In Memoriam: James Langergaard, Bike Philosopher

On Friday night, August 14th, James Langergaard was killed by a car crossing Queens Boulevard. According to his family, witnesses told police that James ran a red light on his bike and died instantly. James was 38.

I have known James since 1997 when he and I were volunteers at Transportation Alternatives. Over the years we volunteered together for many events, went on countless rides & hikes, and in general just enjoyed talking with each other about the world and bicycling, almost always in a humorous (and sometimes absurd) manner.

It was one of those fun brainstorming sessions between us that led to the idea that James would become the official "bicycling philosopher" for bikeTV - the cable access show I produced from 2001 thru 2006. Thus I present: "What is the essence of cycling?" which we filmed in 2005 while at a Central Park volunteer appreciation party for workers and marshals of the T.A. Century. James' wit and humor are on big display here as he questions people about bicycling and why they do it, then cleverly encapsulates their thoughts.

In a world full of lots of uninteresting people, James was always had something off-beat or quirky to say. He could make you laugh, and laugh hard. Without James, the world just got a whole lot more boring.