By Luke Seemann
FEB 24 2008
Background Reading: The Alleycats | abc7chicago.com (PDF)
Source: Chicago Bike Racing
Matt Manger-Lynch, 29, was at the front of a large group of riders competing in the Tour da Chicago, a popular alleycat series. The pack was heading southeast on Lincoln and attempted to cross Irving Park against a red light. An eastbound SUV entered from Irving Park and struck him. He died on the scene. I do not know much about Matt, other than that he was married, and that his results had been impressing people. He was not affiliated with a team, but he had recently acquired a license and was looking forward to sanctioned racing. I have been in touch with riders who were both in the pack as well as some who happened to be on the sidewalk at the time. All are incredibly shaken. Alleycats are normally outside my purview — note that today’s race did not include checkpoints, so some would not consider it a true alleycat — but I’ll continue to update this post as I learn more about the incident and about Matt.
7 p.m.: The coroner is giving media the name “Matt Mager,” but I’ve spoken to more witnesses and am confident that it was indeed Matt Lynch.
2/25 10 a.m.: Media and friends are reporting his full name as Matt Manger-Lynch.
2/26 8 a.m.: The Tribune has a story about the racing aspect of Sunday’s collision, including more information about Matt. “‘He was very excited about [the racing],’ said Elizabeth Lynch, Manger-Lynch’s wife. ‘It was organized fun, and he got to be a little competitive.'” (I’m not bothering to read the comments on the story. I can only imagine how full of ugly, gleeful callousness they are.) Here is Matt’s obituary, along with his Legacy guestbook. Visitation will be Thursday near Milwaukee. Memorials may be made to the YMCA Camp Manito-wish, Box 246, Boulder Junction, WI 54512; or to the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation, 9 W. Hubbard St., Suite 402, Chicago, IL 60610-6545. Finally, here are pictures a friend of Matt has posted to Flickr.
2/27 11 a.m.: The Tribune editorial board responds to the tragedy by staking a position of being pro-courtesy, anti-races without port-o-potties.