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Dave Jordan

Wed, 08/09/2006 - 8:00pm by Andy Shen

7/8/12 Ray Alba has arranged a memorial ride for DJ. See Details below.

7/5/12 We're saddened to report the passing of Dave Jordan, who lost his battle with brain cancer today. Please post your remembrances here.

This is an interview John Campo did with Dave a while back.



David Jordan, aka DJ, and his brother Eric started in CRCA way back when we still used wooden wheels, (1987).  Great competitor. He could be the funniest guy in the pack or crack the whip. DJ is not affraid to do it all, BMX, Road, Cross(where he could climb, sprint, or get in the breakaway), and Track. He is back now and we would like to see where he has been and has planned for the future. 

Enjoy, cat...


Cat David I can remember Billy Montgomery (of Gimbels fame) telling me he met you at a BMX race and talked you into road racing. Is that true? Who started you in the sport? How did you make your way to CRCA? 

DJ Never heard that one, my best firend Billy Calloway, got me started and we did the Gimbels with guys like Greg Durevich, "Wild" Bill Montgomery, Larry Sass, etc... He bought an Atala in the spring of 1987, and I got a Miyata, and we got into the sport that way, some NYC Bi(du)athlons over the summer and then Lou Maltese running CRCA, and then Calvert and Oyster Bay in the fall...I did race BMX for about 8 years, and remember buying Winning Magazine with Lemond in 1983 World's...but that was then...

Cat How were the BMX years? What did you learn from it? Why do riders ride BMX into their 30's?

DJ The BMX years were from 1979 with Bellmore, Long Island... My brother raced the real moto-x scooters and I was just imitating those guys on the 20" bike. I would ride with some neighborhood friends and we all got into it building tracks and start gates, traveling together to races with some unsuspecting parents that had a station wagon, no SUV's back then...Braddock Park 3 day/nights a week, Jersey City in the winter had an indoor track, Flemington, NJ, and the best track was in South Park, Pittsburgh, PA...drove out when I was 14, doing 90 the entire way to get to registration in time... I learned how to race and prepare and have fun doing it.

But most of all as it relates to other cycling disciplines, I Iearned how to ride in close groups and tight situations without backing off one pedal stroke, it taught me to race intuitively and by the time I started road racing, I had no problem moving up or sprinting, the fitness and tactics only needed attention. As to why does someone race BMX into the Golden Years? All I can say is that they must enjoy it! And their kids probably race too, and they haven't been to a velodrome yet...

Cat Sweet, I can remember your first Spring Series win. I think your winning ways started there wasn't it.  Do you have one win that stands out more than others?

DJ I won my first overall Spring Series in 1990 as cat.3; I had a great winter of training, and the first race set the tone. George Hincapie was riding for TOGA and they were the team that could control the race. So I followed his wheel during the first lap. We eventually got a good working group with Andrew Lewis. So me, FNG on the block, plus two of USA's top juniors and we let it rip for the rest of the race. "Turbo" GH won the sprint and I was second, but I was very happy as we didn't get caught by the field, and it was my first top 10 in a 1,2,3 race.

There are many great memories, not because of the result but because of the people and places involved. I loved racing in the parks, but also T-town, New England, Altantic states, Colorado and the Pacific Northwest, France, Belgium, Italy, too many places; I have been very lucky to ride and race at a very modest level in the US, Caribean, Central America and Europe... I also loved the training rides, my favorite being up 9A, across the Bear Mtn Bridge, a lap or two of Harriman and then TT back down 9W...Ray "Raf" Diaz always was a great friend on and off the bike, always the most stand up competitor, we raced each other from cat C in CRCA...

Cat I wrote a coaching article on do's and don't's of breakaway pace lines for nyvelocity, and think I learned a lot about that from being in a couple with you. A disorganized break sucks. You always seemed to take charge and the thing worked like a swiss watch.  What do you think that is all about? Do riders need a take charge leader to perform? I was at Masters Track Nat's last year and no one could pull a decent pace line...

