I was getting ready to go for a run last Sunday morning. I opened up my Strava app and was ready to record when I glanced at my friends’ posts. As I scrolled down, nearly every title had something about a tribute to Dave. Uncomprehending, I didn’t know what these titles were referring to, so I went over to my Twitter feed to get an explanation. I then found out that Dave Salovesh was killed by a speeding driver the Friday before. I sat down in my room and started crying.
I’ve been out of touch with the #BikeDC community for a while. When I moved to DC ten years ago, I was looking for a way to connect with people, and I had found it in bicycling. I participated in almost every WABA ride, did rides organized by friends and as well as by charities, and tried randonneuring. These rides are dutifully recorded here on this blog. I met some fantastic people, which gave rise to the Friday Coffee Club of bicyclists. I was grateful to be part of this group of folks. And yet, I was not feeling good about where I was.
I think I first met Dave at my first 50 States Ride. It seemed like he was at every ride, and he was always very chatty. Over time, we recognized each other, and I always looked forward to seeing him at rides.
Although Dave made no bones about what he thought about things, he was a great listener. He inspired trust. He was one of the first people I had told about being unhappy in DC. I don’t even know why I told him– I no longer remember the details. But he must have asked me, and I must have felt safe enough with him to tell him.
There’s a picture of me that Rootchopper took of me, Dave, and his wife Jean, at a WABA Vasa Ride. I look more pensive than usual for ride photos, and Dave looks like he was intently listening to what I was saying. All I remember now was that I was saying something I hadn’t admitted to before, and I was slightly embarrassed that I had said it out loud and was hoping no else heard. But Dave did, and it was okay.
I moved out of the District in 2013. I lost interest in riding recreationally, and so doing became disconnected from the #BikeDC community. My life outside of biking fell apart and I had a complete breakdown. But I’m still here. And so is the community. And I assumed Dave would always be part of that community too. But now he’s gone.
It is clear that he touched a lot of folks, and even now, he inspires activism within the DC bicyclists. Dave’s death reminds me more of what I have personally lost over the past few years.