Death of cyclist in Canton prompts talk about bike safety

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CANTON -- Peter Downs is different from most.

"I wasn't a black enough sheep to my family who all drives cars and work on cars. So I had to get something," said Downs.

What he shares with several others is his love for cycling.

"Been riding since I was seven years old," said Downs.

He rides to work everyday past the intersection of Route 219 and Route 44 in New Hartford, the same intersection where 42-year-old Gordon Keller was struck by a car Tuesday night. Keller was taken to Charlotte Hungerford Hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

Downs, works at Benidorm, a bike shop in Canton. His store sells several items such as reflective clothing, lights and high-tech computers for bikes. It's all meant to alert drivers to cyclists.

Sargent Haglund of the Connecticut State Police said the burden isn't all on the shoulders of cyclists.

"Be mindful of that bike lane so that you're giving the bike lane the room that it is designed to have to allow the bikers to ride safely," said Sgt. Haglund.

Although Downs knows his bike, like his life, is different than others. He also knows from now on he'll fight to make sure bicycle safety is something he'll have in common with everyone else.

Click here if you wish to donate to Gordon's  GoFundMe page.