Anyone who's ever been to "The Barn," or heard about how great it is and wanted to go there, or who ever raced the Lost River Classic took a gigantic loss last weekend with news of Jay Moglia's untimely passing. He had a heart attack while guiding a group of guests. There's the whole "died doing what he loved" trope, and then there's the fact that his death came about 30 years too soon, and Audrey.
Jay and the Barn came into my life in 2008. I'd heard about it somehow, and convinced a bunch of NCVC team mates to go out there for a weekend. Jay made us feel like old friends, took us on the craziest rides I've ever been on, and then Mother Nature capped it off with a thunder snowstorm as we climbed "the back side" for the first time. Once that group starting talking about it on the regular team rides, it became easy to fill out a trip whenever The Barn had an open weekend.
Jay's adventures as a privateer racer were endlessly entertaining, and his appreciation for gravel came earlier than anyone else's in my orbit. On many trips out there, the idle musings of "we should have a race out here" began, and that's what we did. In the summer of 2009, with a huge amount of help from Jay and Audrey, NCVC promoted the first Lost River Classic. I spent half my life out there that year making it happen, and somehow came out of it with a firm friendship with the WV State Highway Administrator, and some good allies on the County Commission, and several residents who'd just as soon I never headed west from DC. it took 80 volunteers driving out to Hardy County to make it happen, but somehow it all came together thanks to Jay and Audrey's charm and connections, and it remains one of the most stupid, rewarding, and memorable things I've ever done.
Apart from Facebook, I hadn't been in touch with Jay too much since moving back to RI. I've always had it in mind to make it back there for a weekend, but of course life gets in the way. To Audrey, and Robin and the Beav, I am so so sorry. Jay was one of a kind. Cycling was never the same because of Jay, and it certainly won't be the same without him.