TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - May is National Bike Month. For some, it's a time celebrate two-wheel transportation. For one Tallahassee woman, it's a reminder of the hobby that took her husband's life.
To say Steve Reker loved cycling is an understatement. His wife Christine says Steve rode every day, but she always worried if he was safe.
"There were occasions where he had some some pretty bad accidents that required surgeries," said Christine Reker. "Every time he'd get hurt, he was right back rehabbing and getting back on the bike."
Steve was well-known in the cycling community; he'd been riding since 1998. Steve was competitive but not careless.
"He always wore the best helmets, the best shoes," said Christine Reker. "He always wore reflective clothing."
Christine added: "He always knew that I worried when he went riding, so he was always home at 7 at night."
On March 28th, 2017, Steve wasn't home on time and he didn't answer his cell phone. At 7:30pm, Christine got in her car and started driving, looking for her husband on the roads near their home. About 5 miles away, she came up on a barricade.
Christine said, "I knew then Steve was involved, but I didn't expect the worst."
The worst is what happened; Steve was hit by a car on US-90, just past Wadesboro Road. He died almost instantly.
"As I was standing there, one of my dear friends had driven up and had her arm around my shoulder," said Christine. "For a long time, it was just hard to wrap my head around everything that had happened."
Now, a memorial on the side of the road bears Steve's name. It's a reminder for his friends, family and other drivers about how quickly a life can be taken away.
Christine worries about distracted drivers. She wants others to know that when you're on the road, it's not just your life on the line.
"Cyclists are allowed the same laws on the road as cars," said Christine. "I know people get in a hurry and they don't want to wait but we need to be more kind to others."
Christine and her family decided not to press charges against the driver who killed Steve. They say, for them and the driver, living with Steve's death is traumatic enough.
Florida Highway Patrol says the case is still open.
There's a memorial ride for Steve Reker coming up on June 2nd, 2018. Contact Pete Butler at (850) 445-7583 for more info.