Hundreds ride to remember Crystel Stanford

FRESNO, Calif.

Crystel Stanford, 29, crashed her bicycle while participating in a 100 mile race around Fresno County.

In just a matter of days more than 300 people signed up for the bike ride to remember Stanford.

The line of cyclists stretched as far as you could see. Cyclists rode for nearly 30 miles across flat county roads.

Each pedal, each turn made in memory of Crystel Stanford.

"All I could say is she was awesome," said Larry Stanford.

"I would say out of the several hundred people that are out here only a couple would actually know the family," said Lance Crow, the memorial ride organizer. "It says a lot that people would come out today and ride for this cause, on such short notice on Memorial [Day] weekend."

Crow didn't know Crystel personally, but he said he felt moved to help plan Saturday's ride.

Conversations with fellow cyclists went from a few chats on Facebook to an event page being set up. "It went from 5 to 25, within a day it was 64, within a day it was 100 and [Friday] night it was 200," Crow said.

Most of the riders didn't know Crystel either, but Fresno cyclists are a tight knit group.

"It's really really sad, but we're all here today to support the family," said Becky Asami.

"It's a really good reason to get out here. And those of us that aren't Olympian riders, it makes you feel good to be in a group like this where we're riding for a good reason," said Eric Kalkowski.

Crystel's family said it's tough dealing with their loss, but the support from the community helps a lot.

"I'm glad that my daughter was part of this world, part of this group. She was as fantastic as these people here. Every one of them is fantastic," Larry said.

Funeral services for Crystel will be held on Wednesday at Cornerstone Church.

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