DES MOINES, Iowa -- In 2014, Tyrese Parson rode the full year with the Dream Team.
"I think he started when he was 12 or 13," said riding mentor Brian Horsfall. "He completed RAGBRAI that year, and these guys, they have to ride every mile. They're not allowed to sag, they're not allowed to take a ride for a few miles or whatever. They have to ride the whole thing."
Parson's riding mentors remember him as a good kid.
"He was just a nice kid," said riding mentor Ben Bishop. "He had a great smile, always personable, always willing to help the newer kids."
And it's that smile Parson's mentors remember about him most.
"He was always smiling," said Horsfall. "Always had a big smile on his face."
The news of Parson's death was simply shocking, after the teen was shot and killed last week.
"We've been getting photos of him and I've been going back and looking at those photos," said Horsfall. "And every single photo, he's smiling. I saw the finished photo and it's kind of a half-smile, half-sense of relief, half-sense of accomplishment, but it was, I mean it's shocking to think about it and go back and look and look at those photos and see how he was back in 2014."