Monday, November 06, 2006

Racing in Iowa

I have to say thank you to all for your wonderful emails over the past year about my Bro. Today is the first time I have posted in Months about Ben. Just coming back here makes me cry and remember the friend that I have lost. So many times I have just wished that things would have worked out different, and Ben was still here. I am heading to Iowa at the end of the month to race some Cross and leave some ashes at Sugar Bottom. I have only ridden there once and it was back in 95' with Ben. I couldn't even come close to hanging on his wheel. He was always faster than me at just about everything we did.
This will be my 2nd time to Iowa since Ben passed and I can't even tell you how much more I feel I have lost when I can't call him and tell him I will be in town. I know he will be there cheering and ringing a bell on every lap. And with one Lap to go I will giver all I got knowing that is what Ben would want me to do.

A letter from a friend

I owe a great debt of gratitude to Ben and I grieve over his death. I met Ben at the University of Iowa in 1997. He is the person who really got me into riding (road and mountain) more seriously. I spent a lot of time riding, climbing, and just joking around with Ben and the incredible circle of friends who we shared. Ben entered me into my first mountain bike race at Sugarbottom and was so interested in me riding more (and more seriously) that he paid my entry fee. The photos in this posting show scenes from the same roads and trails that we rode together. I know many other people share these same thoughts and feelings.Many nights we would townie around Iowa City for hours. Ben knew all the sly paths and alleys to rally around. He always knew of some new street feature or had a new discovery to share. It was always a thrill and always at maximum speed. It made me feel like a kid again.This posting is mostly to offer up my thanks to Ben for how he influenced me and my life for the best. My love and frequency of riding continues to grow. And I often hear Ben's voice in my head telling me to "breathe" and "don't make mistakes;" and I can see him pointing to the top of his rear triangle prompting me to draft closer and to watch his rear wheel.It is a great loss to me personally and to all of us that he had to leave this world so soon. Fortunately for us and for Ben, I think he would be able to say he lived his life without regret...or at least not many. And he milked the most out of each and every day he was alive. My days were richer, interesting and great fun when I spent them with Ben. My personal condolences to you, Sam, and to your family. Kind Regards,Aaron Suzuki

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

White Owls and Ben's Ashes

So last night I grabbed a beer and headed up the hill to drop some of Ben's ashes. I don't know why but I decided that it was time to start sprinkling Ben all of the places I love. I am planning on taking him as many places as I can. So, I thought I would start with a place that I love to go. This overlooks my house and all of Pocatello. I am up here almost every day with my pups. I run here all winter. The craziest thing happened on the way down. Right after I took this picture........2 White Owls started circling me and the dogs for a few minutes. They were so close. I have never seen an owl this close, and have never seen a white owl in the wild or ever really. They circled and then landed in a tree just 50ft away I approached them and one flew off but the other stayed and just watched me. I have to say it was one of the odder moments I have ever experienced. Diesel(my black lab) in all of the commotion had run off........ Which in 7 years she has never done, and ran all the way home about 6 blocks and waited for me on the front porch of the house. It was getting dark and I couldn't get the digital camera to take a picture. Bummer................What a night.

Thursday, February 09, 2006


A letter to Ben... one of his friends wrote and asked me to share.

It’s been a long time now, about 6 years I think. I hear about you from time to time, and I think about you a lot. Even before last week. I can’t hear a Dinosaur Junior song without thinking of you. It’s hard for me to say how much you’ve impacted my life. There is no doubt I wouldn’t be the person I am today without you. I remember years ago, you would always tell me “one day one of us is going to be a pro racer, I know it”. I always thought it would be you. Somehow you knew it would happen and you made me believe. I wonder if you knew where you would be January 2006. Maybe you did. Maybe that’s why you lived life the way you did. You got the most out of every moment, every day, every friendship. When I start my first pro race this spring I will be thinking of you. I hope some part of you will be there on your pink and purple Klein riding with me.

I am happy to think that I was your friend. I like to think time was one of the more fulfilling and happy times of your life. I enjoyed the time we spent together, racing bikes, training, rock climbing, and always having fun. I wish those days could be here again. I wish I could see you again riding with the guys Champy, Ruddick, Jason, Cory, and Kenny. Racing with Iowa City traffic after night riding at Sugarbottom. I wish we could go back to that happy time in Iowa City racing bikes, seeing you at peace.

You were a good friend to me. I wonder if I was as good of friend to you. I visited you in the hospital when you fought through Guillane-Barre, I hugged you as you cried at Chris Lillig’s funeral but in the end I wasn’t there when you needed a friend the most.

I’m sorry I am writing you only now. I’m sorry I didn’t write you two weeks ago or two years ago. I always thought you would end up at my doorstep one day. Dragging me along to go snowboarding or tackle some ridiculously hard road ride. It truly saddens me to know that will never happen now.

