Memorial ride honors 2 men who died in cycling accident

Posted at 7:22 PM, Mar 14, 2014

SOUTH JORDAN, Utah -- Utah's cycling community came together for a memorial bike ride Friday to remember the two riders who were killed on their bikes Wednesday morning on their way to work.

Short notice didn't matter, as the turnout for Friday’s memorial bike ride in South Jordan surpassed all expectations.

Sean Jagger is a close friend of both victims, 39-year-old Bryan Byrge and 35-year-old John Coons, and he said the support was impressive.

“Incredible, that's one thing about cyclists,” he said. “They all come out and support each other, and it’s a beautiful thing, and it’s the only way we get through things like this.”

News of the deaths is still a fresh wound for many. Wednesday morning the two were riding their bikes to work when they were hit by a truck and killed on 2100 North Redwood Road in Lehi.

Event Organizer Dustin Grimnes said they wanted to bring people together.

“For us, we just feel some responsibility in terms of making sure we pull together the community, something that everybody is so passionate about and pull some people together for something they really loved, which was cycling,” he said.

Byrge and Coons were friends and neighbors, and both were members of the  Premier Credit Cycling Team that put Friday’s memorial bike ride together. More than one hundred cyclists came out for the cause.

“I think it’s just really important for a community to come together and show their support for everybody and show awareness to drivers or those around that don’t know about cyclists, don’t see them on the roads,” said Melissa Swenson, who is a cyclist who didn’t know the men but came out to show support.

The long train of cyclists took it slow for safety and sentimental reasons.

“Nothing better than to get together a couple days later and show our support by saying, ‘Hey, this means a lot, and this is our way of showing we won't only think of them today and tomorrow but maybe a year and 10 years from now,” Grimnes said.

Many found out about the memorial ride through a Facebook pagethat was made for Bryan and John. The page also has links to memorial funds that have been set up to help the cyclists’ families with costs.

No citations have been issued to the driver who hit the men. Police said this is an ongoing investigation.

Related story: Loved ones share memories of 2 men killed while cycling