Tito Bradshaws grandmother taught him how to ride a bike when he was 2 years old, living with his family at Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii.
He grew up to be an avid biker in Copperas Cove and later San Antonio, where he often rode an antique penny-farthing bike in parades. He became a co-owner of the Bottom Bracket Social Club on Colorado Street, which was both a bike shop and a bar until it closed its doors.
But Bradshaw wasnt able to share the craft he loved with his son. Instead, Valentino, now 7, had to learn how to ride from his fathers friends.
Bradshaw was killed in April 2019 by an alleged drunken driver while riding his bike on the East Side. Linda Collier Mason, charged with intoxication manslaughter in connection with his death, is scheduled to go to trial May 3.
The family mourns Bradshaws loss, but they feel it especially keenly for his son.
Its just hard seeing him grow and seeing him accomplish things and just feeling like his fathers missing out, said Jennifer Pea, the boys mother. Valentinos already had two birthdays without his father.
On ExpressNews.com: Tributes, petition penned in honor of San Antonio cycling community 'pillar' Tito Bradshaw
Dozens of Bradshaws family members and friends gathered in the 1900 block of East Houston Street on Saturday for a memorial event. There, a white ghost bike embellished with flowers sits on a post on a vacant plot of land, a stark reminder that he died nearby.
Pea and others spoke fondly of Bradshaw, how he was charismatic, uplifting and kind. In high school, he helped raise his baby twin nieces, Sylvia and Encar Dinger, who are now 21. The two honored their uncles memory by getting a tattoo of a penny-farthing bike with Tito spelled out in the large front tire. Sylvia on her arm; Encar on her foot.
As soon as it happened, I had to have him with me forever, Encar Dinger said.
Bradshaw is also remembered in other ways, through various social media videos and posts shared this week, which brought his mother, Bernice Bradshaw, to tears.
Hearing him speak is bittersweet, Bernice Bradshaw, 62, said, adding, however, sharing his memories keeps him alive.
The University of Texas of San Antonio honored Bradshaws memory by naming its bike repair shop after the avid cyclist. Additionally, murals of Bradshaw can be found throughout the city.
At the memorial Saturday, family and friends advocated for safer bike infrastructure to prevent tragedies like his death from happening again.
On ExpressNews.com: Volunteers help build UTSA bike and pedestrian path
Mayor Ron Nirenberg, who attended the memorial along with a handful of council hopefuls, said the city hasnt done enough to provide safe paths for cyclists.
The city is not going to be let off in the hook in creating a safer environment for bicyclists, Nirenberg said, with several different bike infrastructure proposals coming to the table for future bond funding.
He did acknowledge, though, that action is needed.
There have been plenty of plans on paper, we now have to put them actually on the street, Nirenberg said.
Family members are upset that Mason is out on bond as she awaits trial in Bradshaws death.
Jury trials have been on hold for about a year now because of the coronavirus pandemic, officials said, but they are slowly resuming. Masons trial has been postponed several times and the family is hoping the May date will stand.
Near the end of the memorial, family and friends released white, green and blue balloons into an overcast sky. Harry Bradshaw, the cyclists father, spoke at 3:50 p.m. to commemorate the moment he died two years ago.
We miss him, wed much rather have him here than to be doing this celebration, Harry Bradshaw said. But at the same time, its a bittersweet moment, we want to keep him alive.
firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter: @liz_hardaway
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