World champion cyclist fatally struck by car while riding bike in San Francisco's Presidio

ByTim Johns, Bay City News
Saturday, April 8, 2023
World champion cyclist fatally struck by car while riding bike in SF
World champion cyclist Ethan Boyes was fatally struck by a driver while riding his bike in San Francisco's Presidio.

SAN FRANCISCO -- A world champion cyclist was struck and killed by the driver of a vehicle in San Francisco's Presidio earlier this week.

Ethan Boyes, a reigning Masters Track world champion, died in the collision reported around 4 p.m. Tuesday.

Anger and sadness Friday night at a vigil in San Francisco's Presidio.

"We just want to reflect who Ethan was as a person, which was a very positive, rounded, centered person," said vigil organizer, James Grady.

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Boyes was a renowned and world-class athlete.

Someone who won dozens of awards throughout his life and left a profound impact on the sport he loved.

"He is a current record holder in several disciplines on the track and he has, I think, 10 national championships over his career," Grady said.

But Friday's event was more than just a vigil. For the local cycling community, it was also a chance to call for change.

According to city data, San Francisco has had at least one bike fatality a year since 2014.

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And cyclists are demanding that local leaders take more action to keep them safe on the roads.

"In the very short term that looks like posts and other things in the ground. But longer term, ideally, we're looking at physical, concrete curbs and physical protection," said sustainable transportation advocate, Luke Bornheimer.

Because for them, anyone could have been Ethan Boyes.

"I shouldn't have to feel like I'm putting my life in danger every time I ride my 3-year-old son to school, but I do," Grady said.

USA Cycling on Friday issued a statement mourning the death of Boyes, who was the current world champion in the Masters Track Men's 40-44 Time Trial and Sprint events held last fall. He was a 10-time national champion during his career and still holds a world record for men ages 35-39 in the 1,000-meter time trial event.

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"Beyond Ethan's athletic achievements, he was an upstanding member of the American track cycling community," USA Cycling said in the statement. "His loss will be felt at local, regional, national, and world events for years, as he brought a mixture of competition and friendliness to every race. Our thoughts are with his family and loved ones."

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition also issued a statement Friday about the collision, saying several eyewitness accounts indicate that Boyes was riding his bike south on Arguello Boulevard when a northbound vehicle hit him after the driver swerved across the center line and into the bike lane.

The bicycle coalition said that because the collision happened on federal property, "We are reaching out to the Presidio's governing body to demand that immediate action be taken to protect the many people who ride bicycles in the park, including on this stretch of Arguello."

San Francisco Supervisor Connie Chan, who represents the neighborhood where the collision occurred, also issued a statement about the tragedy.

"My heart goes out to Mr. Boyes' family and loved ones," Chan said. "No one should suffer or die from traffic violence."

Chan said she is urging the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency "to explore the possibility of protective bike lanes on Arguello between Geary and the entrance to the Presidio."

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