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Tragically, there have been two incidents in the last two weeks in which cyclists have been killed by a motorist striking them from behind. In both cases, local area cyclists, bike groups and BikeTexas made a strong statement of support for the fallen cyclists and their families by organizing memorial rides and vigils outside the memorial service.
Larry McQuien – Cyclist and Vice President, Business Ventures, Lockheed Martin – and brother-in-law of former Texas House Speaker Pete Laney, was tragically killed on Saturday, September 16 while riding on the I-20 service road in Tarrant County. The following Wednesday, 88 cyclists answered the call to join the honor guard memorial ride to his service.
Participating organizations included the Lockheed Martin Recreation Association, the Fort Worth Bicycle Association, BikeDFW, BikeTexas and at least dozen other bicycle club and team members. For the first time BikeTexas staff distributed black bike pins, the new symbol for cyclists to show their respects and remembrance.
(For more about Larry McQuien, see here, here and here.)
Less than a week later, on October 1, Greg and Alex Bruehler were struck from behind while riding their tandem on the shoulder of Texas 16, north of Helotes. They leave behind a seven year old daughter, Kylie*. On Tuesday, October 6, 258 cyclists responded to BikeTexas’ invitation to participate in the honor guard memorial ride from the Boerne City Hall to the service, including members of the Hill Country Bicycle Touring Club, San Antonio Wheelmen, Ride Like a Girl S.A., Bexar Trails, and many more clubs and teams.
With the blessing and encouragement of Greg and Alex’s family, BikeTexas distributed the symbolic black bike pins to the mourners.
“Even as we grieve, our resolve is strengthened to make Texas a place where cyclists no longer fear being run down and the perpetrators can count on justice. We will not forget!” said Robin Stallings, Executive Director of BikeTexas.
At the end of both rides, volunteers circulated the Safe Passing Petition, and everyone who had not already signed did so. Alex Bruehler had signed the petition in July.
*A trust fund has been established for Kylie Bruehler at Frost Bank. Donations can be made at any Frost Bank or by mail to 24165 Interstate 10 West, Suite 217-270, San Antonio 78257.