DJ Well, I had Eddy B.'s Bicycle Road Racing and Lenny Preheim to help me early on, and a natural tendency to get involved in the breaks, so I would try to get guys to pedal smoothly, ride using the wind, drink at the back of the group, ride in size place like a TTT...sometimes it worked... In pacelines, finding a good tempo that everyone can contribute is the key. If "Lance" is breaking legs at the front then no one will want to pull or be able to, and if there is an "I-ca't-pull" wheelsucker then it is doomed to fail as well.

The standard order from me would be to ride in position with less than a wheel in front and a bar width on the side, and then pull for as long as it takes the previous rider to get back on, have a rotation going with everyone riding in similar gears and revs. Stand only when needing a bit of acceleration to get back on the paceline, never in the front or middle, and call/point out road kill/potholes so everyone can focus on the effort collectively. I found encouragement worked best but I have let riders know that it was in their best interest to work by gapping them off the back on hills, or good old push to the front to show them its was OK to work a bit... My attitude has always been to stay put in the field if you weren't going to work to your best capability in the break.

Cat Cool beans, We all put so much importance on equipment. Carbon bikes are popular now with the MT. bike slanted top tube, which I don't like at all. It is going to be harder and harder to find a regular bike soon.  I don't find the long seatpost bikes track well on turns, especially on mountian switchbacks at high speed. I asked you once about crank length and you said; "It doesn't matter at all. A half inch in one direction or another in performance. You should ride what you are comfortable with." I think that was very good advice. What are your thoughts on equipment?       

DJ Good equipment helps, lighter bikes, more responsive, stiffer/aerodynamic wheels, optimal nutrition, etc. Proper fitting and fitness monitoring is essential now as there is so much more depth of fitness, but the game remains the same, tactics. Most guys still don't race with a clear tactic, or execution of strategy, still reacting to a spin of the wheel instead of dealing the cards themselves, or with the help of teammates and like minded fellow racers. There are many fundamentals that get overlooked. I would like to refine that crankarm statement, in that it does matter, as long as you understand the application. I would never ride my BMX 185mm cranks at a track race, and I would never run 167.5mm for a road TT...there is a correlation between bike fitting (inseam, femur, foot length) and the application or cycling discipline, but in the end the difference between 2.5mm is individual preference.

Cat You have always supported me at the track by coming, racing and bringing riders.  We have raced together at TTown, and it was always a pleasure.  I'm so happy to see you back.  Can we expect to see you coaching and competing in the near future?

DJ I am currently available for coaching individuals and teams, although I still have my regulars thanks to email and cellphones. In Seattle, I coached the Western Washington University Cycling team, and currently coach Jill Kintner, the World Cup and World Champion in Mountain Cross (4X). I have been lucky enough to fit and consult for many professional road, mountain and multisport athletes. I am getting back into some sort of race shape, so I will be back out there racing road, track and cross, maybe a XC run in Van Cortlandt Park and coaching road, track, cyclocross and triathlon.

Cat How was your stay in Seattle?  I hear you have some new additions to the family.

DJ We have a new addition, 8 months old son, to go along with our daughter turning 8 soon... Seattle is great and I have some family there so that time was priceless. The cycling community is great and I loved being able to ride in great terrain and cycling friendly atmosphere. The family needed the energy and diversity that is NYC. Plus I think all of NYC can benefit with better cycling at every level so I want to bring that from Seattle to NYC: commuters, messengers, infastructure, training facilities, coaching, and racing, the works...anyone else want to help??? Call me!!!

Cat We can't have too many coaches of your caliber around, although most riders go in for the do it yourself approach to racing. Can you tell everyone what a good coach can do for a rider. At Track championships last weekend Charles Jennings my coach for years and years,  gave me some advice on how to beat a rider that was giving me a lot of trouble. I had tried everything and what he was telling me to do, was not a way of racing I would have come up with myself. Needless to say it worked wonderfully.  For that fact alone another set of eyes really works. What do you think? Do you think some people are uncoachable?

