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90 people rode to honor late Omaha cyclist

Posted at 9:30 PM, Jan 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-10 22:46:50-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) - In single digit temperatures, and an even colder wind chill, around 90 people rode to honor their late friend Kelly Smith.

 

“He was one of those unique people who shared love in words, and in action,” said Ann Gentle, a friend of Smith.

 

Kelly was a technician at The Bike Rack in Omaha. He passed away January 4th.

 

His legacy lives on through the people on the bike ride to his funeral.

 

“I was one of the people he encouraged,” Gentle said, “whether it was starting the first century or getting up a hill or finishing a very tough ride.”

 

“There are 93 bikes here today, and every single one of us received love and encouragement from Kelly,” said Gentle.

 

“He meant a lot to a lot of people,” Jim Carveth, owner of the Bike Rack, said “as he would say, ‘ride and smile every darn day’.”

 

The mile long ride from The Bike Rack to the funeral was a frigid one, but warmth came from the memories shared of Kelly’s never-ending positivity.

 

The cyclists were met at the church with cowbells, something Kelly brought on every ride he worked to encourage others to keep going.

 

“He would come up behind me, in one of the side vehicles, with his cowbell ringing away,” Lin Leahy said, “when you’re not sure of yourself, you think you might want to quit, you have someone doing that, it spurs you on.”