Passages: Ron Van Cleave
Ron Van Cleave, longtime beloved chair of the Bicycle Touring Committee, died Oct. 27.
He apparently died after a fall at his home in Newhall. Known relatives are his wife, Beverly, and son Jim. Ron was one of the earliest leaders of the Bicycle Touring Committee, or BTC, , serving as chairman principally in from the '70s to '90s.
His leadership over the years was outstanding in keeping the BTC active. Usually with Bev as his assistant, he led at least 100 of the BTC’s outings, geared from moderate to difficult, in many areas of Southern California. Ron kept the social fabric alive by having dinner get-togethers after the rides and recruiting and encouraged other leaders. Most of all, he kept us together because of the value he placed on friendships.
In recognition of his leadership, the Angeles Chapter gave him a Special Service Award in 1999. Over a period of about 24 yearsm he led private bicycle camping trips for selected BTC members in many western states and Canada. He and Beverly were inveterate bicyclists who did a camping trip border to border for their honeymoon. After he retired, they participated in a coast to coast ride.
Ron's character is well expressed in this quote from a hand written letter:
"During my years as chairman of the bicycle group, my main concern above all else was to form a cohesive group of friends. I knew this would be the nexus between us, that would ultimately lead to a cooperative working team of leaders…There has been and will be from time to time where some will no longer be able to lead or share in our bicycle adventures. These friends who have fallen into this category should not and will not be forsaken…When we drink the water, we must remember the spring, we have all benefited from each others contributions.”
We miss you Ron! In your spirit we continue together, riding and inviting new friendships through the Sierra Club.
Photo:, from left: Beverly Van Cleave, Robert and Michelle Immler, Ron Van Cleave.