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Memorial ride will be held in York County to honor cyclist’s life

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Brian Utne. (Courtesy Susan Utne)

YORK Co., Va. – After a cyclist was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver, the community that loves him plans to come together for a memorial ride in his honor.

Authorities say around 7:07 p.m. October 25, a vehicle hit a bicyclist on Lakeside Drive at Yorkville Road. The driver then fled the scene.

The bicyclist, 50-year-old Brian Leonard Utne, was taken to Riverside Regional Hospital, where he died from his injuries.

Those who knew Utne told News 3 that he loved riding his bicycle. No matter what time of day or temperature, they said you could find him on the roads.

“He was one of those guys where the weather didn’t affect him as much. He’s also one of those guys that would typically be putting in 40-50 mile bike rides nearly every day,” said friend and President of the Peninsula Bicycling Association, Tregg Hartley.

Utne was a ride leader of multiple community rides, including the Saturday-morning Back Alley ride (BAR). Saturday’s ride will follow part of the normal BAR route, and will then pass the crash site that took his life and his family’s house to let them know how many lives he impacted.

The route is mapped at 25 miles, and the pace is expected to be 15 mph. Ride leaders are reaching out to the York County Sheriff’s Office to let them know the ride is occurring.

Following the ride, a memorial service will be held for Utne at 2 p.m. at Saint Mark Lutheran Church in Yorktown.

Hartley said Utne was selfless and always helping younger riders excel. Hartley said, “It’s difficult to fathom how much, how far- reaching the effects [of losing Brian] are going to be.”

Cyclists hope that this will be a wake-up call for drivers to be more aware of their surroundings.

“When you’re coming up on a cyclist, don’t think of them as an obstacle. They are a mother, brother, a son, a daughter, a parent,” Hartley said.

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