DJ A different perspective and accountability are two very important parts of the coach/rider relationship. Getting feedback that is trustworthy and respected is invaluable. Of course, some riders never will allow themselves to be coached for whatever reason, but most riders benefit from some sort of support system. Coaching is much more than fitness training alone, and much more than telling a rider what to do tactically. The key is helping a rider discover things like motivation and objectives that are worthwhile to that person individually, otherwise training and racing to another level are not possible. Every rider I work with wants to improve some aspect, but it takes time, communication, and a willingness to discover and create new parameters without pre-conceived limitations.

Cat Thank you for that one, that was quite poignant. This one is for you David. Tell everyone your plans for the future and the coaching, lactate and field testing, performance assessment, custom fittings and the other stuff you are doing now. I want to thank you for taking time to speak with us, and it is so nice to have you back.  

DJ Well, I am coaching and try to provide a service to enable the rider to improve as quickly as possible by creating a balance to their training and racing schedules. I use HR, Power, and Lactate data to develop a training program specific to the event. Nothing is generalized. Everything is based on the individual. I fit the rider using several methods combined (Serotta, Seven, Fit Kit, Wobble Naught, Bioracer, Paul Swift, Lenny Preheim), to the proper handling of the bike for the event, plus my experience of nearly 30 years of competitive cycling. I have also been certified by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) as a personal trainer and taught Spinning for 6 years in Manhattan, so I try to bring all of that fitness and cycling experience to each person I coach. It's great to be back, and great to have so many great cycling venues going strong. I hope to help cycling grow even more in NYC!

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Moving article about DJ in
By: Baptiste Neck
Fri, 07/13/2012 - 10:46am
I knew DJ only from racing a
By: Matheo Ziptie
Thu, 07/12/2012 - 11:10pm

I knew DJ only from racing a bit the last 3 years in the same fields, so not very well But I liked him. I just knew he was a good/fun guy. All these testimonials have confirmed this. He'll be missed. Wish I had gotten to know him better.

so many wonderful
By: Nathan Axle
Thu, 07/12/2012 - 10:54pm

so many wonderful words.

never met the man, but can appreciate and relate to his challenges.

rest in eternal peace mr. jordan.

and blessings to his family & friends.

By: M Brinken
Tue, 07/10/2012 - 7:49pm

Very sad news RIP DJ

By: Pete Barlin
Tue, 07/10/2012 - 2:49pm

DJ was a great teammate and amazing tactician in race but an even better guy to have a beer with.

We've lost a great man.
Tue, 07/10/2012 - 2:26pm

Dave once told me that it doesn't matter who's the strongest at the beginning of a race, it matters who's the strongest at the finish. Reading all the praise and love towards him I hope he knew how strong he finished his race.

I'm sure all of us who knew him will continue to hear his words of wisdom in our heads as we move along our own courses, managing our exertions, trying to figure out what it all means. The world's a better place because of Dave and now we all suffer because he's left. I hope I can listen and strive to do the same.

You see what I mean about Dave, he just taught me another lesson.

Much love and peace.

DJ's Kids Fund
Tue, 07/10/2012 - 8:56am

See for information on Dave's funeral and how to donate to a fund set up for Dave's kids.

Dave Jordan
By: D Melchior
Mon, 07/09/2012 - 11:58am

This makes me very sad. He was one of the most inspiring people to race against ever, he didn't just want to win the race, it was like he wanted to eat it whole. His ferociousness made every race he was in a bigger and better event and remembering the way he used to horsewhip an unruly breakaway along makes me really nostalgic for the old days.

Lying in a ditch with Dave
By: Aaron Hubbell
Mon, 07/09/2012 - 10:35am

In the early/mid-09s in upstate NY there was a road race on gravel roads (some crappy precursor to Battenkill). Dave and I wound up next to each other in the pack on one of the gravel sections as rain was pouring down. The details are sketchy but one of us took the other out on a deep section of mud and just the two of us landed together in a muddy ditch. There might have been a couple swear words but then we just started laughing at each other as the group rode off in the distance. The rest of the race was spent just me and Dave - trading pulls and speaking words of encouragement to finish that stupid race.

The following weekend we were back to sprinting against each other in some crit or Park race.

