07 and 08 DK Angels, Don Albietz and Barbara Tronnier

Diamond Kid 2008 dedicated to Barbara Tronnier

Diamond Kid 2007 dedicated to Don Albietz 

Diamond Kid 2008 was off to a respectful start this year, as announcer and Channel 13 news anchor, Nina Radetich, led an emotion-filled moment of silence in Barbara Tronnier’s honor.

Barbara was a dearly loved wife, mother, and teacher who rode her bike to work, taught middle school, and loved to play and ride bikes with her family.  She has touched many lives in the community and is sincerely missed since her tragic accident on Thursday.  Just two days before her kids were going to do the triathlon, she was hit and killed while riding her bike to work at Caldwallader Middle School.  We at Diamond Kid were devastated to hear the news and immediately dedicated the event in her honor. 

Then the next day, on Friday, we learned the true strength of the Tronnier family spirit as we heard that they would still be coming to the race and that the kids would race in their mother’s honor.  It was inspiring to see the kids race and to visit with Barb’s husband, Dave, who handled the day with gratitude and grace.  It was as if he knew she was still there in heart.  Dave is such a fun guy, you can’t help but smile around him, even in times of sorrow.  He has a way of making everyone around him feel good.  The children, McCray and Bryar, were an inspiration to us all as they were able to channel their courage into enough energy to win 1st and 2nd place in their divisions! 


They were each also awarded the highest medal of honor at the race, called the “Don Albietz Award”.  Don Albietz is revered as a local hero, metro officer, and former Diamond Kid father who was also tragically hit and killed a few years ago.  His family (who was volunteering at the race) carries on his legacy with honor and grace just as the McCray kids do their mother.  We couldn’t imagine a more fitting pair of kids for this highest of Diamond Kid tributes.  Bryar and McCray embody what every Diamond Kid does, and that’s a spirit of strength and vigor and courage in the face of challenge.  You can see it in the face of every Diamond Kid as they round the final corner with such intense effort, then see the finish line, and instantly light up and sprint to the end with a great big, proud smile!

According to close family friend, Julie Willis-Leon, “Yesterday’s [Diamond Kid triathlon] was the first critical step in this family’s healing journey.  Dave said, “I arrived here with a lump in my throat and hole in my heart and I left there with a smile on my face.”  For Dave and the kids to know that they are not alone in this devastation and that people (an entire community!) acknowledged and acted on their loss was a tremendous gift.   Several people approached him who had children in her classes and I don’t think any of us had any idea how far reaching Barb’s life would be.” -Julie.

Diamond Kids (and anyone else) are encouraged to get sponsors for their recent race on the attached form.  Bank account information is also posted on the attachment.  Please call me (Heather Fisher, 274-0116) with any questions.

In the news interviews, Dave pleads with drivers to respect and acknowledge riders because cycling is a good thing “for the environment and our bodies and our hearts and these [kids], too.”   Dave and his kids continue to lead the way, and ride on, even in this difficult headwind.

See these inspiring stories below, and we’ll see you on Saturday at the Tronnier celebration!

Channel 13 News Stories

Cycling Advocacy:  Check www.saveredrock.com for things we are doing to try to make cycling and all kinds of recreation safer.  Email (heather@lasvegascyclery.com) to add your name to an email list for cycling advocacy if you don’t already get emails from the saveredrock.com cause inspired by Don Albietz’ life, and now Barbara’s, too.  With the support of people like you on our advocacy list, we have been able to get a bike lane built through Red Rock Canyon and pass a state law prohibiting commercial trucking in the canyon.  We are currently working on designing a paved bike path for families (that will go through Red Rock from Summerlin to 160) and trying to stop rumble strips from going on Mt. Charleston.  We are also working on safer commuting and environmental cycling campaigns and lower speed limits.

Metro’s Sgt. Greg Weeks said, “Don was a man with passions about those things that he did. One of his passions was cycling. His first passion was his family, second was Metro and third was cycling.” Diamond Kid is honored to carry on a legacy of strength in the town that Don protected then and is our angel still.