CLEARWATER, Florida -- The Clearwater bicycling community honored a fellow bicyclist in a memorial ride on Sunday morning.
Three hundred riders pedaled from Largo's Rock N Roll Cyclery shop over the Clearwater Memorial Causeway to raise awareness about sharing the road after 25-year-old Rob Lemon was killed last Monday on Labor Day while riding his tandem bicycle with his 27-year-old girlfriend, Hilary Michalak.
Lemon died from his injuries on Monday and Michalak is still fighting for her life at Bayfront Medical Center.
A driver hit them and kept going, mangling their tandem bicycle and throwing them each 50-feet apart.
Frank Lopez, the owner of the Rock N Roll Cyclery, where Lemon was just hired as a manager, organized the memorial ride for Lemon.
"The route we are doing today is the route Rob liked to do on his own," said Lopez as he stopped the ride over the bridge on the spot where the hit and run happened.
Lopez put a wreath with Lemon's name on it with flowers on the ground.
"They were on a straight road, they had so-called bike lanes to themselves, and there was plenty of room for the car to just go around them."
He said there was no excuse for the hit and run.
"It was 6 o'clock in the morning, hardly any cars out there, there is two lanes and a bike lane. Just move into the other lane and get around the cyclists. Unless you were doing something crazy it does not make sense."
Other riders said their goal is to raise awareness about bicyclists to drivers, and while they shift gears on their route, they push to shift driver's minds to share the road.
"I am a better driver being a cyclist because I am more aware behind the wheel looking for things I probably wouldn't look for having not been a cyclist," said Bob DeVore.
"It's so sad what happened to Rob and Hillary," said Jennifer Marsland. "You have to be aware when you are out there every day whether you are on a bicycle or in a car."
The driver who allegedly hit Lemon and Michalak, Christopher Weed, turned himself in to Clearwater police on Tuesday.He said his car might have been involved in the hit and run, but he does not remember. He said he left work at Shephard's Beach Resort and blacked out. His teal truck is mysteriously missing the windshield, though and the front of the truck is damaged.
He had his first appearance in court on Wednesday.He's charged with two felonies: leaving the scene of a deadly accident and leaving one involving serious injuries.
Clearwater police are still asking for anyone with information who might have seen the hit and run to come forward.
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