HENRICO, Va. (WWBT) – Hundreds of bikes pedaled out of Crump Park in Henrico for a 21-mile ride to help heal from the loss of fellow cyclist Jonah Holland and the injury of Natalie Rainer, who is still recovering to the hospital.
“You know, he was such a dynamic person. That this shortcut is so short, it’s heartbreaking,” said Adam Foldenauer, a friend of Holland.
Holland was killed on Saturday after being hit by a drunk driver while driving with friend Rainer near Osbourne Turnpike, police said.
One of the organizers of Thursday night’s ride, Josh Silverman, said he was on the same route on Saturday and met police who told him a cyclist had been killed. He didn’t realize until he got home that it was his friend.
” I do not know what to say. I mean, it was as shocking as it gets. It was shocking. It was anger. It was sadness. It was absolutely amazing when it hit so close to home,” Silverman said.
Silverman said he got to know Holland very well after she joined the Richmond Area Bicycling Association last fall. He said every mile they walked together now contained a lifetime of memories.
“Starting from Nashville, Tennessee, 400 miles in six days on the Mississippi River, so I really got to know her,” Silverman said.
Silverman said Thursday night was about healing the community, but also warning about the danger of drunk driving.
The group went to Ashland and returned to Crump Park with the only thing on their minds was how Holland and Rainer would both like to be on that ride.
“Jonah loved being part of this cycling community. In this multi-sport community, she would love that,” Foldenauer said. “I think she would be one of the most wanted and popular people here. If she was here, she would be in the middle of it all having a lot of different conversations.
Rainer’s family also showed up at the ride to thank the community and provide an update on his condition.
“While we were driving here, she was preparing for surgery. Her first is going to be the collarbone, and as you all probably know she has so many breaks, and there are going to be multiple orthopedic surgeries after that,” said Bob Rainer, Natalie’s uncle.
As the ride ended in Crump Park, many attendees were already planning their next ride with the mindset of living for Jonah.
“Jonah was so welcoming, charming, chatty and connected in a great way. I see that being repaid tonight with everyone who felt that deep connection to her,” Foldenauer said.
A GoFundMe was set up by Rainer’s family to help pay for Natalie’s medical bills.
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