Jay Barre worked his last day at North Central Cyclery on Saturday, Dec 19th.

It’s with a proud and heavy heart that I post this tribute. Jay’s been with me since the fall of 2004 and stands as the longest serving member of the NCC crew to date (barring me, who, by glorious shackles and chains, is bound to stay here forever). Jay was hired based on a nice t-shirt and a mutual distaste for the high school we both attended, years apart. He was also the first person to trip “The Nudge”. The Nudge is an inexplicable inner push I feel when I meet someone that I know I should hire. It’s been 99.9% accurate and Jay was the first person to trip it. (side note: another NCC Crew Hall of Famer, Joe T, was hired before he crossed the threshold of the store. My back was turned when I heard the door open, and I knew I was going to hire whoever just walked in. He walked up and immediate asked if we were hiring.)

Back to Jay.

Almost immediately after I hired Jay, he helped me to establish a fierce policy against showing up hungover to cycling events by showing up to the Cornfest Bike Rally extremely late and horribly hungover. (You’d think I’d have already had that policy, but in 2004, I was pretty new at this stuff, too). Since that day, Jay has made right from his wrong by always showing up on time, if not early, to our events (which often require painfully early starts). No matter how late the night was, he was here first. And I cannot remember a time that he bailed last minute on a group ride. He’s been the standard to which others must align.

It’ll be strange to have no one left on staff who remembers the periods Jay and I lived through. There is an entire portion of my humor that will no longer land on knowing ears after he is gone. To this day, he continues to bring me music. He knows what I like and what I should like. Jay’s responsible for at least half of my current music selection – without a doubt. 

Jay’s grown up a lot in the last 5 years, as have we all, but it’s been my pleasure to know him and be a part of this formative part of his life. He’s a brilliant kid and has my recommendation for any level of employment or friendship.

Here’s a little collection of memories involving Mr. Barre:

God Bless you, Max Power.