has been created to remember Mike Janelle a well-known professional cyclist who died last year and raise money for his wife and son, who was born after he died.

AVON , Colorado People who attended Mike Janelles memorial service said it was flooded with friends from all over the world, many of whom asked how they could help.In response, friends and supporters can visit a new Web site, http://www.livelikemike.org, to honor Janelle and raise money to support his wife, Maribel, and baby son, Mike Jr.Janelle, 40, a professional mountain biker and elite road cyclist, died suddenly of a heart attack in his sleep last November.The site was set up by Larry Leith, owner and founder of Janelles Tokyo Joes professional squad. The goal of the site is simple to pick up financially where Mike left off, to give Maribel and little Mike the push-start they need now and the help they will need later on, Leith wrote on the sites opening page.

Supporters can donate $40 for a Mike Gift Pak, which includes a Live Like Mike T-shirt, dog tag, Tokyo Joes gift card, and stickers. A 2008 Tokyo Joes jersey, which sports the Live Like Mike logo, is $70. Individual donations can also be made.

All the profits from the site will go directly to the Mike Janelle Childrens Trust, the fund set up for his family. The goal is to raise enough to support Maribel Janelle and little Mike, now 2 months old, for the next five years.Janelles teammate, training partner and friend, Jay Henry, said many of the people who knew Janelle wanted to help the family after his death.I think a lot of people who knew Mike were just devastated by his death. Theres a general helpless feeling, Henry said. This kind of allows everyone to help.And there is a need, Henry said Maribel Janelle is originally from Colombia and had been applying for citizenship when her husband died. Now, immigration authorities say she may not be able to stay in the state.She is applying for citizenship in Arizona, but the legal fees are costly, Henry said.Mike was the breadwinner and now Maribels got a baby to take care of, he said. Its very difficult struggle for her to get back on her feet right now. I think thats a pretty universal thing that people can relate to.Charlie Brown, co-owner of Mountain Pedaler in Eagle, said he plans on donating to the fund, and he hopes efforts like this will continue.Its hard to ride and not think of him, Brown said.He said he remembers Janelle coming into his shop once after Brown had just unloaded some tires.He said, Yeah, this is a real bike shop. None of that latte stuff, Brown remembers. That was just him. Real hardcore.-If donations exceed the familys need, the money will go to another charity in honor of Janelle.

Others in the Vail valley and bike racing community are finding other ways to honor Janelle.As part of this years Teva Mountain Games festivities, Samana and Vail PM hosted the Mike Janelle Family Fundraiser with a Secret Agent Party.Fittingly, several races have been named after Janelle. The second race in this years Vail and Beaver Creek Mountain Bike Race Series, of which Janelle was a longtime presence, will be known as the Mike Janelle Memorial. Each year, a race in the series will be named after Janelle.After the race, which will be next Wednesday, there will be an after-party starting at 6 p.m. at E-Town in Edwards. Water bottles, raffle tickets, bike headset caps and proceeds from a dunk tank will all go to Janelles family.Beaver Creek Resort, where Janelle was a ski instructor, is putting up a memorial plaque on the mountains bike path in memory of Janelle and his regular commute up to work, even in the dead of winter.Vail resident and pro mountain biker Mike Kloser, who knew Janelle through racing, said it is great to see all the support for Janelles family.Its putting money toward a good cause, Kloser said. Theres not a more deserving person out there, and this benefits his son and wife.

http://www.livelikemike.orgStaff Writer Melanie Wong can be reached at 748-2928 or mwong@vaildaily.com.

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