Critical Mass Comes a Week After Cyclist's Death

Hundreds and possibly thousands of cyclists went out on their monthly critical mass ride around the city. But Friday’s ride came with a heavy heart for many riders as they remembered one of their own who died while cycling last week.

Police said Alejandro Alvarez, 21, admitted to crashing into Walter Reyes on the Rickenbacker Causeway last week. Another cyclist, Henry Hernandez, was also hit by Alvarez’s car and sustained serious injuries. Alvarez has since been charged with DUI manslaughter for the accident.

“The only thing different we would like to do is dedicate this ride to Walter,” said Chaunce O’Connor, the critical mass safety coordinator.

“I’m sure a lot of people will be talking about it because we do stick together and we feel bad of course for such a tragedy,” said Lee Marks of the bicycle pedestrian advisory committee.

O’Connor said he has been the victim of reckless driving while cycling. He’s currently in a wheelchair recovering from a cycling injury and said he’s coordinating the safety and first aid for critical mass to help his fellow riders.

“Being hit by a car and almost losing my life doing what I love; I can understand hot it must be,” O’Connor said. “But no matter what I say or do, we can’t bring him back.”

Marks said the group is going to keep coming back to Key Biscayne and keep riding. They hope the calls for lower speed limits, narrow lanes, and other safety improvements will eventually be heard.

“These are all safety improvements that will help hopefully avoid a future tragedy,” Marks said.

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