Ghost bike placed in memory of cyclist


Mario Theoret was crazy about mountain biking and the Calgary Flames.

“He was a very easygoing person who just freely gave of his time and his energy, always,” said close friend Cat Weaver.

A memory bike was placed at the southwest corner of Merivale and Hunt Club roads Sunday morning to honour Theoret.

Within minutes, 10 bouquets brightened the white ‘ghost’ bike.

The 38-year-old cyclist was killed after colliding with a tractor trailer last Thursday as he rode to work at a high-tech firm.

A red Calgary Flames hat — oh, how he loved wearing ballcaps to work — and medal were hung on the handlebars.

Dozens showed up, many in tears, to reflect on his life.

Theoret was a “really wonderful, kind, giving, generous man,” said friend Eric Newcombe, who met Theoret about 15 years ago.

He was one of the founders of the local chapter of Trips for Kids.

The charity takes underprivileged children on mountain bike outings and teaches them about the environment.

“If the kid had trouble with the police, they were included, and it didn’t matter if they had a drug or alcohol problem; try to give them something to focus on to enjoy nature and to learn a new skill and to be part of the community,” said Newcombe.

Theoret gave up “more than half the space in his own home to house the bikes,” said Weaver.

“I can’t even express how much he did.”

Krista Bellinger knew Theoret for a short time.

“What he did was probably the most generous thing that you could do for a community … I wish I got to know him better and help him out as much as I could,” she said.

In addition to helping kids, Theoret enjoyed the outdoors.

Weaver recalled Theoret returning from rides in the Greenbelt, “and always, one of the first things he had to say was how many deer, how many porcupines, how fast the rabbit was going,” she said.

Jason Komendat rode with Theoret last Saturday.

“The fact that the man was so happy, so content with his life gives me a lot of comfort in these moments,” said Komendat.

He’s hoping every person who sees the bike “will give some thought to the fact that bicyclists have a right to be on the road,” and be safe.

Twitter: @ottawasunkroche

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