Ride Honors Cycling Community Leader Tito Bradshaw, Struck by Motorist

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Hundreds of bicyclists crossed the Hays Street Bridge as the last sunset colors faded from the sky. They rode slowly and silently, honoring cycling community pillar Tito Bradshaw hours after his death.

Bradshaw was hit early Monday by a motorist who was arrested and booked for driving while intoxicated and intoxication assault. Doctors tried to save Bradshaw but pronounced him dead that afternoon at 3:57 p.m., said his father, Harry Bradshaw Jr. He was 35 years old.

The cyclists rode to the intersection where Bradshaw was killed, Houston Street at North Palmetto Avenue. They lit candles and hung up a “ghost bike,” a bicycle painted white, to serve as a marking for Bradshaw. The symbol is common among cyclists, Peter Borges explained.

Borges said he has been riding his bike for a year now. He bought it from Bradshaw’s shop, the Bottom Bracket Bicycle Shop. The shop announced its closure in March, with the intention of reopening in the future.

“I didn’t know anything about bikes,” he said. “He made me feel a part of the community, instantaneously. He was always there.”

Hundreds of people gather with their bicycles on Hays Street Bridge in memory of Tito Bradshaw.

Bonnie Arbittier / Rivard Report

Hundreds of people gather with their bicycles on the Hays Street Bridge in memory of Tito Bradshaw.

As cars passed, cyclists would call out “car” as a warning to each other. They shouted expletives at a truck who honked at them, angry that the driver did not slow down.

Samantha Flores watched cyclists hop back on their bikes and ride toward the Alamo. She wore a boot, a remnant of an accident she was in six months ago. Two cars struck her as she rode on Nacogdoches Road, right before Cherrity Bar opened for the first time. She was supposed to manage the Ramen Bar there.

She knew Bradshaw from her days working at Kimura, she said. He even donated a bicycle to Cherrity Bar to raise money for her medical expenses.

“I didn’t get to thank him,” she said. “He was a dude of unmatched character and had great taste in friends.”

Bradshaw’s father, Harry; his mother, Bernice; two sisters, Jennifer Dinger and Francine Sonntag; brother, Chris Reichert; and girlfriend, Shawnee Walker, gathered with cyclists on the Hays Street Bridge Monday night to remember Bradshaw. They stood in a receiving line, hugging many of Bradshaw’s friends and crying with them. Bernice, his mother, said they drove from Copperas Cove early in the morning after Bradshaw’s girlfriend reached out to let them know about the accident. His brother drove down separately from Dallas.

“I can’t even explain the drive, because it was devastating not knowing what was going on,” Bernice said.

Harry said they planned on taking Bradshaw home to Copperas Cove to bury him but would hold a funeral for his San Antonio friends to pay their respects.

“We don’t know what the date is going to be,” Harry said. “I’m going to get with some of the bike owners and have something formal to say goodbye.”

The person hurt the most by Bradshaw’s death would be his 5-year-old son, Valentino, Harry said.

“I don’t think he comprehends what happened right now,” he said.

Shawnee Walker, Bradshaw’s girlfriend of two years, said Valentino remains her No. 1 priority. She wants him to remember Bradshaw’s fearlessness, she said.

“I’m gonna love him enough for both of us,” she said. Her eyes looked up intensely. “He’ll have me for life.”

A white bike and candles are placed at the site of where Tito Bradshaw was hit on his bike.

Bonnie Arbittier / Rivard Report

A “ghost bike” and candles mark the site where Tito Bradshaw was hit on his bike.

Harry said he hopes to be able to pass down Bradshaw’s bike shop to Valentino, somehow. And he also hopes to see Bradshaw’s legacy live on in San Antonio’s cycling community.

“I want to see if it’s possible to leave him … some aspects of what his dad did in San Antonio, so that Tito doesn’t go down without being remembered,” Harry said. “May his legacy live on, that bike riders get a fair break in San Antonio.”

Police arrested 67-year-old Linda Collier Mason after she hit Bradshaw from behind, according to a police report. He was thrown into her windshield and sustained “massive head injuries,” the report said. The report also stated that Mason said she saw his bike’s flashing light before she struck him.

Borges said change is necessary to protect cyclists in the city.

“Don’t ask what we’re going to do about it,” Borges said. “Ask who’s been hit by a bike. This is a daily concern in the cycling community, but no one [cares] because everyone’s driving.”

Flores chimed in, introducing herself to Borges and sharing her own story of being struck while riding a bicycle. Police have not been able to find either of the drivers that hit her, she said.

“I don’t know how many of my friends and I are going to have to be hit by cars until someone gives a f—,” she said.

7 thoughts on “Ride Honors Cycling Community Leader Tito Bradshaw, Struck by Motorist

  1. Tito was super friendly and he lead some of the largest bikes rides SA has ever seen. He was certainly one helluva tour guide!
    He left a legacy and will be missed.
    It’s heart warming to see such a big turn out on Hays St for him. it was probably the PERFECT spot.

    P.S. Thanks for the thoughtful, quality coverage.

  2. My condolences go to Tito’s family. I was hit by a car about a year ago on the NW 1604 access road by UTSA, and luckily uninjured. The driver and child passenger were more upset about it than I was at the time. I suppose I was in shock, and I didn’t want to make the situation harder on this hysterically apologetic person, so I didn’t report it. I regret that because EVERY incident of a cyclist hit needs to be recorded and communicated for things to improve.

  3. I grew up with tito and also his family. We was the first ones that lived in our neighborhood. Tito is like my brother. He always loved to ride. He is very out going. Never judged a person for anything. My heart crys and go’s out to him and his family. You will rest in peace and we will see each other again.❤❤

  4. This speaks to the need for a helmet law in Texas and in San Antonio. Many wonderful people could be saved by insuring helmets are worn. Other states and cities require helmets and its tough when people in the community are lost. None of this absolves drivers not paying attention or being under the influence.

    • No effing helmet law brings back the lives of people/cyclists killed by ignorant motorists. In a country/town where everybody is regarded as insane if he*she dares to walk or ride for a mile or more instead of jumping into a CAR seat, this should not wonder anybody.
      Helmets don´t change anything if you´re “overlooked”, “ignored” or “run over” by vile or simply inapt motorists.

      Surveys show that motorists will even take more risks in doubling cyclists if the wear helmets.

      It´s a whole attitude which has to change.

      Comprende?

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