I had the true privilege to know and work with Johnny Roy Bottema. One time famous wrench for Intense Factory Racing, Johnny passed away this past week after a long battle with cancer & other medical complications. Johnny was not only the best mechanic I ever had the pleasure to learn mechanical skills from, he also taught me to be a better person each day we spent together at work.
I still remember the day Johnny approached me looking for a job. I could not believe that the famous Johnny Bottema would even consider working for Jax Bicycle Center. He had so many years experience working for professional racing teams, I could hardly believe he was standing in front of me wanting to work alongside our team! If you haven’t guessed by now, Johnny was gladly hired to work in our service department….and did he work! Johnny was always busy, always helpful, and always sharing his extensive knowledge with staff and clients alike.
I could go on for days about his mechanical expertise, but I really would like to touch on the real man who I am proud to have known. Johnny was a kind-hearted person. He would always see the good in everything and everyone, and never speak poorly of others. His generosity was one of his many positive traits that can not go unmentioned. He would give you the shirt off his back, or his last dollar to help you out. His selfless actions were truly amazing, there was never any end to what he would give. I remember many times when he would treat his co-workers to mid afternoon snacks. He loved sweats, and would always have candy around.
Of all his positive attributes that I remember, I still cherish our conversations we had as car-pool buddies the most. Johnny led such an interesting and full life from the time he was young. His brother and him started Bottema Forks in the earlier days of BMX racing. He also was a professional mountain bike race team mechanic. As fascinating as all his adventures were, I really appreciated the conversations of life we would have. He always offered me a relaxed insight to work, relationships, and life.
I will forever forget Johnny Roy Bottema! He did so much for myself, Jax Bicycle Center, friends, family, and for anyone who truly had the amazing experience to know him. We send our deepest condolences to his family and friends. Rest in Peace my friend! – Pat DeVries –