OSO, Wash. -- A group of cyclists rode through Oso on Sunday to remember the victims of the deadly 2014 landslide and celebrate the strong communities of the Stillaguamish Valley.
“Every time I get sad, I get on the bike, and it’s what keeps me going,” said Jose Mangual, who lost his 13-year-old son Jo Jo in the disaster.
Mangual and the owner of an Arlington bike shop came up with the idea for the Ride to Remember after the grieving father bought a custom road bike to remember his son.
“I never thought that it was going to be this big,” Mangual said at the starting line, where nearly 200 riders prepared to head out on the 28-mile route.
They pedaled along State Route 530, where stunning vistas are interrupted by a scar in the hillside, marking the site where a landslide killed 43 people and swept away dozens of homes on March 22, 2014.
At the finish line in Darrington, riders joined a “Celebration of Strong Communities” event, which had an upbeat tone, meant to recognize how far the region has come since the landslide.
"We have seen the rebirth from this disaster,” said Governor Jay Inslee, who also participated in the ride.
This bike honors 13-year-old Jo Jo Mangual, one of the victims. His dad helped organize the ride. pic.twitter.com/u5BfyvHXVg— Ted Land (@TedLandK5) March 19, 2017
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