Monday, October 4, 2010

Now Selena Will Ride Because Her Mom Cannot

Tonight I received a call from Selena Glass, the young woman I met after Friday night's memorial bike ride to honor the legacies of six bicyclists who have been killed in the past two months here in the Tampa Bay area.

Selena, you might remember, was the 21-year-old woman who appeared on the sidewalk in front of the Seminole Heights Garden Center holding a lit candle in her mom's memory when cyclists and I finished the slow and emotional 15-mile bike ride through downtown Tampa and Ybor City.

Selena's mom, a lively and wonderful bicyclist by the name of Diane Vega, 53, who was killed while on her bicycle at Spruce and Himes in Tampa. Diane was on her way to work that morning.

Somehow, I had a connection with Diane.

Selena told me that family members found my business card in Diane's purse.

And Selena believes Diane was going to attend Friday night's memorial Honor the Fallen bike ride.

I don't remember meeting Diane. Maybe a friend passed on my business card. I just don't know.

Instead, it was Selena who showed up, holding a candle with her friend Davis. It's an image I will never forget.

To remember Diane, the family is having services Wednesday, Selena said. I won't be able to attend because I need to be at the Hillsborough County Commission meeting where commissioners will discuss bicycle safety at 2 PM.

But I do plan to attend a ceremony in Diane's memory at Ballast Point in Tampa at 5 PM Wednesday when family members have requested guests to wear white and will eat and drink in her memory.

Diane's love for bicycling will live on.

Selena wants to bike more, but needs a helmet. I will be showing up at Ballast Point with helmet in hand.

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