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San Francisco bike community holds Ride of Silence for cyclists killed, injured in crashes

San Francisco bike community holds event to remember cyclists killed, injured in crashes
San Francisco bike community holds event to remember cyclists killed, injured in crashes 02:31

A ride of silence was held Wednesday night for those killed or injured while biking in San Francisco.

Roughly 50 bikers took part in the ride, honoring victims along the way. A survivor of a horrific hit-and-run was there and went on the journey. Alex Tamez is embracing her second chance at life. 

"I'm super grateful that my friend Paul didn't have to make a ghost bike for me," Tamez said.

In 2022, she was biking home from work when she was hit from behind while stopped at a red light. As a result, she suffered a traumatic brain injury. 

"I luckily don't have any memories of the accident at all," she said.

Tamez said the accident also wiped out a year's worth of memories from her life. She also has physical scars from her injuries. 

"I had a tracheotomy and a feeding tube, and the feeding tube has been bothering me," she said. "I still have pain from the feeding tube even though it's gone. It's been gone for two years now."

For Tamez, this Ride of Silence is a way for her to honor the victims. The ride has seven stops where bikers lost their lives, but every single victim since 1997 is remembered.

Paul Valdez is considered as the unofficial bike mayor of San Francisco and helped to organize the event. He mourns every life lost, but there is one day he will always remember.: when two people were killed on their bikes, just hours apart. 

"I'll never forget that day," Valdez said. "I'll never forget where I was, how painful that was for me personally and our community. We just didn't know, why would that happen."

One of the stops was on 3rd and Mission Bay where Clark Gashaw was killed in 2017. Every year, his mother comes out to greet the riders.

"I'm grateful," said Senait Gashaw. "To me culturally, we honor people's family, and he's creating his own friends. Those who come to honor him, I honor."

The goal of this ride is to remember.

"Every single person in San Francisco who died on a bike deserves to be remembered," said Tamez. "They're not just a number or a name. They're a whole person."

The event is also to raise awareness about bike safety, in hopes of saving a life.

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