Longtime Fairbanks cyclist and all-around athlete Dave Covey recently died. He was many things, including a cyclist who traveled all over the world including in Australia, Europe, Mexico, the Lower 48.

In his obituary, Dave’s family requested that in lieu of flowers, people buy a beer for a friend and/or donate to the Fairbanks Cycle Club. While we highly support buying a beer for a friend, we will also accept donations. Unfortunately, we don’t yet have a way to donate online. If you would like to donate, please send a check to: Fairbanks Cycle Club; P.O. Box 80183; Fairbanks, AK 99708. Make it out to “Fairbanks Cycle Club.”

You can read Dave’s obituary here:


We asked for remembrances of Dave and received two nice pieces This first is from Kristin O’Brien. Another one follows from Tom Clark.

A Tandem Appreciation for Dave Covey
By Kristin O’Brien

I met Dave shortly after moving to Fairbanks at a potluck dinner at his and Kelly’s home. I learned then of our shared appreciation for moving through the world on two wheels.

The conversation turned to kids and bikes, and he generously offered to loan our family a tandem he rode with his daughter, Amy, when she was younger. The bike was even equipped with a set of pedal adapters to improve the fit for a pint-sized stoker. I can’t recall the make or model but there was a sticker from All Weather Sports, so I think he might have purchased it there. The tandem was far more stable and easier to ride with the kids than a trail-a-bike.

Years went by and I eventually offered to buy the tandem before setting off on a cycling trip along the California coast with my kids. Dave practically gave me the bike. The trip turned out to be one of our favorite family adventures. My youngest son, Lars, age 10, rode the tandem with me, passing time in the saddle eating candy and taking photos. We rode through the redwoods, stopped to swim in every hole we could find along the Eel River, explored, tidepools, and crossed the Golden Gate Bridge. I doubt that trip ever would have happened if I never met Dave and certainly not without his generosity and contagious enthusiasm for cycling.

Years later, when my kids outgrew the tandem, I sold it at an FCC bike swap where Helena Reuter purchased it, who I hope enjoyed a few more miles and adventures on Dave’s bike.

The tandem at Golden Gate Bridge!

In his Alaska Science Forum Column, science writer Ned Rozell also wrote a remembrance for Dave. Read it here:


A Computer Appreciation of Dave Covey
By Tom Clark

Dave Covey was initially an acquaintance, then a friend who I occasionally got together for beers and dinner.  I was a little shocked a few years later when I learned that he was a member of FCC.  “How cool!”, I told him.

I don’t remember who hooked me up with Dave back in ’96. I was having fits trying to get a Linux install to work on a 200MHz Pentium II PC, which was supposed to replace a 486 based server at MosquitoNet, a local dial-up Internet service provider.

I had pretty much given up on the project and was going to order up a new machine when someone suggested I talk to Dave Covey. I called him out of the blue and he agreed to come out that evening.  We fed him dinner (salmon, noodles and a salad) and then we got after it. 

I was like a deer in the headlights watching him work. He was conversant in the world of Unix and variants, and did stuff at the keyboard that I could not follow. He would then explain what he was doing, which I would sort of understand. We (or rather he) kept at it for about 4 or 5 hours, and concluded that the distribution of Linux that I had on CD-ROM was incompatible with this newer machine. In fact, that was his initial guess, but he spent hours building and tweaking kernels to see if there was some workaround. He even came out again the next day to try a couple other things. 

I ended up replacing the machine with a Pentium Pro, and when I told Dave about it, he was visibly disappointed. Clearly, he did not like losing a battle in the server world, even when it was me that threw in the towel.

My hours of watching him work were not a waste. I was inspired to get better at being in the drivers seat with a Linux server, which I did over a few years. I never got close to Dave’s level of comfort at the keyboard, but I got good enough that I never needed his level of help again. We got together for barbecue and beers a few times after that, talking shop and shooting the shit…  Sigh.