Your headline "Cyclist in rage incident dies" (Sept. 13) is, on one level, factual. But when coupled with its accompanying story, there emerges an unfortunate, misleading and sour flavor.

I have ridden safely from coast to coast with Mike, laughed insanely at his keen humor and felt proud to be a friend to a man who "shouldered" his motorcycle to change the tire of a young motorist in a rain so mean it toppled our scooters.

The feelings for Trish and their children, shared with me in a motel room in Milwaukee five years ago, wet his eyes as it opened mine to the maturity and the depth to which he loved.

The words "In memory of Mike Rakes" have already been air-brushed on many two-wheelers. I love you, Mike. Everyone who knew you does.

Roger W. Taylor