SAN ANTONIO - Dressed in black, members of the bicycling community gathered at San Pedro Park Sunday afternoon to ride their bikes to a memorial service for a man whose loss is still keenly felt.
"Everybody's just really sad and upset that this happened, you know?" said Tony Abate, who organized the ride. "It's a real tragedy."
Tito Bradshaw, 35, a well-known figure in San Antonio's cycling community, was struck by a car as he rode his bike on East Houston Street at around 12:30 a.m. April 1. Bradshaw suffered a head injury and was taken to San Antonio Military Medical Center in critical condition, where he later died.
The driver, Linda Collier Mason, 67, was arrested on DWI charges.
"He was only 35," said Joe Richard Naranjo, one of the cyclists gathered at the park Sunday. "He had a whole lifetime ahead still."
Still, in the time he had, it was clear Bradshaw left his mark. More than 100 people gathered at San Pedro Park for the ride to the memorial service at The Parish, where there were even more.
"If you rode two wheels, you knew Tito Bradshaw," said Sarah Bigbee, "because not only did he have the heart to encompass this whole cycling community, but Tito connected people from all backgrounds."
"Everybody you see here, he knew some way personally, somehow," Naranjo said.
Those who knew Bradshaw remember him fondly.
"He was always so cool and inviting and nonjudgmental and anything," Abate said. "You know, he was just one of the coolest people around. Very friendly."
Bradshaw's death is also a reminder of the dangers cyclists face.
"Drinking and driving and aggressive drivers and distracted driving is a big problem nowadays," Abate said, "and sometimes it seems like it's getting worse. There's already been two people who have been struck and killed this year alone, and it's only April."
Though Bradshaw will never ride again, those who knew him, or knew of him, will.
"This is sad, and this is tragic," Naranjo said, "but we're here together, and we can get through this together."
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