Stephen R Porraro, 7-27-72 to 3-5-11, RIP

Kathi K

Hi - This past Saturday, Stephen Porraro, 2008 Masters DH National Champion and I were on a road ride when he started getting chest pains. He thought he had pulled a muscle at the top of a climb, and being Steve, he wanted to finish the ride. We got to my house and grabbed the car and headed over to Valley Hospital in Ridgewood. Before we could get there, he told me he felt faint and then collapsed. I pulled over and called 911, but we were too late.

Steve was back in training to race the DH national championships and also had his eye set on Cyclocross Master World Championships in Louiville next January. Everything was moving in a very positive direction He had even given up his favorite drink 6 weeks ago- Red Bull!

If he had to go, this is the way Steve would have wanted it. We were having a great road ride - he was kicking my ass as usual on all the climbs and it was all well until he complained of burning in his throat and lungs on the descent of the last climb. Then he had chest pains at the top of the next climb. After that his heart rate just dropped lower and and was extremely erratic. He was no longer riding like the Steve we know. We have the data from his Polar heart rate monitor and it just verifies everything that happened. By the time we reached my house he was in a clammy sweat and his left arm was going numb. These are all signs of an impending heart attack. Steve wouldn't call anyone because he didn't have insurance, but I finally convinced him we had to go to the hospital. You know the rest of the story.

Please everyone, take this to heart. Get yourselves checked out with your doctors and be aware of the signs of a heart attack. Listen closer to your bodies! His family is devastated and we are all grieving. Let's not have this happen to anyone else!

An autopsy was performed today and Stephen had suffered a arterial thrombosis - which means a blood clot was blocking oxygen from getting to his heart.

Viewing will take place on Wed., March 9 from 2 - 4 p.m. and 7 - 9 p.m.
Vander Plaat Funeral Home
257 Godwin Avenue
Wyckoff, NJ 07481

To all who knew Stephen, your support is appreciated and I know he would appreciate all showing for his viewing on Weds. The mountain bike world is much sadder without Stephen.



Well-Known Member
Please everyone, take this to heart. Get yourselves checked out with your doctors and be aware of the signs of a heart attack. Listen closer to your bodies! His family is devastated and we are all grieving. Let's not have this happen to anyone else!


Sorry for your loss. And truer words cannot be spoken about seeing a doctor and listening to your body. My dad had a post ride heart attack at age 53 following a road ride, thankfully he survived. Working as an ICU RN, it's very distressing to see the age of heart attack victims drop. In the past 3 months we've had 2 patients in their late 30s have severe heart attacks. The strange thing is younger victims have a smaller chance of surviving a serious heart attack since the heart hasn't had as long as older people to develop what's called "colatteral circulation" which basically is more blood vessels that help supply bloodflow to the heart over time.


Well-Known Member
Team MTBNJ Halter's
I'm sorry for the loss, thanks for sharring.

I've known some healthy folks who have had heart attacks...You don't have to be old and fat to have one.


Mr. Chainring
Kathi, thank you for sharing this trajic news. I'm almost certain I've been to some DH events in the past where Stephen won the Masters category. I'm sure he was as great a friend as he was a bike rider. I am truly sorry for your loss and send my deepest condolences to Stephen's family and friends.



Well-Known Member
We never know when our time will come. So sorry for all who knew him.
They say when someone has heart attack symptoms to have them chew an aspirin asap.The aspirin thins out the clotting blood very quickly which can make a big difference in an emergency situation.


JORBA: Ringwood
I was really saddened to get this news yesterday. I remember Steve at age 19 going from a beginner racer to and expert racer in one year. From what I knew of him, besides being a soft spoken and caring individual, he was a very talented rider and great mechanic. What always impressed me about Steve is, although he had incredible downhill skills, he always placed so much importance on his fitness and climbing as well.

My heart goes out to you Kathy and family for this loss. He will be missed.


Well-Known Member
Im really sorry to hear about this happening. Same age as me too.

Things like this should remind us all to treat each day we have with our friends and family as a treasure.

Ride On

So Sorry for your loss. I've scared myself on more than one occassion. Getting that dizzy clammy feeling from a tough climb or ride. Not knowing if something is wrong or just being out of shape or having a bad day. I come from a family with a history of heart attacks at a young age. I ride to stay healthy but sometimes I'm not sure if one day I am going to push too hard. I'll take this as a wake up call.

I am Sorry again for your loss.


New Member
My condolences to you and yours. Also, thanks for posting. As someone who survived a blood clot in the lung, it is a good reminder of how fragile life can be. Yes, listen to your body--something, I have to admit, I still find difficulty in doing.


Well-Known Member
Wow- So sorry to hear about this . My thoughts and prayers go out to you and his family .

It is always shocking when you here of a young athlete dying in such a matter . Especially without warning . This saying is so true - You just never know when it's time

Ian F

Well-Known Member
Oh my god Kathi. I'm sitting at work trying to hold back tears.

I will try to be there on the 9th.



I just came home from the wake and I still can't believe that he is gone. He will be missed. I was amazed at the amount of people that were at the wake, both friends and family, and I was very happy to see so many people. It really shows the type of person that he was.

R.I.P., and God bless.

Kathi K

Thanks for your support

I just wanted to say a big thank you to the entire cycling community for your support to me and the family during this difficult time. All of your kind words are greatly appreciated.

Kathi and the Porraro's - Nancy, Chris and Michael


New Member
I'm really going to miss Steve, he was am awesome friend and a great guy to ride with. I'll always remember all the great rides we went on over the years.. I actually went on my first mountain bike ride with Steve..

His wake was really beautiful with all the pictures and videos of him racing over the years. He accomplished so much in his life and he always did it his way, not anyone else's :)

Here's to you Steve, the world is a much poorer place for losing you man, and I'll never get on a bike again without thinking about you.
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