August 7, 2022 on

Sad day

I’ll get to day 84 in another post, but this entry is dedicated to the memory of Martyn Pearson and his fiance Alex Olsen. Sue texted me on Saturday as I was riding to El Paso that they were killed on Friday afternoon in a head-on car collision near Deming NM where Paul, Sue, and I had just passed through.

I had met Martyn just a few days before at their shop, Gila Hike and Bike. Paul had pointed it out as we drove by earlier. I wasn’t in need of anything and the bike has been performing well, but I stopped in anyway to check it out. I browsed around and eventually noticed they had Tannus Armour Inserts. I grabbed one and took it to the counter and asked what their experience was with them. It was Martyn at the register and he spent at least five minutes explaining them and how they worked, adding at the end, “I can’t say you’ll never get a flat, but they are pretty good!” We then got talking about my tour and bike setup and that I was staying with the Barsoms. “Oh, Paul and Sue! I love them,” and he went on to tell me about a particular ride with Paul and working with Sue on the Trails Committee. In that short ten minutes, I knew that if I ever lived here, Martyn would be one of the people I would seek to hang out with.

Paul later told me his story. He came to Western New Mexico University (WNMU) from northern England on a golf scholarship and never left. He was introduced to and fell in love with mountain biking while commuting back and forth to school across Boston Hill (see previous post). He started working at the bike shop and eventually bought it. I didn’t have the pleasure of meeting Alex, but just the association with Martyn and Paul and Sue tells me she would also be in my circle. Sadly, they left two teenage children behind. Sue and Paul wrote that the whole community is in shock and disbelief at the loss of such great people.

Martyn Pearson and Alexandra Olsen

So many things become insignificant on the way home from a funeral.

Francois truffaut, Jules and Jim


  1. Sarah Rito

    What a tragedy. We’ll be holding their children in the light, and sending love to the friends who cherished them.

  2. Hendrika Spykerman

    so sorry to hear. just uninmaginable, One minute here next minute gone.
    That’s why I always said a prayer of thanks at the end of each biking day for keeping me safe.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© 2024 Paul's Touring Blog

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