This past July, 17-year-old Team USA cyclist Magnus White was struck and killed by a driver while on a training ride in Boulder, Colorado.
White was on a final training ride to put in final preparations before leaving for Glasgow, Scotland, where he was set to represent the USA in the Junior Men’s Mountain Bike Cross-Country World Championships in early August.
The investigation into White’s death is currently ongoing. In its wake, the White family has channeled their grief into creating The White Line, a non-profit dedicated to celebrating this talented teen’s life through enabling cycling opportunities for others and cycling advocacy.
"Magnus trained and raced in Southern California, Virginia, Wisconsin, Arkansas, Montana and Utah...in Belgium, the Netherlands, England, Ireland and the Czech Republic. Yet he was killed by a driver in his hometown, a cycling destination and supposed cycling Mecca, on a popular designated bike route he'd ridden dozens and dozens of times," says Michael White, Magnus’s father.
"...We should all be ashamed. Magnus was just 17 getting ready to start his senior year in high school. He had a 4.2 GPA. He had a European cycling team waiting for him And we failed Magnus. This country, this state, this country, this state - we failed him...we killed him with a car."
Part of The White Line’s work includes a film series called ‘Lives Worth Remembering,’ which is a film series dedicated to celebrating the vibrant lives of fallen cyclists. The first film in that series covers the life and cycling career of White.
The mission of The White Line is to “preserve, honor and use the legacy of Magnus White to inspire cyclists globally, to support their development, to raise awareness of bicycle and automobile safety and create change for safer cycling environments.”
The organization is taking a three-pronged approach to cycling advocacy work:
The Power and Freedom of Bike Riding is Real
- Magnus wants us to ride our bikes. We aim to get more kids on bikes and to help more kids race.
Increase Awareness of The White Line
- We are committed to raising awareness that improves bicycle safety through advertising campaigns and advocacy.
Lives Worth Remembering
- A film series to pay tribute to fallen riders, celebrating the vibrant and dynamic lives they lived and the profound impact they had on their communities.
According the The White Line, some of the initiatives around creating cycling opportunities include:
- Grants to organizations already involved in this cause
- Scholarships for individual racers
- Sponsorships for US-based teams looking to travel for international competition
- A Future Road/CX/MTB team for Junior and U23 riders
In addition, the organization’s cycling advocacy work endorses and will work to improve the following measures to protect cyclists:
- Speed cameras
- Reduced speed limits
- Rumble strips
- Double white lines
- Additional cycling signage
"Because of the generous donations we received from Magnus’s GoFundMe, we are able to launch the foundation with funds. The White Line is more than a tribute; it's a commitment to fostering a community where cyclists can pursue their passion safely, with the spirit of Magnus as our guiding light," says Michael White. "We invite everyone to join us in celebrating life, inspiration, and the joy of cycling. We hope to partner with organizations outside of cycling to help make our roads safer for all users.”
The White Line is now accepting donations and plans to release the full length film about White’s life in the near future.
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