I will carry on with your smiling face in my heart forever. I take comfort in knowing that you will greet death in that same way you greeted life with a big smile and a warm hug.

I’m sorry.
Your Friend

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Please fwd. any photos to me.

Please continue to call and email. Your emails and stories of Ben have been wonderful. please send me any photos of Ben.
I will post any images or content you wish me to AD.
208-232-2054 Call me at home. sam k
Your calls and emails have meant more than you could know. Some have made me cry and others laugh. You have made me remember things I have forgotten and a witness to things I wish I would have seen.

My mom can be contacted at
Katie Krieg
743 Lockefield Ct. Apt D
Indpls, IN 46202
My dad can be reached at
Dave Krieg
195 Fremont
Dubuque, IA 52003

In lieu of flowers, a memorial may be made in Ben’s name to the
Red River Gorge Climbers’ Coalition. PO Box 22156, Lexington,KY. 40522-2156.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

January 18th 2006 "I can't believe he is gone"

On January 18th 2006 my big brother Ben passed away. I just keep looking at these images and I can hardly believe it. So many things to say and so many feelings. I just wanted to post some pictures for everyone to remember him. He had the most wonderful smile, and I will miss him more than he will ever know. I just can't believe he is gone. Here is BEN hanging off a cliff with Half DOME in the background. We were on the climb HEAVEN. It was back in 98' right after he got out of the hospital with GB. I have spoken with many people and we all agree the world lost so much energy on the 18th. I just keep telling myself it can't be true. Please keep a bit of Ben in your heart. sam k

please scroll down and enjoy......

A quote I just thought was fitting.
"keep on living life the Krieg boys way"
Sincerely, matt hughes

"One thing you could always say about Ben was that he was 'Unforgettable'. He'll remain that to me and I'll miss him. " Brad Smith Fort Collins, CO

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

from his friend Joey W

Sorry again your the loss of your big hearted bro.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Oh and I say infamous in an affectionate daredevil sense... As a result of this site, I now know how much Ben really experienced in his short life and how much he will be missed...... his cousin

Thursday, January 19, 2006

I created this place to go and see Ben one last time. I have gone more times than that to be sure I am not dreaming. It makes me Cry and Laugh. I have to say I have a huge hole in my heart ...bigger than I could have ever dreamed. I miss him more than I ever thought I would. Please stay in touch and keep a place in your heart for Ben. We all need a bit of Ben in us. Optimism that just never ended. I swear he is happy as heck somewhere. Probably just planning on the next big thing.

Matt M wrote: Ben never thought small. i met ben in 2001 when he was living in the red. i remember on september 11, 2001, i had skipped some chemistry class to come down to the red and climb with sam and some other folks at the motherlode. ben showed up later that morning telling us this crazy story about planes flying into the world trade center. no one believed him, until sam called his dad.later in the fall, i was working the nazi bitch crack way up at pebble beach, and ben was the most pshyched person ever...way more than me. i would roll down on the weekends and tuesdays, and he would haved rounded up a belay for me, so that he could film. he was on crutches and raced up the trail leaving me coughing and wheezing in the dust. it kind of pissed me off actually. i would get to the top completely exhausted, and he would be smiling talking about how i was going to send it today, he had no doubt about it. that was the best thing about ben - always completely full of energy, and positive that "today is the day" about anything.i can honestly say that ben was a good friend of mine. i would wait for him every year to show up at the red. sometimes he did, sometimes not. ben, i will never forget you. matt massey, fellow terrorist
Tara wrote: Ben made me a better person! Here is one of his quotes, "Tomorrow is going to be a Beautiful Day, in any Direction I go." He will truely be missed! My thoughts and prayers are with all of you and with Ben ( I only wish they would have been there sooner) Sincerely -Tara (Bettcher)Roeder
Ben would want this one in here. This was the best streak I have ever seen. There were over 100 tourists getting off a bus behind me taking pictures.
- 2 days before this picture Ben was UP $5000 at a craps table in Vegas only to leave oweing me $100. That was Ben's style ...all or nothing. (Yosemite Valley 97')
- “Ben was going to be driving a Porsche or riding his bicycle; there was no Chevy in the equation”-John Krieg

Ben raced bikes for years. He spent a short time racing in Belgium and here in the States on the Road and Mtn. He raced for Ken Lefler out of Iowa City for years and those were some of the best years of his life. He loved the bike, and he loved training and racing. He spent his winters in AZ training and summers racing in the mid-west.

Charlie wrote... So sorry for your loss. I remember Ben and have been thinking about him quite a bit lately. I remember that guy would never slow down!

