Mechanic seriously injured while biking to work at Kent bike shop – UPDATE: RIP Fred

Fred Rehberger, from the NWTB website.

UPDATE 3/10: Fred passed away March 9. See update below for more.

Original post, published 3/6:

Fred Rehberger, a racer and mechanic at Northwest Tri and Bike in Kent, was seriously injured earlier this week when a car struck him on the way to work February 29, The Bicycle Paper reports.

Friends and coworkers are working to set up a foundation to help with expenses. You can find out more and stay up-to-date on the NWTB website:

Our good friend and mechanic, Fred Rehberger, was in a bike vs auto collision on 2/29 while riding to work.  He is at Harborview in critical condition.  He has many broken bones, is in a coma, and on life support.  We are heartsick about our dear friend Fred.  We hit the jackpot when we hired him. He is a perfect fit for us at NWTB and we are aching to have him back.

We are in AWE of how many people know and are deeply concerned for him.  Fred has raced on the road and at Marymoor on the velodrome.  He’s made many friends at the bike shops he’s worked and helped out at.  He’s been described as generous, enthusiastic, genuine, knowledgeable, kind, un-stumpable, energetic…and the list continues.

UPDATE 3/10: Fred was taken off life support and died March 9 shortly before midnight. Condolences to his friends and family.

Services are being planned. We update when the details are finalized.

Sarah, one of Fred’s family members, left this comment below:

This is Sarah. I am Fred’s brother’s mother in law and I was “Nanny” to Fred as well. It is with a broken heart that I tell you Fred was taken off life support and gently passed away last night. My heart cries for my son in law, my daughter, who was holding Fred’s hand when he passed and all Fred’s wonderful friends and coworkers.

From NWTB:

It’s with deep sadness that we bring you the news that Fred passed away last night at about 11:30.   His brother and sister-in-law and close friends were with him and able to say goodbye and wish him well.   That was a blessing for everyone.

We’ve learned over the last week how many people Fred knew….how many nice things he did for people…how warm and generous and genuine he was.    Fred was immersed deeply in the bike culture of Seattle but there was much, much more to Fred and at NWTB we were so enjoying getting to know each other.  He could sing any song, tell us what was happening in the news, give regular movie reviews, suggest books to read….

We’ll always be grateful for the gift he was to us and for his friendship.  He was an absolute treasure for a new shop.

There will be information posted soon about a fund you can donate to if you wish.  Rides are being planned, a service will happen soon.  We will celebrate Fred’s life.

Rest in peace, dear Fred.

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12 Responses to Mechanic seriously injured while biking to work at Kent bike shop – UPDATE: RIP Fred

  1. Todd says:

    WTF? I’m getting tired of our brethren going down. Best of luck for him.

  2. Gary says:

    Any information on where this collision took place?

  3. Theresa Greco says:

    My heart goes out to Fred and his family. I read this notice as I recover at home following surgery from a car that ran a red light while I biked the Burke-Gilman. My thoughts and prayers on his recovery.

  4. Leif says:

    Ugh, sucks to read these stories. As someone who is going through this with a good friend now (Also at Harborview), I feel for his friends and family. Keep an optimistic outlook on the future and your spirits up. I’ll see you in the halls on the hill.

  5. Fred V. says:

    We used to ride together at Coulon with Cycle Tuedsdays. I’m praying for a speedy and full recovery for you Fred.

    Take Care,

    Fred V.
    Mesa, AZ

  6. TN says:

    The many deaths and injuries this year really are making me think about whether riding to work and running errands by bike is worth the risk. I ride Avondale Rd between 2 and 5 days a week and rarely feel safe in the bike lane with the cars flying by at 45-55 miles per hour – the only time it feels safe is at the height of rush hour with the cars all jammed up – but that varies widely by day and time. The sidewalk is not much safer – while the proximity of the cars is lessened, the bumps, debris, wheelchair ramps, mail boxes, driveways, posts, and merging intersections make the sidewalk equally unattractive, not to mention that I hate to ride the sidewalk when pedestrians are present – and the sidewalks are actually used along Avondale. The less busy alternative along the Sammamish trail and up over Education Hill involves 2 extra miles, lots more hillclimbing, and a stretch of side road frequented by speeding teenagers. Meh.

  7. Dana says:

    This is Dana, Fred’s sister in law. We are here with him and wanted to express our profound gratitude at the love and support the biking community has shown us. Please continue to pray very, very hard for Fred.

  8. Todd F says:

    As I sit here on this flight to Dallas thinking about the times Fred and I have had on the bike, I can’t help but smile. Always up for a city limit sign sprint, or a fast down hill speed run. Fred, you can always sit on my wheel!!!

    Todd

  9. Breadbaker says:

    I’m just three months post my own bike accident (no one’s fault, at least) and can only say that I hope (and presume) that the folks at Harborview are as good for Fred as they were for me.

  10. Sarah says:

    This is Sarah. I am Fred’s brother’s mother in law and I was “Nanny” to Fred as well. It is with a broken heart that I tell you Fred was taken off life support and gently passed away last night. My heart cries for my son in law, my daughter, who was holding Fred’s hand when he passed and all Fred’s wonderful friends and coworkers.
    More information on a service when it’s set

    • Sarah says:

      Fred actually passed at the stroke of midnight, so it will be listed as March 10th. I talked to my daughter at length today. She said he was very relaxed, breathing on his own for 1 hour and 40 minutes, at times sleeping so soundly he was snoring. There was no stress for him. He just gently slipped away. She talked to him the whole time, telling him it was ok if he needed to move on.

  11. Pingback: Injured Kent bike mechanic Fred Rehberger dies | Seattle Bike Blog

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