For local mountain bikers, the year started off on a somber note. Dedicated trail builder and founding member of Evergreen MTB Len Francies passed away New Year’s Day.
“Len’s heart came to rest on one of his favorite trails,” Evergreen wrote on their website memorial for him.
For the past couple decades, Len has been a force in the huge advancements in mountain biking across the region, Evergreen notes. From developing training programs to serving on the Evergreen Board to getting out on the trail and chainsawing trail blockages himself, Len earned the nickname “The Legend.”
The MTBR forum is also filled with stories and photos from mountain bikers memorializing him.
“He was a one man ambassador for the sheer joy of mountain biking. Or sawing. By which I mean, life!” wrote one person.
You can learn more about him and details on his Saturday services from Evergreen MTB:
It is with great regret that we acknowledge the loss of one of our founding members, former Board officer, and close friend Len Francies, who passed away on New Year’s Day, while riding Grand Ridge with his close friend, Art Tuftee.
After a life of enthusiasm and boundless energy for riding, trail building, and serving others, Len’s heart came to rest on one of his favorite trails.
Len’s enormous contributions to maintaining access and continuing trail work formed the foundation of Evergreen, and set the tone for the volunteer ethic that would come to define our organization.
He was a tireless mountain biking supporter and a generous contributor to Evergreen, a steward whose vision and foresight brought us many of the trails we love so dearly–and whose passion for keeping them clear allowed us to ride and enjoy them year-round.
Whether training Evergreen volunteers or spending countless hours improving trail, Len continually put his effort into providing the best possible riding experience to our community.
For two decades Len supported Evergreen with his expertise, counseling our staff about the wisdom of conserving land, and the importance of making it accessible to everyone. And he was the key driver behind Evergreen’s USFS Chainsaw Certification program.
More recently, he helped our team get started on the Olallie trail and pulled off an epic accomplishment in completing Predator with our crew. Much of our organization’s progress and success is the result of Len’s contributions and support.
Len was relentless in his dedication to the sport, his friends, our trail crew, and his fellow volunteers. That relentlessness earned him the nickname “The Legend”–helped along by his zeal for tireless maintenance work, extra-long rides, and camping experiences that taught his friends the true meaning of mountain biking.
Len’s enthusiasm for the sport was contagious and his loss will be felt deeply. Our thoughts are with Len’s family and friends. Our hearts remain filled with the happy memories we had with our friend. And our eyes forever look to the next bend in the trails he so generously helped build with us.
–The Evergreen Staff and Board
Services for Len:
Saturday, January 9, 2016, at 1 pm
Snoqualmie Ridge Golf Club 36005 SE Ridge St, Snoqualmie, WA
(thanks to Biking Bis for posting about Len)