On November 3, 2004, my little brother Mike Nosco was killed in a horrific and devastating traffic accident. Mike was a friend, an uncle, a soldier, a son, and a great brother. He was in the Navy for 20 years and was dedicated to his country. Mike was part of a very special elite unit, HCS-5 (helicopter combat support); the Firehawks were their mark. The colors of this website are the colors of this elite team. In 2004, Mike was scheduled to be deployed to serve his third term in Iraq. He loved serving our country. He reached the rank of Chief Petty Officer. Mike started serving our community at a young age as a Boy Scout reaching the rank of Eagle Scout for Troop 730 in Newbury Park, a tremendous accomplishment.
I was a firefighter at the time and heard about the accident over the radio scanner, I had no idea it was my little brother. The coroner came to my house that night and conveyed the devastating news that my brother had left this heavenly earth. Shortly after his death, I hopped on my bike and rode what today serves as our 80-mile course. Wallowing in misery, especially on November 3rd, every year since his passing, I decided to turn the day around. I wanted to give back like Mike would have. In 2009, I started the first annual Mike Nosco Memorial Bicycle Ride in memory and in celebration of my brother’s life. Mike worked at Amgen, a biotech company, for ten years. He often stopped by my house on his way home from work to play with my kids and dogs. On this day, we were not home and we can only speculate that he decided to go directly home. It was dusk as Mike drove down the Camarillo grade opening up to farmland. He was heading northbound on Las Posas Road, just north of Laguna Road at the wide bend in the road, when a farm truck and trailer with no lights pulled out in front of Mike’s truck. Too late, Mike slammed on the brakes, came to a screeching halt, and his truck crashed into the back left corner of the trailer. His truck slid under the trailer and Mike was crushed.
I, like Mike, love to educate and be involved with youth. In 2009, I coached a local track team where I met Roy Knickman and his son, Andreas. Roy was a firefighter with the Paso Robles Fire Department, my assistant coach, and Andreas was on the track team. Andreas, like Mike, was also in Boy Scout Troop 730. Andreas was full of energy, strength, and spirit. At the age of thirteen, on July 8, 2009, Andreas was diagnosed with metastatic osteosarcoma (bone cancer). We were all shocked at the news. The Knickman family at times spent 24 hours around the clock caring for Andreas. I witnessed a family come together and sacrifice what they had to keep their child well. It was then that I decided to get 10 friends, have them pay me $100 and ride the 80-mile course with me, and the money we raised would go toward helping the Knickman family.
Our first two years of the Mike Nosco Memorial Bicycle Ride were dedicated to Andreas Knickman. The first year of the ride, we had an overwhelming response and ultimately had more than 100 riders join us for the day, raising much needed funds for the Knickman family. The event continues to be organized by friends, family, and many wonderful volunteers. The Mike Nosco Memorial Bicycle Ride has become an annual event in celebration of Mike’s life. This event is extremely important to me, Mike’s friends, and to my entire family. Your participation would mean the world to us.
To my brother, Mike Nosco.
– Jack Nosco