This is a very tragic story about a local man who was killed by a hit-and-run driver (disgusting) the other evening. He raced for the Wells Fargo team and was riding home. I know the roads out there - they are definitely pretty rural and dark. Clearly the person that hit him was a coward in every way and we won't know the real cause of the crash, but I have to wonder if lights may have helped him.
I just wanted to spread the word. Please be careful out there.
Martinez Cycling Team Member Killed in Hit-and-Run
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
11-25) 13:27 PST PORT COSTA -- A bicyclist who was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver on a rural road in northern Contra Costa County was a longtime electrician for The Chronicle who had taken up riding to spend more time with his sons, relatives and colleagues said Tuesday.
Mark Pendleton, 49, of Martinez was struck around 5 p.m. Monday while riding south on McEwen Road near Highway 4 south of Port Costa. A northbound vehicle apparently crossed over the center line and hit him, said Officer Scott Yox of the California Highway Patrol.
Pendleton, an avid cyclist and a member of the Wells Fargo racing team, was returning home on the two-lane road from a training ride. Darkness had already fallen and Pendleton was not using lights or reflectors at the time of the accident. He died at the scene and his bicycle was destroyed.
From debris found at the scene, officers said the car that hit Pendleton may have been dark in color, and the crash apparently broke a headlight or turn signal. Anyone with information should call the CHP at (925) 646-4980.
From 1994 until 2007, Pendleton worked as an electrical foreman at the main Chronicle building at Fifth and Mission streets in San Francisco, as well as at outlying printing plants.
His friends remembered him as a dedicated craftsman who was an expert in the electronic devices throughout the newspaper building, particularly the microwave transmission system that connects the editorial offices to its printing plants.
"He could do anything, and he did it with gusto," recalled a friend and colleague, John Elliott. "He was good at everything around here."
Pendleton, his friend recalled, was a trim, athletic man who took his cycling seriously. He was always in training, and he ordered his morning bagel without butter or spreads and his club sandwiches without mayonnaise.
He was in the habit of drilling small holes into the chain rings of his carbon fiber bicycle to reduce their weight and lighten, even infinitesimally, his load.
Pendleton was a native of San Pablo and a graduate of Pinole Valley High School and of UC Berkeley. He was a longtime volunteer with Community Bible Church of Vallejo, leading camping trips and Bible study groups for young people.
He took up cycling to spend time with his younger son, John Mark, whose doctor recommended bicycling after a knee injury. With his older son, Paul, they competed in local amateur races.
Earlier this year, he began riding with his wife, Denise. She took a liking to the sport after picking out a heavy yellow beach cruiser - the opposite of her husband's sleek road bikes. But, she recalled, he didn't care what kind of bike she rode, or how fast she rode it.
"He'd pick out flat routes and stay right with me, the whole time," she said. "He'd never leave my side."
Pendleton is survived by his wife and his sons. Funeral arrangements are pending.