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Saskatoon cyclists ride for bike safety in memory of Natasha Fox

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It's been a little over a year since Natasha Fox was killed by a vehicle at the intersection of College Drive and Wiggins Avenue.

Fox, 33, was biking at the intersection on May 24, 2023, when she was killed in a collision with a cement truck. Her two children, biking just behind her.

Marking the somber occasion is a brand new permanent memorial sign, replacing the temporary bicycle that had been set up.

Around 250 cyclists gathered at the sign on Saturday for the memorial, dubbed Ride for Your Life.

Natasha's husband Tod Fox told the crowd how his world was rocked by her death.

"I'll be honest, before my wife died I was ignorant and complacent," he said.

"I didn't know much about cyclists, advocacy, or the issues around the infrastructure in our city. After she died, and I was told it was an accident and to accept it, I couldn't. Nobody should die and you should be told that that is just the way it is. So, I looked into the problem and I found there is so much to do."

A photo of Natasha Fox shared by Wrestling Canada Lutte. (Facebook/Wrestling Canada Lutte)

The intention of the event was to raise bike safety awareness.

"This rally is about demanding attention to the problem, demanding that our city council and our leaders make a change so that nobody has to go through what my family has," Fox added.

Mayor Charlie Clark, a cyclist himself was present at the event. As an early supporter of rider-friendly legislation in city council he is aware of the work still to be done.

"Bike lanes in Saskatoon need to stop being the butt of every joke," Clark said.

The family of Natasha Fox is calling for the refit of three intersections this year to become more cyclist-friendly, as well as calling for companies that use large trucks to go above what is legally required to install safety equipment. They hope the ride will become an annual one.

Starting July 5, the city will implement 30 kilometre per hour speed limits on some neighbourhood bikeways.

The move was brought before city council in December 2023 following the death of Natasha Fox and another cyclist Darin Kinniewess.

According to the city, 23rd Street West between Vancouver Avenue North and Avenue C North, and 14th Street East between Saskatchewan Crescent East and Cumberland Avenue are the first two bikeways to receive the reduced speed limits.

The city said the traffic bylaw was amended in February for these two neighbourhood bikeways.

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