Ben would tell us to "Keep a tight ship" "always get extra pickles" "drink dark beer" "always bet the YO 11 on the craps table" "smile"
He had more energy than most of us could ever dream of. I sent him an email this morning just in case he was still checking it. I am really going to miss you. sam k


Photos by Rick Paulos
Cedar Rapids, Iowa

BEN LOVED Mtn Biking and the dirt. He race and rode with many of you for years. His lap times at Sugar Bottom are some of the fastest(as far as he told me). He came and visted a few years back and hadn't been training in years. After we hit the trail head I never saw him again. The guy was fast.

Chris Sindt Wrote. Ben had an energetic style. He was the guy to know in a pinch. He always knew who to call, who to talk to, or what to do. When things looked bleak at the NORBA nationals in Vail, it was Ben who saved us from camping in the parking garage and got us a 5 bedroom condo, at a cheaper rate! I remember so many other great times that I will never forget. The 87 Madonna in Tenessee, the climbing at Foster Falls, the face plant in a patch of poison ivy. Ben did it all with laughter. It was all art of the fun. Bens loss is huge to this world. His upstanding personality, his spark, imagination, and almost constant laugh will be sorely missed. I miss you Ben.

I have a lot of memories of Ben. From Superweek to Indiana races Ben was always great to be with. I was frustrated trying to race in Spain and I called Ben in Ghent. In two days time I was in Belgium. Ben was right there to pick me up at the airport - in style - with the team car. His world became my world instantly. He shared with me all he knew and felt, what he had discovered, with the generous spirit that we all recognized in Ben. It rained and was cold for the next seventeen days but he brought a glow to that place that I will never forget. Its important to remember Ben - he was genuine and real - the glow he cast was real. His smile resonates in my memory. It warms me to think of him .
Sincerely - Cory Stover, also to Ben as 'Playboy'...

Kevin Hankens wote......
"he really inspired me to chase my dreams
in a period where I was very down on myself.
pass along my sympathy to your Mom. She stood out
there all day at the state road race in '99 giving us
ice water. I could see where Ben got his hospitality
from. She's very kind and this is probably very hard
for her."

'Fill er up'... that was Ben's phrase for the easy and fast shifting from his Campy Record Ergopower. (You see, when you click the thumb-button on the righthand shifter, it just 'fills up' the gears into the best sprinting range and fastest speeds... his fave)I believe I couch-surfed with the Mangrich brothers & Ben during the old Cedar Rapids race weekend when I was in college.He had a zest for racing his bike and tons of great stories to tell... I've always remembered his little phrase, reminding me to keep pushing it when I'm having a good ride.My condolences and prayers.Marc T. HollanderDes

BEN, DAN, CHRIS, From Ken Lefler

This one is tough for me Sam. The guy beside Ben is Chris Lillig. He was
killed by a drunk driver in 1996. The guy behind Ben was Dan
Bockenstedt. He was killed by a teenage driver in Dubuque. This photo is
of the Iowa City group ride in the summer of 95 on Sand road. All three guys raced for me
Ken Lefler Iowa City

Hello Sam, Dave and Katie,

I received a phone call from my parents recently that Ben had passed away. We’re all so very sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing the information about where memorials can be sent, as we’ll do so.

I met Ben through my brother, Dan Bockenstedt, and knew him for several years only through my brother’s description of him as a remarkably energetic and physically gifted athlete. The first time I spent significant time with Ben was when my brother was hit in September 1997. After Daniel was hit on a Thursday evening, we began to make calls to friends and family. A number of riders came to the hospital and stayed with our family during what was a seemingly unbearable event. Ben was among the few persons nearly always there for the two days and beyond, for what seemed like an eternity, offering quiet comfort, compassion, words of kindness and optimism, as well as recollections of time spent with Dan. He later periodically stopped by my parents house to check-in on how everyone was doing. Gifts that touched, and continue to touch my family more than Ben could perhaps have even fathomed.

In June of 1998 (or recollection escapes me..) during the Dan B. Cup Road Race in Graf, I remember Ben’s enthusiastic participation and perseverance on a day that was characterized by high humidity and high temperatures, with very little chance for keeping cool. I recall Katie providing support for Ben at the Girl Scout Camp feed zone and cheering everyone that went by…including Lowell Kellogg and me badly flagging off the back, laden with pocketfuls of change for the pop machine in Bankston. Your family also supported the race in other ways, helping to attract riders from all over the upper Midwest - Thank you very much.
I have heard persons described as those who respond to the temperature in a room, or those who set the temperature in a room. Ben is without a doubt the kind of person who set the temperature in whatever room he walked into, whether it was, a house, a peleton, Iowa City, or Yosemite. He was the spark of excitement wherever he went.
None of us can undo the things that come to pass. It is, however, within our power to carry with us all the good memories of those whom we love. My family’s hope for you is that memories of Ben bring an ever-increasing light to your days.

