Police in Marquette, Michigan, shared the name of the cyclist found dead within a few miles of the finish of the Ore to Shore mountain bike race on Saturday, August 9: Peter Bausch, an attorney and father of two boys, who lived in Elm Grove, Wisconsin.
According to earlier reports, family members contacted authorities after Bausch failed to show up at the finish line of the 48-mile mountain bike race. He was found just off the course, unresponsive and not breathing. Attempts to revive the 37-year-old were unsuccessful.
An initial autopsy failed to identify a cause of death, but authorities do not suspect foul play. Additional tests will be done to determine what happened to end Bausch’s life.
His story, shared in the obituary posted Wednesday morning, is familiar and inspiring. Bausch was a husband and father who balanced his athletic pursuits with a family-first priority: “Peter was never so happy or proud as in his role as a father to Ben and Andrew. He excelled – if his children did it, he did it too. He was an exceptional role model and loved to harness his boys’ boundless energy into productive activities filled with laughter, sweat and imaginary championships.
“He was an accomplished skier and cyclist who put the miles in at every opportunity. Peter raced the American Birkebeiner on several occasions and regularly competed in road and mountain bike races throughout the Midwest. He was a competitor in the truest sense of the word, constantly endeavoring to improve his own personal performance above all else.”
Bausch earned a law degree at Marquette University and most recently served as Patent and Technology General Counsel at S.C. Johnson. His career gave Peter the chance to travel to Asia, Europe and Australia, fulfilling a desire to see the world that began with a semester in Spain during college.
Many of us who run, bike, ski, paddle and strive for fitness can look to Bausch as a role model. A sudden death in a race, unfortunately, is a risk we all take, but one that his offset by the joy of competing with ourselves and those around us.
At every start line, thoughts of the risks at hand enter my mind. Rather than deter me, those thoughts remind me to take the time to enjoy the experience, to engage and encourage those around me and to carry the spirit of people like Peter Bausch.
A visitation will be held from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Becker Ritter Funeral Home, 14075 W. North Ave., in Brookfield.The Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Bernard of Clairvaux Parish, 7474 Harwood Ave., Wauwatosa, on Friday, August 15 at 11 AM. In lieu of flowers, memorials to the Peter Bausch Educational Fund.
Tom Held writes The Active Pursuit blog for Silent Sports.