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Bend cyclist in deadly crash mourned; many riders shifting from streets to trails

Richard Wolf remembered as 'a very warm person, very giving to the community'

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- A warm person -- that's how Susan Conner, owner of Sunnyside Sports bike shop in Bend describes Richard Wolf, who was cycling on Century Drive Wednesday evening when he was struck and killed by an alleged drunken driver in a hit-and-run crash.

Wolf worked at Jeld-Wen, in the finance department, and did just about every type of cycling for the Sunnyside Bike Team, Conner said Wednesday.

Conner says the bike shop is mourning the loss of a teammate and friend, killed by a suspected drunk driver. But she says it's the bond of the cycling community that brings people together, when something like this happens.

"There's a shared experience of riding and it's a shared fear that all of us have," Conner told NewsChannel 21 on Wednesday. "So when someone goes down in this way - it's scary, personally. And in that fear, I think people come together ... and kind of hold each other through it."

Bend's growing population means busier streets, which creates more dangerous conditions for cyclists.

Avid riders say road riding has lost popularity, and more people have turned to gravel or mountain biking.

The manager of Sagebrush Cycles in Bend says they don't even sell certain types of bikes any more, because people are no longer riding on the streets.

"We used to stock road bikes and sell road bikes, and we don't even stock them any more. We just stock mountain bikes and gravel bikes, because that's what people want now -- that's what people are buying." Tony Timonere said.

"So it's definitely changed quite a bit even in the last five, six years,: he added.

Timonere says he will take back roads or ride through neighborhoods, just to avoid how dangerous main streets are.

"There's just so many cars, and everybody is shooting out of the side streets, and it's really hard to see you when they are looking at two lanes of cars from each direction," he said. "So it's just better not to even be on that road."

Both Conner and Timonere say Century Drive, where Wolf was killed, is actually considered one of the safer rides, because it has a wide shoulder, but that it's up to drivers to ensure it stays safe.

Article Topic Follows: Accidents and Crashes

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Carly Keenan

Carly Keenan is a multimedia journalist and producer for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Carly here.


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