MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (WCCO) – On the cold and snowy landscape of a wintry Saturday afternoon, bicyclists of all ages came to pay their respects.
Marcus Nalls, 26, was one of them: a commuter on two wheels who used his bike to get around.
Stefan Turner, a bicycle mechanic, had just worked on Nalls’ bike, installing his rack and fenders.
“Marcus was one of the … coolest guys we’ve had in our shop in a long time,” Turner said.
Like so many who gathered for the memorial ride, Turner was devastated when he heard that Nalls was killed.
He was run over by an alleged drunk driver while biking home from his new job as a sous chef at the downtown Minneapolis Hyatt.
“It’s terrible,” Turner said. “But when something does happen, it’s all you can do to get together and kind of act as a family and a community. Try to do the right thing for the people we’ve lost.”
And the right thing to do was to ride en masse to the site of the tragedy: Garfield and Franklin avenues.
More than 200 riders made their way from Loring Park to the sidewalk along Franklin. There, in a solemn procession, they walked their bikes past the “ghost bike,” which is a memorial bicycle that’s painted white.
Some of them passed sobbing, while others stopped briefly to place flowers.
Ride organizer Ginny Herman says the people who came out to celebrate Nalls’ life have “kind hearts.”
“I think everybody here has that. You just move from being a good human,” Herman said. “That’s why we all come to help.”
They came to remember a promising young life, taken so senselessly and so soon.
“Not even knowing [Nalls}, I think that it just shows that we’re all human here,” she said. “A support system.”
Nalls’ family is planning funeral services in Atlanta.