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Hundreds ride with Lance Armstrong to honor fallen bicyclists

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KALAMAZOO COUNTY, Mich. -- Hundreds pedaled together in a show of solidarity for the nine people caught in last week's bicycling tragedy.

Among them was world renown bicyclist Lance Armstrong. He visited with the survivors of the crash just before the ride.

"I'd never been in a room like that," Armstrong said. "It was difficult for me. This is the biggest tragedy in cycling I've ever seen."


Armstrong - with hundreds of others - retraced the same 28.5-mile route that the Chain Gang Cycling Club would travel on every Tuesday evening for 14 years before they were cut down by a reckless motorist.

The community lost Fred Nelson, Lorenz Paulik, Debbie Bradley, Suzanne Sippel, and Melissa Fevig-Hughes that day.

"It's bigger than all of us," Kalamazoo Mayor Bobby Hopewell said. "We say 'Kalamazoo Strong,' and truly in moments of tragedy; we've had too many."

The Mayor joined the others on the trail.

One of the survivors - Jennifer Johnson - was able to watch the event just feet from where she was hit.

Two other survivors remain hospitalized: Paul Gobble, 47, of Richland. Survivor Paul Runnels was upgraded to fair condition; survivor Sheila Jeske was discharged.

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