Magnus White’s Family Creates Non-Profit in Fallen Cyclist’s Honor
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The family of the late cyclist Magnus White has launched a new non-profit organization and released a short film about their son’s life and tragic death.
White, a member of the US National Team and multi-time national champion, was struck and killed by a motorist on July 29, 2023. He was 17.
White’s father Michael White said that the outpouring of support after Magnus’ death allowed the family to make quick work of starting a foundation.
“Because of the generous donations we received from Magnus’s GoFundMe, we are able to launch the foundation with funds,” he said. “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.”
As of today, the GoFundMe account has raised over $145,000.
White was hit near Highway 119 and N. 63rd Street, which is just 15 minutes from his home in Boulder, Colorado. He was on a training ride ahead of a trip to Scotland for the UCI Junior Mountain Bike World Championships. White was wearing his red, white, and blue national team kit when he was killed.
In the new film, ‘Lives Worth Remembering: Magnus White,’ Michael and Jill White tearfully show their son’s bloody and tattered jersey to the camera.
According to the foundation’s website, ‘Lives Worth Remembering: Magnus White’ is the first part of a debut film series that will share the stories of cyclists killed by drivers.
“Every year, cyclists from all over the world, tragically have their lives taken from them, leaving behind shattered dreams and grieving families,” the website reads. “This series, ‘Lives Worth Remembering,’ pays tribute to these fallen riders, celebrating the vibrant and dynamic lives they lived and the profound impact they had on their communities.”
The Magnus White film is both a tribute to the young riders and his love of cycling, as well as an intimate glimpse into how his death has affected his family. It also touches on the issue of bicycle safety and the need to speed up crucial infrastructure projects on roadways with heavy bicycle traffic.
In October, Colorado state officials gathered to celebrate safety improvements coming to Highway 119, which include a commuter bikeway separate from the road, new signage for pedestrian crossings and increased public transit options. The project is expected to be completed in 13 years.
In the film, Magnus White’s father Michael addresses the gathering and says 13 years is simply too long to wait.
“13 years. I don’t know if we should be celebrating. I think we should all be ashamed. Magnus was just 17. He was starting his senior year in high school. He had a 4.2 GPA, he had a European cycling team waiting for him. We failed Magnus. This country, this state, this, county this city. We failed him. He was developed as a world class talent, set to represent this country, and then we killed him. With a car. We have to speed up this process of protecting vulnerable road users. 13 years is too long, so no other family will have to experience the toll or devastation we have faced and will have to live with the rest of our lives.”
The foundation has been launched around three key initiatives, and one is to support measures that will contribute to safer cycling infrastructure.
According to the website, this includes increased penalties for careless and reckless driving, as well as “quick band-aid fixes” like speed cameras, rumble strips, and double white lines that communities can enact while waiting for the completion of bigger infrastructure projects.
The White Line will also work to expand opportunities for Junior and Under-23 Americans to participate in international competitions through grants, scholarships and sponsorships.
“Magnus wants us to ride our bikes. We aim to get more kids on bikes and to help more kids race. We are committed to following Magnus’s lead and inspiring others to imagine and then achieve what first seems impossible, to set the pace for others to follow, and to simply have fun on two wheels.”
Learn more about the Magnus White Foundation and the film series “Lives Worth Remembering” here.