Friends mourn death of Denny Vandecar, icon in Lansing bicycle community

OKEMOS — No one knows how many people Denny Vandecar met during his six or so decades in the bicycle business in the Lansing area. But it’s a safe bet that many were touched by his kindness and zeal for life, friends said.

“He was an all-around great guy,” said John Deemer, a friend of Vandecar’s since the mid-1970s, when Deemer went to work for Vandecar after graduating from high school. “He was just a hell of a guy, and, really, so talented – not just in racing but in business.”

Steve Leiby’s association with Vandecar also goes back to the 1970s, when Leiby bought his “first good bike” from the affable shop owner.

“He was easy to get along with and he knew his product,” said Leiby, who now chairs the Tri-County Bicycle Association’s DALMAC Fund committee, the organization’s charitable arm. “It helped that he actually rode bikes. It puts you in a good position to know what your customer needs. He was a straight shooter.”

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