22 December 2017

R.I.P. The Bicycle Chef

A few days ago, I wrote about Stephen Ambruzs' bike shop/ cafe, "Downshift", and how it--and other bike cafes--could be affected by the repeal of "net neutrality."

Today, nearly any municipality with a community of a few hundred or more cyclists has at least one place where you can have espresso or Earl Grey--or even a craft beer or cider--and chat, check your e-mail or check out some books and magazines while your brakes are being adjusted.  It's sometimes hard to believe that just a decade ago, very few such places existed.

One of the first bicycle cafes--or, at least, one of the first places to bill itself as such--opened in Sacramento (near Davis), California in 2005.  Business owners, especially restaurateurs, often name their enterprises after themselves.  Well, the fellow who started the bicycle cafe I'm about to mention did just that--well, sort of.  Bicycle Chef was indeed begun by someone who was a bicycle racer--Category II, to be exact--and a certified chef.

Actually, by the time he started the cafe, he was no longer racing:  a back injury ended his career. But he never gave up his passion for pedaling:  He continued to ride and coach young riders--as well as football (soccer) players--even as the responsibilities of his business and family took up most of his time.

Christopher Davis-Murai with his wife, Jennifer Davis-Murai, and their children, Naomi and Toshiro.

It never seems fair that, like the rest of us, such a person has only a limited amount of time in this world.  For Christopher Davis-Murai, that amount of time totaled 51 years, and it ended last Thursday when he collapsed just after stepping outside his house. 

Jennifer Davis-Murai has just lost her husband, and Naomi and Toshiro their father.  Many others in their community lost a mentor and friend.  And, many of us could say we've lost a pioneer who helped to create an idea--a bicycle cafe--that is part of today's cycling landscape.

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