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Friday, December 30, 2011

Respect Ride for Killed Bicyclist Patrick Ytsma

From the Lehigh Valley (Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA ) newspaper, Bethlehem cyclist Patrick Ytsma remembered in memorial ride

A long stream of white lights added to Bethlehem’s many holiday illuminations Thursday night.

The lights were on the front of more than 300 bicycles rode by cyclists paying tribute to one of their own who was struck and killed by a car while pursuing his passion.

The cyclists rode past the spot on the Fahy Bridge where city resident Patrick Ytsma was struck by a car while riding his bicycle Dec. 4. The 53-year-old architect died four days later.

“It’s enormously touching,” Ytsma’s wife, Judith Parr, told the cyclists as they wrapped up their ride at Payrow Plaza. And Parr had another message for the crowd: “Keep on riding. Pat would want you to keep on riding.”

The other speakers at the Patrick Ytsma Ride of Respect adamantly agreed that Ytsma would want them to keep riding their bicycles. But some said it frightened them to know they could still be at risk even if they are strict practitioners of bicycle safety, as Ytsma was regarded to be.

I really appreciate that so many riders came out on a dark, cold night and represented so well.

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