With our sincere condolences,
Paul, Cathy, Lara and Daniel Bockenstedt
Walter and Mary Bockenstedt (Parents of Dan, Ann and Paul)
Andy, Ann (Bockenstedt), Jim and Peter Rettenmeier

Kevin wrote:
Hey Sam. Here is a great photo of Ben at Snake Alley
in '99. Damn, the guy could put out some serious
horsepower with those skinny legs. You know, when I
think about him I can just picture when he would get
so excited about something that he'd practically be
foaming at the mouth : ) It's just one of the many
little things that we'll all get to keep.

This was a card Ben sent to Kenn while we were out west. This was at the Needles in CA from our campsite. We were hours from anywhere. Kenn Waller
Krieg Boys Ice '86-'99

I just wanted you to know, I think he was with us on the backside on Saturday. (maybe that guy you saw in the trees). That kind of a day does not happen very often and it was pretty eerie with no one over there but us and no tracks??? I said a prayer for Ben in church and basically just said I hoped he was at peace and hopefully in a better place. I actually had a chill go through my body when I said it, so I really think everything is okay with him now. Maybe Saturday was his way of letting you know that he is in a better place. After all, Saturday on the backside was a lot like heaven.
A little mushy, but I wanted to share that with you. Kris

Ben spotting me in Yosemite


Sam A note of my deepest sympathy to you and your family. I was so vary sorry to here the news of the loss of Ben. And I was honored to be able to bring Ben home to Dubuque yesterday with his Father. My memory of him and you and the rest of your immediate family began back in 74 in the days of Tom Buck and then again in 81 as the ICE company grew and the 3 little Penguin's John Ben and Sam would go with me in the Diamond Reo Delivery truck most customers thought I was John and Sam was Ben with our Red hair. Now we have grown older and wiser we hope that Time is the ultimate healer as Time we heal the bad in life and make use remember the good and the laughter. One in particular was when I was planning a business trip to GA when my good friend Dave call's and say's Hey I need a favor Ben needs a ride to IN can one of your truckers drop him of I had none going that way but I said I was going in the private plane to GA he can ride with me...he showed up at the airport and much to my surprise when he unloaded a bicycle. I'm to put it in the back seat of a 4 seater plane with enough Rock climbing gear to scale Mt Everest let along the luggage of the 3 people. Ben was on a journey I can't tell you how many laugh's we had going down but especially when we cane back after we spent a night at the dorm at Hanover. We hit bad weather coming home and had to land in Columbus . In we went to a private hanger of Cummins Engine where they told us we couldn't go then we or maybe it was Ben who said call the President of the company he will ok it they did and he did and there driver took us to a Hotel where we stayed for the night. Ben's personality would take over a room if all him energy could have Ben channeled the ski was the limit for him I’m sure the sky will always be Blue in his world today as he now watches over us with his laughter at the things we do.Ben.. "My God Bless You as he Welcome's you Home" This is one of the many times to Remember that Forgiveness is a form of healing that not only GOD can do.My Deepest SympathyTo the Family of Ben. Marvin Ney

Jason wrote: after a night talking about Ben.....
I laughed so much about that silly dog. Anyway, just try to remember Ben naked somewhere and laugh.

I still have not recovered from the state of shock that I have been in since I heard the news. I have such an overwhelming emptiness in my heart. I have so many wonderful memories of Ben that I will never forget. It's just too difficult to share them right now.Ben truly embraced life to the fullest. He had endless ideas on how to change the world and how to strike it rich. He was so much fun to be around. He made me a better, more adventurous person.My heart goes out to all of you that were touched by Ben's wonderful spirit. He will be so deeply missed. I will have Sam post some of my favorite pictures from the happy times we shared together. My thoughts and prayers are with Ben's family and friends.Much Love,Michelle


Steve wrote: It is with great dismay that I write to you this evening. The levity of Ben’s passing is weighing heavily as I am flooded with memories of his distinction and remarkable vitality. I am so sorry for Ben's early passing. We are fortunate he lived with such passion and vigor. Although we all grew up in Iowa, he never once believed he could not achieve any worldly quest he placed his enormous energy toward. Too many good times to express; traveling to snowboard contests, days at Sundown, skirfing behind the Merkur, intense Townie sessions and climbing anything we could find in the Midwest. And above all networking, networking, and more networking. At times it seemed he knew everyone. Ben's charisma coupled with his room-filling presence allowed him to charm his way into or out of any situation. His pioneering spirit and thirst for adventure led him down many business paths, but he was always caught by his love of photography. Dave and Katie thank you for allowing us to spend so much time together during high school, I have been forever influenced by your son Ben. His remarkable optimism is unforgettable. Ben, thank you for all the great times. You will be sorely missed here at home, but I look forward to climbing with you again.Yours truly,Steve Chase

...My memories of Ben are of his energy, happiness, ambition and of course his cocky ass grin.... I am sorry for your loss. I am sorry for everyones loss. Scott H