Rei was memorable out the gate. Modest yet engaged. Immediately sharing audacious plans but no real plan on how achieve them yet cooly confident that he would.
I told him to hit me up when in Amsterdam on his European travels. He blew my kids away with BMX skills, origami & special treats & gifts from Japan.
Months later, Rei approached me about doing an internship at my company. I would have been a fool not have found a way. I knew that then & am now so goddamn glad that I did.
In the summer of 2019, I picked up Rei with #ottogram
at the airport. Rei always had his share of bad luck (we all do) & his bikes were lost. No worries. He knew they’d turn up.
“Ok, Rei, where are you staying?”
He hadn’t quite figured that out yet. So, again, I hosted him. It was then that he began to feel like my & @kristyspark
’s 7th kid.
He stayed on a houseboat for awhile, even the office more than a few times & finally found a crib in the 2nd half of his time here.
Speaking of Manny, aka Brayden, Kristy’s 16yo son, Brayden looked up to Rei in so many ways.
Rei was a free-spirited bike nerd that could bunny hop higher than most, table any jump & climb any peak with one gear.
Brayden saw someone living the dream, traveling the world on two wheels & without a care. To Brayden, & everyone that met him: Rei was the real deal.
In Rei, I also saw myself. I was once also a starry-eyed globetrotter without ‘proper’ planning in my youth. I am grateful for the chance to have enabled Rei on his way like so many had done for me.
My family will always remember Rei as our 7th kid. ♥️