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Cycling community celebrate the life of Jerry Shafer at Marymoor's Velodrome | SLIDESHOW
Jerry Shafer was always ready with a smile.
When family and friends speak of him, one of the qualities they often mention is his sense of humor.
“He was very funny,” said his son Hunter Shafer.
Hunter, who lives in Long Beach, Calif., and his family spent Wednesday evening at the Velodrome at Marymoor Park near Redmond with the local cyclist community to celebrate his father, who died on Saturday while on a bike ride near Woodinville.
“It means a lot,” Hunter said about the crowd of about 100 who gathered at the Velodrome in honor of his father.
At the event, people passed around a microphone to share their favorite memories of the 65-year-old Kent resident.
Marymoor Velodrome Association (MVA) Vice President and Director of Development Annette Williams had been good friends with Jerry for about five years and trained about four times a week and raced about one to two times a week with him. Williams’ husband was also Jerry’s coach.
She said Jerry had a great smile and loved to joke around and tease. She didn’t speak at Wednesday’s event, but told the Reporter earlier this week that Jerry was also always willing to help anyone who needed it — whether that meant getting something done or helping out financially.
“Jerry was very kind,” said Williams. “He was genuine. He was quick to help anyone.”
His kindness and generosity were common themes among those who spoke Wednesday — as was his constant presence at the Velodrome. A number of cyclists said they couldn’t remember exactly when they met Jerry — who was a competitive cyclist and treasurer for the MVA. He was just always at the Velodrome, they said.
In addition to training and his role as MVA treasurer, Williams said Jerry also helped teach classes.
And as much as the cyclist community loved Jerry, he loved them right back.
“He had a ball (at the Velodrome) and you guys did that for him,” Jerry’s brother John Shafer told the crowd.
Jerry died while on a bike ride that began in Kenmore to train for an upcoming fundraising ride.
At around 10:45 a.m. on Saturday, Snohomish County Sheriff deputies responded to the 6500 block of 240th Street Southeast near Woodinville, in unincorporated Snohomish County, to a report of a fatal collision between a bicyclist and a car.
Jerry died at the scene from injuries he received.
According to the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, Jerry struck an oncoming vehicle while attempting to pass other cyclists ahead of him. Speed or alcohol are not considered to be factors and it is not anticipated that the driver will be charged.
Williams said Jerry was riding with members of their team — Slalom Consulting — and the collision took place on a hill they had ridden before. It just was not Shafer’s day, she said.
“It’s an awesome, fun hill for cyclists and motorcyclists,” said Williams, who is on the team but was not on the ride that particular day.
She said the cyclists were training for Share With Jerr, an upcoming fundraising event Jerry organized to raise money for Retinoblastoma International, an organization committed to supporting research, education, developing effective treatments, early diagnosis and awareness of retinoblastoma, a rare form of eye cancer in children.
Jerry organized the fundraiser in honor of his grandson Lance, who was diagnosed when he was a toddler and is now 8 years old. Last year was the first year Share With Jerr was held and brought in $17,398. This year’s event is set for Labor Day weekend and will go on as planned, Williams said.