That's how I remember Dave - one weekend you could be banging bars with him in a sprint, and the next lying in a ditch with him laughing at the ridiculousness of it all.

David was a great coach, good
By: Krishna
Sun, 07/08/2012 - 10:11pm

David was a great coach, good friend and neighbor sad to see him leave. R.I.P

DJ and I on the Bench
By: Eric Weinstein
Sun, 07/08/2012 - 11:20am

David and I would always meet on the bench in the park without ever planning it, as long as he saw me he would always stop say hi, hang for as long as he could and sometimes we would just sit, chill and watch the world go by..David had a great heart and was always so passionate about everything he did, he will be missed by all. My condolences go out to his family and friends and to all that knew him..We are all having a hard time saying goodbye... R.I.P. my brother... The bench will never be the same

Dave Jordan
By: Mitch Primack
Sat, 07/07/2012 - 10:38pm

You were a feared and formidable competitor. RIP brother

By: Ian Landau
Sat, 07/07/2012 - 5:13pm

I did not know Dave well at all, but I knew from the instant I started talking with him that he was class. I sat and watched part of a Tour stage a couple years back at the Rapha clubhouse on Bowery, and Dave was there as well. The stage covered some of the Roubaix parcours and Dave had raced some of the roads the riders were covering that day. He regaled us with his memories of the shitty northern French cobbles. He'd stopped to watch while on his way to work with Joseph Gordon Levitt in that bike messenger movie (DJ was helping Gordon Levitt and others learn to ride their fixies). It was clear the guy lived for cycling. RIP, DJ

Dave will always be the Man
By: Neu
Sat, 07/07/2012 - 1:22pm

Spin with him for just five minutes and you'd learn so much. Watch him in a race and you'd be better for it. Loved watching him pull out surprise finishes these last few years. After one race he wrote something like: Dave Jordan, Closer!

He had time for everyone and seemed to know everyone!

Remember him offering strategy advice with an eye on his kids playing one sunny day in CP before a race. What a leader for the Club and local community.

Only the Good Die Young...
By: Kyoo
Sat, 07/07/2012 - 5:41am

Dave, we didn't see each other often over the last decade but each time we did it was as if time had never passed. You'll be very missed. Rest in peace.

Sad to learn the news
By: Dan Bernard
Fri, 07/06/2012 - 1:34pm

I was really sad to learn the news of DJ's passing yesterday. My thoughts are with his family and friends. DJ was a supportive coach and great ambassador for the sport.

Dave Jordan
By: Giorgio Bartape
Fri, 07/06/2012 - 1:01pm

A truly gracious and gentle giant of the cycling world. Taught me when I was of an age when I thought I hated cycling, cyclists, and the road itself. He changed it forever. The best man in Central Park on any day with a kind word and heartfelt encouragement for however badly you were dragging your wheels. Irreplacable and will be missed by all who had the pleasure and privelege of his company.

By: Jens Topcap
Fri, 07/06/2012 - 12:50pm

New York City has lost one of its true great ones.
My thoughts and support go out to his family as they struggle with this terrible loss.
In solidarity,
Andy "Zephyr" Witten

By: Man First
Fri, 07/06/2012 - 10:12am

Dave was such an enthusiastic fan of cycling; from new Cat 5's to the veterans, he always had time for a kind word or encouraging email. So very sorry to hear this news.

His family & friends are in our thoughts.

Great teacher and a great
By: TLaskey
Fri, 07/06/2012 - 10:10am

Great teacher and a great spirit. Will always remember him whipping up his charges at early morning coaching sessions in my first few seasons with CRCA.

A real inspiration.

A winter storm alert with
By: Ferre Chamois
Fri, 07/06/2012 - 9:10am

A winter storm alert with over a foot of snow expected was the perfect excuse for DJ to organize an adhoc CP bike race. Dave made it fun while one learned a heck of lot along the way. The ultimate teacher... and friend.

Learned all I know from DJ. I
By: Clement Fork
Fri, 07/06/2012 - 8:34am

Learned all I know from DJ. I was out this winter riding alone and he and Ian F. passed by. "I see 3 winners here" is what he said. It was damn cold that day! But I'll never forget his encouragement for all. Wow..cant believe he's gone.

