CLEARWATER, Fla. - Early Sunday, streets in Largo and Clearwater filled up with hundreds of cyclist from all over Florida. They were taking part in the Robert Lemon Memorial Ride.
“The route that we’re doing today is the route Rob liked to do on his own,” Frank Lopez said. He owns Ride-N-Roll Cyclery in Largo where Lemon used to be a manager.
“He was a great person. He was a safe rider, very cautious oriented,” Lopez said. “He basically did a lot in the area for customers and friends and people even though he was from Michigan.”
Lemon was killed on Labor Day after the tandem bike he and his girlfriend, Hilary Michalak, were riding was hit as they were crossing the Clearwater Memorial Causeway. “Hilary is in the hospital still. We’re all praying and pulling for her and hopefully everything will turn out ok,” Lopez said.
Clearwater Police say Christopher Weed is the driver who allegedly hit the couple and took off. They say he turned himself in on Tuesday saying he doesn’t remember hitting anyone.
Sunday’s memorial ride brought out cyclist from as far away as Jacksonville. “Probably five times than what I expected. I wasn’t expecting this big of a group,” Lopez said.
The ride was not only to honor Lemon, but to let people know bikes and vehicles must learn to share the road.
“We have families, we have lives,” Steven Baltic said. He’s on the Ride-N-Roll bike team and knew Lemon. “Some of us are going to become doctors, some teachers, some just working on bikes but we all have families and we’re all people,” he said.
Seeing the large amount of support Sunday’s ride generated, Lopez hopes to make this ride an annual event.
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