Knowing that what we do on a daily basis and are so passionate about can take our lives is a pretty rough concept to grasp, and although I never met Oregon’s Luke Esgate, my heart goes out to his family and friends in their time of loss. Here are some words from various blogs about Luke…


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I got the news of this weekends tragedy in true ironic fashion. Walking out of the new Jackass 3D movie filled with sketches of people intentionally causing themselves bodily harm I turned my phone on to a barrage of messages from Dan Wrightington. No details just “Call me back”. I did and quickly learned what had happened. Luke Esgate, Nate, and Beav had gone back to session the Area 51 trails the day after a jam many people, myself included, attended and had a great day of riding. Specific details are unknown to me at this time but Luke apparently overshot the second set in the big line crashed hit his head and went into seizures. He was taken to the hospital but his injuries were to severe and he past away. Luke had been wearing his helmet the day before and I am only assuming he was wearing it on Sunday. The irony of watching people hurt themselves intentionally for my amusement became overwhelming. I can’t watch “Scarred” on MTV because I don’t want to think about what might happen if something goes wrong. Most of us push those thoughts of consequences from our heads. You have to. You can’t dwell on what if and do what we do. If you’ve been riding long enough you see or bear the scars of injuries. Most of us wear them like a badge of honor for adversity overcome and hop back on the steel horse for another go at it. None of us expect to pay the ultimate price doing what we do. None of us would jump off a second story roof to our head but that’s about the equivalent of what we do at times. Everyone was talking about T.J. Lavin, his crash and being in a coma. Mike Aitkin had to recover from similar injuries, yet most of us still won’t wear a helmet. Maybe the one thing we can get out this tragedy is to be safer. Strap on a helmet. Luke we will miss you buddy. Keep the trails ready homie cause you never know when the next one of us will join you for a session in the afterlife.
-Frank Walter

People who knew Luke Esgate predicted a bright future for the 17-year-old high school senior.

"He wanted to succeed, and you could see that he was one of those kids who had his life ahead of him," said Dean Cherbas, chairman of the board at West Lane Technical Learning Center in Elmira.

Esgate's life was cut short Sunday when he died after crashing his BMX bicycle at an Albany park. Police said he fell and hit his head while jumping his bike on a makeshift track.

Cherbas said Esgate, an Elmira resident, was an avid BMX rider who hoped to ultimately get more involved in the off-road cycling sport.

But the teen showed he had other talents after he enrolled last spring at the technical learning center, a 93-student public charter school.

Cherbas said Esgate wrote pages and pages of poetry, much of it "about how you have to go for it, and not let anything hold you back."

Esgate was diligent in his classes and hoped to graduate next June, Cherbas said.

On Monday, school officials established a "safe room" where students could speak with counselors about their classmate's death, Cherbas said. "School went on as normal as it could," Cherbas said. "It was very painful for all of us today."

Albany police are still investigating the circumstances surrounding Sunday's crash in Bryant Park, Lt. Marv Hammersley said.