By: vasquewi
Fri, 07/06/2012 - 7:51am

Can not believe he's gone. Dave and I were teammates in the early 90s and did a lot of traveling together. Coming back from one of those races, the plane we were in failed to secure the landing gear and we thought were toast. We put our helmets on, head between our legs and hoped for the best. Landing gear held. I'll miss you Dave!
Wilson Vasquez

By: Larry Sass
Fri, 07/06/2012 - 6:17am

So sad. I am so sad. I saw David with his son on the subway last year for 10 mins. I can not believe he is gone.

You will be always missed David. This is one of those unbelievable losses.

By: Justin R
Fri, 07/06/2012 - 2:49am

When I first started cycling in NYC, a few names stood out of the pack, thanks largely to Ace McDade's hilarious column in the CRCA Newsletter. It almost felt like being back in high school and looking up anonymously at this latter day version of "playground heros and bullies" - Smilie, Wilson, Molloy, Burrows brothers, George, Leon, Gacki, Eugene, Charlie I. As I got more involved I was proud to get to know some of these people really well, all very different characters but it seemed as divergent as all of them were, they were all united in one thing - unequivocal support and respect for the name they called "DJ", Dave Jordan. I don't think anyone united a community like he did. True testament.

RIP big man, there's a huge hole left behind in the heart of New York cycling,

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 1:32am


Thanks for all your support over the past two years and for everything you've done for the cycling community in NYC and everywhere. You are a special person and RIP....


My friend
By: luis Antonio Ramos
Fri, 07/06/2012 - 12:07am

When I first came back to NY Dave was one of the first guys I saw in central park while I was doing laps. He put his arm around me and said "luis your back" and i said yes and we rode on as if we had been separated by all those years. We spoke on the phone a lot, trained together and tried to figure out life little mysteries. We laughed, we cried and we made each other think quietly about the twist and turns that life takes. I really will miss Dave and all he stood for as a father, cyclist and a man

By: jbro
Thu, 07/05/2012 - 11:39pm

Sorry to see you go DJ. Always a pleasure riding with you. You will be missed.

By: erin hartwell
Thu, 07/05/2012 - 10:47pm

gonna miss you man. loved our trip to the DR back in the day. good people.

By: Will & Samantha
Thu, 07/05/2012 - 10:46pm

Our thoughts and prays go out to you family. You always gave us a good laugh and lots of inspiration!

By: Teammate
Thu, 07/05/2012 - 10:25pm

We lost a great person today. Rest in peace my
Friend. I will miss you. And your wisdom. Truly
A sad day.

By: mehi
Thu, 07/05/2012 - 10:19pm

I learned more about bike racing from Dave then any other rider. The details and knowledge he had about the sport was amazing. He had a passion for the sport unlike anybody else I knew. He was also a friend. I will miss you Dave.

By: Friend
Thu, 07/05/2012 - 10:06pm

Very sad news.

Goodbye, DJ
By: Nico Moser
Thu, 07/05/2012 - 10:05pm

I'm so sorry to say goodbye to such an old friend. He was always an inspiration.

Dave Jordan will be missed
By: C Loehner
Thu, 07/05/2012 - 9:54pm

I just heard and can,t believe it we were just texting 2 days ago and he was hopeful. Dave was a great guy and always glad to see you. He was the first rider to greet me back and have words of encouragement. He is one of those cyclist that give back to the sport. He will be greatly missed, and my heart goes out to his family.

Dave, you will be so missed....
By: pupil
Thu, 07/05/2012 - 9:36pm

I only got to know Dave in the last 12 months, but he was such a nice guy, always greeted me with a sincere smile, remembered my name, was great to talk to. Cancer sucks and that shit should happen to no one. May God bless his family.

The last of the real NYC bikeracers!
By: George Suter
Thu, 07/05/2012 - 9:33pm

Tailwinds always brother.

By: billc
Thu, 07/05/2012 - 9:33pm

Very sad news. I almost bought his Pista Concept years ago., Sat around and chatted for a long time that day and stayed in touch ever since. I'm very thankful to have met him, thankful for all he has done for the nyc community, and sad, especially for his family.

