SAN ANTONIO — The San Antonio biking community is in mourning.
On Thursday evening, riders joined to remember well-known bicyclist Beatrice Gonzalez, 44, who was hit and killed Wednesday night off St. Mary’s near downtown San Antonio.
“All of us were just so caught off guard. When I got the call, I had to ask them again,” said Jacob Longoria, a friend of Gonzales'z.
San Antonio Police officials say Gonzalez was out for a ride with a group of her friends when she was it by 24-year-old Samantha Leigh Castillo, who police say appeared to be drunk.
“She was unaware of a situation that was about to come and change everybody’s life,” Longoria said.
Longoria says he met her through their riding group Beers and Gears.
“When it came to safety, Beatrice was the first one to ask, 'Hey, do you have your stuff? Do you have your lights? Do you have your helmet?' She’d get upset if we didn’t have any of that, and always had extra,” Longoria said.
Longoria added the fact that this happened to someone who was so cautious on the road is proof of the serious dangers bicyclists face even when they’re doing all the right things.
“That’s the hard thing," said Bryan Martin, with Bike San Antonio. "We’re such a smaller profile that car drivers aren’t looking for cyclists."
Bike San Antonio advocates for biker safety. Martin said he knows the dangers all too well.
“At intersections at any busy time during the day, there could be a cyclist on that road,” Martin said.
Despite all of the tragedy, Longoria says he’ll continue riding to honor his friend whose life was taken too soon.
“Beatrice wouldn’t life to stop because of the tragedy that happened to her," he said. "She’d want us to continue living, and keep her memory going by riding."