Relief fund and event set for bicyclist downed in March hit-and-run

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The remains of Chris Zito’s bicycle after a March 30 hit-and-run accident.

Photo by Nick Sande from Surly Bikes

May 27 concert at Nomad World Pub will assist with medical expenses

The mangled remains of Chris Zito’s bicycle are chilling evidence of the March 30 hit-and-run that left the 38-year-old cyclist and bouncer at the Nomad World Pub in a back brace and unable to work for the time being.

Nearly two months after the accident, the Nomad World Pub will host a benefit concert to assist with Zito's medical expenses. He does not have insurance. A relief fund has been set up, as well; donations are being taken at:

Chris Zito Fund
C/O TCF Bank
801 Marquette Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55402-9984

Zito was riding home at 3 a.m. after a shift at the Nomad, 501 Cedar Ave. S, when an automobile struck him from behind on the southbound off-ramp from Hiawatha Avenue to Lake Street. Zito, an experienced cyclist and former bike messenger, was riding legally in the wide shoulder of the road, wearing a bright yellow vest, a blinking red light in back and a white light on the front.

There were no apparent witnesses to the accident. Phone calls to the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) revealed only that the case has been sent to the MPD’s traffic division. Attempts in April to reach anyone there failed.

Zito's ruined bike is now on display at One on One Bike Studio, 117 Washington Ave. N. Damage to the bike came not only from the initial accident, but from two other cars that ran it over immediately afterwards, passing the downed Zito without stopping to help.

The May 27 event — titled "Rubbber Side Down! part deux" — will feature a raffle with prizes, including the frame of your choice from Surly Bikes, a complete bike from Hiawatha Cyclery and various other items from Hayes Brakes, Planet Bike, and other shops and artists, according to an email from Zito, who is one of the organziers of the event. "We will be grillin' brats and vegan crap," he said, and organizers are "trying to obtain some beer from Surly Brewery" — no relation to the bike company, Zito noted.

An organized ride before the show will depart from Minnehaha Coffee, 4554 Minnehaha Ave. bound for the Nomad (no time has been set yet). Once there, the $10 cover is good for food "while it lasts,", beer specials and a long lineup of bands, including headliners The Knotwells. The Current DJ Danny Sigelman will also be on hand.

last revised: May 10, 2007