GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — 23-year-old Zoe Clay died shortly after a fall that her loved ones called a freak accident during a competitive charity bike race in Greensboro last Sunday.
Clay, an avid cyclist, was helping to raise money to take care of the mountain biking trails in the Triad.
Many photos show Clay in her element, smiling ear to ear in her biking gear and behind the handlebars on the course. It’s something she took up late, but it’s where she found her passion.
Clay and her boyfriend Will Hardin regularly recapped bike races on his YouTube channel.
“Zoe … shared the same love of biking that we did,” Hardin said Wednesday afternoon.
Hardin met Zoe about a year and a half ago while doing road racing and cycle cross.
“Just a wonderful and bright light that was introduced into our little community.”
Clay felt at home in the Winston-Salem biking community.
“We just loved her, and it’s been cool to see so many people support her family.”
In just a couple of days, a GoFundMe for her has reached more than $60,000. With costs covered, the rest of the money will honor Clay’s legacy.
“Hopefully, we can get support for the causes she loved … She was so passionate about getting girls on bikes and seeing them smile.”
Hardin says her death is a true loss for the entire cycling community.
“Getting to see that trajectory … would have been spectacular. She had a lot of promise in the sport.”
And those who loved the smiling, adventurous girl on the bike will remember her as long as they ride.
“She was a wonderful person, and we miss her.”
The GoFundMe will be updated soon when her loved ones figure out the best way to carry out her mission of encouraging young women to ride bikes.