MADISON, Ala. – A group of dedicated cyclists took one last ride with one of their brothers on Saturday afternoon.
“One of the most honest and positive and upbeat people you’ll ever meet in your life,” said Troy Spier of the Alabama Wheelmen.
Huntsville Police said a driver, who was under the influence, struck Jose Arturo Zayas on Wall Triana Highway, killing him.
The Alabama Wheelmen lead Zayas’ funeral procession, pushing their pedals through the rain.
“Today, we honor him by celebrating his life and his love of his family, his love of his community, and his love for cycling,” added Spier.
Zayas’ teammates said there’s a message to be spread after this loss.
“Please don’t drink and drive. Please don’t drive distracted and share the road, three feet’s the law,” explained Spier. “We have just as much right to the road as motorists. And while we’re not perfect. We do the best we can to stay out of the way. Please remember we’re only protected by our helmets.”
The team is leaning on one another for support in this tough time, but they’re also doing what they can to help Zayas’ family keep his memory alive.
“We thought typically when somebody dies on a bike you place a ghost bike at the location which is a bike that you’ve painted white,” explained Brian Robinson, President of the Alabama Wheelmen. “You place a memorial cross or something that bears their name.”
But nothing is set in stone just yet.
While they are still brainstorming a memorial for their brother, they know Zayas is at peace.
“He would probably say, ‘I forgive you.’ That’s who he was,” added Robinson.