Tuesday afternoon, Bakersfield said goodbye to a local who had many roots in the community. John Rous was 78 years old when he was hit and killed while biking the morning of November 14.
Rous was an avid runner. He is known as founding the Thanksgiving Day Pie Run and as one of the co-founders of the Bakersfield Track Club. He ran more than 70 marathons.
“He got into the sport late but he taught us and was a good example that you could get into something and enjoy it just for the sake of enjoying it and it can be a life pursuit,” said his son, David Rous.
Later, he took up cycling.
“Once he was self proclaimed ‘too slow to run marathons’ then it became all about the riding and that was his pursuit,” said his son.
Tuesday, his service was held at Wesley United Methodist Church, the same church he and his wife Stella were married in 54 years ago.
As a tribute to his passions, cyclists placed their helmets in a line at the front of the church and runners wore their running shoes.
A friend read a poem that he had written for John, which brought laughter to the crowded church.
“Our friend John is a very fine fella, in the tour de life he’d always wear yella’, but if you’re looking for speed you won’t get what you need, unless he gets that look from his Stella.”