We were deeply saddened upon hearing the news that Path rider and friend Jeff Witherell passed away recently. He was 66.
Jeff was one half of the duo our Tustin staff affectionately dubbed "The Twins". When Jeff purchased his Santa Cruz Tallboy in 2016, he inspired his friend Cliff Lewis to buy the same bike. Over the next few years when Jeff made an upgrade, Cliff usually followed suit. Their bikes weren't quite identical, as Jeff had an affinity for titanium oil-slick bolts, with which he replaced nearly every bolt on the bike, but the twinning Tallboys had matching components, down to the custom Fox shocks built by Path service manager Brandon Olson.
Jeff, a former high-level motocross racer, worked as a manufacturing engineer for Northrup Grumman for 28 years and retired in 2013. He developed a love for mountain biking and racing later in life, competing in nearly every Over the Hump race in 2018 and 2019. Jeff also took up cyclocross racing in 2019 and rode his road bike often to maintain his fitness. Jeff joined The Path Riders' Club and proudly rode and raced in a Path jersey in 2019. We will miss seeing Jeff in our store, and out on the trail and racecourse, where he inspired people of all ages, to ride and give racing a try.
"Jeff loved riding and racing, going to The Path to shop, talk to Path staff, or just hang out for a bit," Cliff told The Path. "Jeff and I were doing the Path Ride Series 2020, and after his passing, I completed the series, talking to Jeff and our Lord the whole way! [I] Even asked for a few line choices!"
Our hearts go out to Cliff, Jeff's wife Rebecca, and the rest of his family. Ride in peace, Jeff.