Its sad
By: MQ
Thu, 07/05/2012 - 9:18pm

Its just a sad day for the nyc cycling ommunity. Im im prod to have call him my friend for ove 20 years.
I love you dave. we lost a graet man

I met him in Seattle when we
By: Sam Saddlebag
Thu, 07/05/2012 - 9:05pm

I met him in Seattle when we both worked at Gregg's Greenlake Cycles where he got me into racing. We used to meet at his house and we would climb hills or sprint off each other's wheels. Ran into him again in NYC. I'm super bummed. He fit me on my bike before I moved away a couple of years' ago. Such a solid guy always willing to offer advice.

will miss him
By: Kristi R
Thu, 07/05/2012 - 8:36pm

he coached our women's team one year. I always enjoyed bumping into him in the park, on 9W, or random bike shops. A real character. Really sad to hear he's gone.

a truly sad day
By: Jacopo Seatmast
Thu, 07/05/2012 - 8:35pm

It's a sad day for us all. My condolences go out to his family. Dave did so much for the local cycling community. He will be sorely missed.

Dave Jordan
By: David Pollack
Thu, 07/05/2012 - 8:24pm

So sorry to hear this. He will be sorely missed. RIP Dave.

Dave was a class act and committed to improving racing here in NY. He was always a great resource and friend. I will miss him terribly.

Dave J
By: R Hutchinson
Wed, 05/20/2009 - 1:44pm

Dave... great rider. We need more old school riders training the new guys. Skills, Race Savvy, Fitness. Dave has it all. Lenny was brilliant. Larry Sass... hope you are well bro whereever you are. Larry and I raced on Gitano for a year. Great guy... many laughs.

class act
By: Fred Tantao
Thu, 09/06/2007 - 9:42am

I rode with Dave and his brother Eric back in the late 80s when they both started road racing. DJ's best friend Billy Calloway and I were very close and even worked together in the financial district. DJ was good right from the very start. Even as a 4 he showed the form that would eventually get him to the pros. He is a very modest and humble guy for all of his accomplishments. Most riders should only dream of being a fraction of what DJ is on and off the bike. Keep plugging away DJ !!!!

By: Wheelsucker
Thu, 09/06/2007 - 9:42am

I rode with Dave and his brother Eric back in the late 80s when they both started road racing. DJ's best friend Billy Calloway and I were very close and even worked together in the financial district. DJ was good right from the very start. Even as a 4 he showed the form that would eventually get him to the pros. He is a very modest and humble guy for all of his accomplishments. Most riders should only dream of being a fraction of what DJ is on and off the bike. Keep plugging away DJ !!!!

Tue, 08/22/2006 - 8:00pm

thanks Modi!
See you in the Park every morning except Monday!

By: modi1013
Mon, 08/14/2006 - 8:00pm

so good to DJ back.

By: campocat
Thu, 08/10/2006 - 8:00pm

If you ever want to know the real deal about that race ask me some time.

Thu, 08/10/2006 - 8:00pm

Thanks JT and Kevin,
Yeah, I think you were in that break with me...imagine yellling at Sec.Serv.Agents of the Prime Minister, "If you want to go for a walk, get on a treadmill in your hotel room"...We were doing 12:30 laps from the word go, never have gone so fast up Harlem Hill, I remember 53x14 seated it was so dang fast...and just as I was going to drop everyone up HorseAlley, they block the road with a garbage truck and some police cruisers...!!!

Thanks for the reminder, anyone else want to give me a migraine...:))

By: kmolloy
Thu, 08/10/2006 - 8:00pm

DJ you are a top notch competitor. never saw you as pissed of as after the "netanyahu" incident at mengoni a few years back!

glad you are back!

Wed, 08/09/2006 - 8:00pm

to have guys like DJ around to learn from.

And Larry Sass. Haven't heard that name in a while. I started just as he was wrapping up his riding career, but that was a super-classy rider. I tried to just watch him ride and "absorb" the skill.

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