WASHINGTON — A bike messenger and renowned figure in D.C.'s cycling community died, prompting friends and avid cyclists to hold a tribute ride this upcoming Saturday.
According to his obituary, 61-year-old Jay Moglia was leading a group ride from his Raw Talent Ranch training facility in Lost River, West Virginia on June 26 when he suffered a massive heart attack.
Friends of Moglia and cyclists who rode with him over the years took to social media to share his legacy.
"Jay Moglia was a prospector of talent who saw veins of gold in people that they themselves might hardly be aware of," wrote one Facebook user. "I am grieving deeply today, but also in remembering Jay, I'm overwhelmed with joy and gratitude that I knew this man."
Friends and family said Moglia's love of cycling began with his lifelong job as a package and letter courier in D.C. According to his obituary, Moglia established himself in the mid-Atlantic road racing scene as a fierce competitor despite never having participated in a bike race before his early 30s.
He earned his Category 1 certification from the U.S. Cycling Foundation -- the highest rank before professional status -- just two years after competing in his first race, his obituary says.
His cycling hobby also brought along hardships. In 1996 during a race in Jackson, Miss., a vehicle traveling along the race course crashed into him, severely injuring his leg and nearly causing him to die from trauma-induced kidney failure, as stated in a Clarion-Ledger profile.
Just four years later, Moglia ended up qualifying for Olympic Trials at the same Jackson race that nearly cost him his life.
After cycling all over the U.S., Moglia and his partner of more than 20 years, Audrey Taucher, decided to focus their efforts on creating a more "homey" cycling hub for riders in the DMV, his obituary says. In 2005, the duo purchased Lost River Barn, and two years later opened it up as a starting point for group rides in the heart of the Appalachians.
Besides cycling, Moglia had a gift for music. He sang, played guitar and wrote songs for two local rocks bands during his life: first for the Crippled Pilgrims and then for Rambling Shadows.
In addition to Taucher, Moglia is survived by his brother Stephen Moglia and wife Yolanda; his sister Robin Moglia, her husband Bob Clancy and their two children; sister Marise Galgano, her husband George and their two daughters; his mother Barbara Moglia; his Aunt Jo, cousins, nieces and nephews, and countless friends.
He was preceded in death by his father and role model Joseph “Buddy” Moglia.
Besides the memorial ride, friends and families have not announced additional memorial services for Moglia.