Rapha Ride victim identified; his brother writes to comfort cycling community

I can now identify the cyclist who died in Saturday’s Rapha Gentleman’s ride.

While his name has not publicly appeared in the press, 51-year of Robert (Roberto) Hyndman of Laguna Beach has been named on the Bike Effects Facebook page, as well as in a moving email written by his brother.

In an open letter to the cycling community that was forwarded to me in a comment from Steven, Carl Hyndman, an experienced cyclist himself, writes lovingly about the brother who died in his arms on Saturday.

Dear Friends and Riding Companions,

I wanted to write this in hopes I can alleviate some heavy hearts and misunderstandings that may surround this day. My name is Carl Hyndman and I am the younger brother of Robert Hyndman who died in yesterday’s accident. We are from Orange County and love bike riding. I have been riding for over 30 years and live and breath this special sport and am as passionate as anyone. I ride and race in both mountain and road. I have my UCI license and live the culture of cycling as did my brother Robert.

Robert is a bit newer to the sport but has embraced it beyond anyone’s expectations. He has always lived an active life and found cycling a couple of years ago and has literally fallen in to the culture and lifestyle that surrounds it. Robert is the part of a close family that includes 5 brothers and a sister and immigrant Portuguese parents from Hong Kong. He was the middle child and was a successful writer who worked from his home in Laguna Beach. As a child and throughout his life, he would read everything and anything that he was interested in and had a calm and soothing aura around him. He didn’t just causally get involved with things, he grabbed life by the horns and embraced all that life could offer. It was no surprise that his passion would progress his interest to the finer things including his love for Italian bikes, amazing scenery and the surrounding of close friends. His natural ability progressed him to the point of racing, and travels for epic adventures. We shared many miles together and loved riding the mountains in places like Santa Cruz and Marin where some of our family lives.

However, Robert was the balance in my life. I am the risk-taker, the action sports athlete and thrill-seeker. I’m known to throw caution to the wind and push my abilities. Robert was much different. He was very calculated and never took unnecessary risks. Yes he felt his natural athletic ability, but it was always within his control and comfort zone.

We recently heard about this ride and wanted to experience another great adventure and included a few other friends from our area to enjoy as a group. The shop, the surrounding culture and the terrain is all part of what we feel represents our passion and lifestyle. Although we may not know most of you, we feel an indirect kinship for a common love and interest.

This one was of those unfortunate accidents that we don’t see coming in our lives. Only seconds before, I was riding in front of him laughing and having the time of our lives. We marveled at the surrounding and embraced it. The terrain wasn’t unusual, too risky or unfamiliar. We had ridden this kind of terrain and far harder many times before. It could have happened just as easily on PCH or a curb across the street. He died in my arms and went doing what he loved to do.

So please ride for him and keep a special place in your heart for my fallen brother. Thank you and feel free to contact me at any time at this e-mail address. Also, please feel free to forward this letter to anyone else that may want or need to hear this story. I’m sure I missed some people since Robert touched such a big set of friends and family, so do me this small favor and spread the word.

Love,

Carl Hyndman

Judging by the comments on here, and the conversations and emails I’ve shared with a number of cyclists over the last few days, Robert Hyndman’s tragic death has hit many of us very hard — especially those who were on the ride that day, or had friends who were.

Yet it’s remarkable that his brother reached out to ease our pain, even while his own heart must be breaking. I’m not sure I would have the strength to do that if the situation was reversed.

In fact, I know I couldn’t.

It sounds like we lost an extraordinary member of the cycling community on Saturday.

And have another to thank for sharing that with us.

I hope you’ll join me in offering our prayers and best wishes to Carl Hyndman and the entire Hyndman family. 

……..

There will be a memorial ride held for Robert Hyndman next Sunday, November 13th starting at Bike Effect, 910 Broadway #100 in Santa Monica. The ride will start in two groups, at 9 am and 10 am, and will climb up Los Flores to visit the spot where Hyndman died.

Thanks to @codywestheimer for the heads-up.

Update: Note the corrected date for the memorial ride in the last paragraph above; being calendar challenged, I mistakenly wrote it would be held next Saturday; it will be on Sunday the 13th. Thanks to Ching Luk for the correction.

7 comments

  1. Ching Luk says:

    The memorial ride will be held on Sunday, Nov 13, 2011. Thanks

  2. carolyn laing says:

    Im so sorry Carl for your loss…I cant imagine your brother dying in your arms..My brother was hit by a drunk driver and killed a year ago..He was on his bicycle as well…He loved the sport and was doing what he loved to…he will always be in your hearts…Carolyn Laing

  3. [...] prayers and sympathy to her family and loved ones. Between her death and that of Robert Hyndman, my heart is broken right now. LD_AddCustomAttr("AdOpt", "1"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Origin", [...]

  4. markphilips says:

    These senseless killings has got to stop! Sending condolences to roadkilled cyclists’ families

  5. Dave Brennan says:

    Carl,

    Your letter is both courageous and comforting–thank you for having the strength to write it. Many of us at Palisades Tennis Club were fortunate to play with and against “Roberto”. He was both a passionate and gifted player who always had a smile–in victory and defeat. His positive personality and great laugh resonated throughout the club. We’re all a little better for having known him. Robert will be greatly missed.

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