Saturday, May 08, 2010

Troy Raffelson ... One In A Million

This is a place where people who loved Troy Raffelson may feel free to write a memory they have of him, a story, or to say goodbye to a good friend. Please share your thoughts by clicking on the "Comments" at the bottom of the tribute below. You need not be a cyclist to share a memory here.  Please e-mail any photos of Troy that you'd like to share to Chuck Bramwell at and he'll post them here.

"The finish line is just the beginning of a whole new race.
We are not human beings having a spiritual experience,
We're spiritual beings having a human experience"
Susan Saint James who lost her 14 year old son in a plane crash

It is with very heavy hearts that we pass along the sad news of Troy Raffelson's passing in a tragic accident at home on May 6th. 

Troy was truly one in a million.

The above photo of Troy was taken last September after he climbed Mont Ventoux in France 3 different times in one day, culminating the cycling trip of a lifetime to Italy and France.

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."
                        Quoted by Troy at the bottom of his e-mails

This message is so hard to write. We are taking one day at a time and one step at a time. We would like to thank all of you for the outpouring of love, prayers, good thoughts, and well wishes for Lorna and our family. It means a lot to know that Troy has so many friends and was loved by so many.  Troy was married to Lorna Raffelson, Carol's sister so Troy was married to Chuck's sister-in-law. 

To Chuck, Troy was like a Brother, his best cycling buddy, and one of his very best friends.

Troy loved Lorna a WHOLE BUNCH!!

Please come and join in a celebration of Troy’s life on Wednesday, May 12th at 2:00pm at:

Clairemont Church of God
4955 Conrad Ave.
San Diego, CA 92117

Please join us afterwards for refreshments and reminiscing.

"Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am in a thousand winds that blow,
I am the softly falling snow.
I am the gentle showers of rain,
I am the fields of ripening grain.
I am in the morning hush,
I am in the graceful rush
Of beautiful birds in circling flight,
I am the starshine of the night.
I am in the flowers that bloom,
I am in a quiet room.
I am in the birds that sing,
I am in each lovely thing.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there. I do not die.."
     "Do not stand at my grave and weep" by Mary Elizabeth Frye
     Shared by Brent Thomas

Did you know that Troy was the lead singer in a Rock n' Roll Band?

Lorna and Troy had a great vacation to the Grand Tetons in 2006

Troy loved racing on the Track.

One of our favorite photos riding into Panguitch, Utah
on the Tour of Southern Utah

Troy with Floyd Landis
Troy knew everybody!!

Troy loved to tackle extremely difficult cycling challenges.  He completed 6 Double Centuries in the California Triple Crown Double Century Series as shown in his California Triple Crown History Report HERE.

In lieu of flowers, a donation can be made in Troy’s memory at:

1 – Lance Armstrong’s Livestrong foundation at

where you can donate in memory of Troy and send an e-card to Lorna at , 1396 Chaney St., El Cajon, CA 92020

2 - Troy and Lorna loved the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training program. Donations can be made at

where you can donate in memory of Troy and send a Greeting Card to Lorna at

3 - Your favorite charity.

Please pass this along to anyone we may have missed and keep Lorna in your thoughts and prayers.

Love to all,

Lorna Raffelson
Chuck and Carol Bramwell

"There is one phrase which should be erased from your thinking and from the words you speak aloud. It is the phrase, 'If only.' It is counterproductive and is not conducive to the spirit of healing and of peace. Rather, recall the words of Proverbs: 'Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.'" (Proverbs 3:5,6)
           President Monson at funeral of 5 little girls who tragically died in trunk of car

P.S.  This is the hardest memorial I have ever written.  This hurts so much.

Of all my cycling buddies, Troy was my very favorite buddy to ride with.  His heart was always in Track Racing but somehow, I managed to convince him to go out on some BIG cycling adventures.

A magnificent morning in Bedoin, France
Before the 3 climbs to Mont Ventoux
Those legs had climbed over 80,000 feet in the prior 2 weeks
Were they up for another 14,000 feet in one day?

We were climbing STEEP roads all over the mountain.
Troy had wings on his back!!
Chuck Bramwell, Troy Raffelson, and Alan Ptak, The Three Amigos, after climbing Mont Ventoux 3 Times in One Day
September 11, 2009
I just found this photo as the Wallpaper on Troy's iPhone.
We took thousands of photos from our HUGE adventure.

Troy, Alan, and I had a magnificent week climbing so many of the Colorado Mountain Passes that we dreamt of in October of 2008.

Alan Ptak found the great Colorado photos above and posted some more with Movies HERE.

In 2009, we then had the trip of lifetime riding with Andy Hampsten in the Dolomites of Italy following by the famous Alps from the Tour de France ... all topped off with 3 Ascents of Mont Ventoux.

Troy rode each of those days like he had wings on his back!!  He just went flying up the toughest climbs in Europe featured on the Giro d'Italia (the Tour of Italy) and the Tour de France.

Troy and I in our Ventoux Finisher Jerseys
Long Beach Fixed Gear Century to the Queen Mary
January 9, 2010
Troy's Fixed Gear bike "Giuseppe" Olmo in background

"You and you alone must decide whether the goal you are seeking is worth the price you must pay for it in effort."
Troy and I were sitting in an Ice Cream store in Panguitch, Utah after a long day on the bikes on the Tour of Southern Utah.  A boy came in with a T-Shirt on and this quote on the back.  Troy and I looked at each other and both agreed that this was one of our favorite all time quotes ever.  Troy loved that moment and loved that quote so much that he added it to his Facebook page .  Troy loved a challenge and loved working on BIG goals both on and off the bike.  He was a hard worker and was always there to do the heavy lifting no matter what the job.
We trained really hard in July and August of 2009 to prepare for Italy and France
Sometimes we had to start at 4:00am to try to beat the heat on the climb to Onyx Summit

Whenever I rode with Troy, he always made me ride better and have more fun.  He would pace me for miles and miles just above what I thought I could ever do.  He was just an amazing person ... both on and off the bike.

I have a boatload of memories with Troy which will somehow have to be enough for the rest of my life.

He was one in a million and I will miss him so much on our bikes, in our family like he was my Brother, and as one of my very best friends.

But I have faith that I will see Troy again in a much better place than even the heavenly roads in Alleghe, Italy.

With a very heavy heart,


“I was glued to my TV when it looked like he looked at me and said
"Best start putting first things first."
Cause when your hourglass runs out of sand
You can't flip it over and start again
Take every breathe God gives you for what it's worth
Don't Blink … Life Goes Faster Than You Think”
“Don’t Blink” by Kenny Chesney

The lyrics to this song now have new meaning to us all.

Any day one of us can be called home.

Shelf Sitter Cyclists from Troy and Lorna to Darryl MacKenzie
Referenced in Darryl's beautiful comment below