Cyclist Dies; Chattanooga Organizers Asked Why It Was Not Cancelled

Reported by: Alisha Searl
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Updated: 5/06/2013 7:20 pm
In the last 26 years, tens of thousands of riders crossed the finish line of the Three State Three Mountain Challenge.

On Saturday Antonio Ribeiro would have been one of them, but just a few miles from the end, he lost control of his bike and swerved into oncoming traffic.

He died at the scene.

Philip Pugliese, a board member with the Chattanooga Bicycle Club, says, "It's terribly unfortunate. As on on going traffic investigation, that's all I can really speak to in reference to the specific events that occured."

The Chattanooga Bicycle Club hosts the signature event.

Pugliese says the 100 mile ride has been delayed, and even rerouted in previous years due to more severe weather, but never cancelled, and here's why.

Pugliese adds, "If it's rainy, cold, snowing or something else, that may add challenge, but that is part of it, and people make the decision to press on and test their limits and the organization is there to provide support."

That support costs a lot of money says Pugliese, and more than a year to plan.

Pugliese adds, "A lot of these are fixed costs. perishable food items, law enforcement had made considerable investments. That's why we normally go into a full on go mode with the understanding that adaptation may need to be made."

While the registration forms for the ride specifically state rain or shine.

We're told transportation has always been provided for those wanting to stop at any point.

Ruth Thompson, with Outdoor Chattanooga, says, "Whether they be exhausted, whether their bikes have stopped working, whether their legs have stopped working or whether they have decided the ride is too much for them."

So far, there have been no plans to change the event in any way, shape, or form.

More than 2,100 participants registered for the ride this year, and about half showed up.

Two other people were injured on the course, but we have no word on their condition.
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