By Kathryn Bursch
Chanel 10 News, Tampa
February 15, 2011
Tampa, Florida – A small white sign by the side of the busy road marks Tampa Bay’s latest bicycle death. It reads, “Motorists: Stop killing bicyclists.”
On Sunday afternoon, Robert Niedbalec was riding in the bike lane on Fletcher Avenue, when investigators say a speeding black Ford hit him. Some witnesses say the Ford may have been racing with another car.
Bicycle activists like Alan Snel are filled with sorrow and anger. “This was a complete, tragic and needless death,” says Snel, who often rides the very same stretch of road.
Too distraught to appear on camera, Niedbalec’s wife Kathryn describes him as a loving father to their 21-year-old daughter Katie, and a hard-working veterinarian with a soft-heart for rescues like their pug Oreo. “No one would take him,” says Kathryn of the dog, which has a malformed lip.
Yet Niedbalec was tough as nails on the Judo mat. He was a black belt competitor and instructor. He road his bike dozens of miles a week to improve his endurance. Read more…