Saturday August 30, 2014

Champion masters cyclist killed

'He was a very strong rider — riding was pretty much his life'

Richard McGillivray

An elite cyclist struck and killed on the Trans-Canada Highway west of Kamloops Thursday used the commute to work as part of his daily training regimen.

B.C. Coroners Service identified the rider as Richard McGillivray, 57. He was struck while riding eastbound on the highway shoulder by a commercial panel van heading in the same direction shortly after 6 p.m.

The incident remains under investigation by RCMP. McGillivray was dead at the scene.

A company official at Spectra Energy in Savona confirmed McGillivray worked at the plant and regularly cycled to work from his home in Kamloops.

Known within the local road riding community as a fierce competitor with the latest and greatest gear, McGillivray won a gold medal in the 2011 B.C. Seniors Games in the West Kootenays.

"I'm a little choked up, shocked," said Walter Zaugg, another of the city's elite masters cyclists who would occasionally ride with McGillivray.

"He was a very strong rider — riding was pretty much his life."

McGillivray competed at club, provincial and national events for road cycling and occasionally mountain biking. He was also a recreational cross-country skier.

"He was a dedicated rider," said Peter Bartell, who knew McGillivray and his wife, Shirley, through the Interior Grasslands Cycling Club.

"He used the daily commute (to Savona) as his training ride."

McGillivray's death came as a reminder to dedicated road cyclists of the risks of sharing the road with automobiles and commercial trucks.

Zaugg was struck on the East Trans-Canada Highway nearly two years ago, while returning from a 150-kilometre ride to Sugar Lake.

He suffered a cracked pelvis, broken collarbone and concussion.

"Since then I'm not riding that much on the road."

Bartell said the only protection riders have is a helmet "and their skill.

"When this happened my wife was upset," said the 78-year-old rider. "She said 'would you not go out today?' We're so vulnerable out there."

Witnesses to the accident are asked to call police at 250-828-3111.

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