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Cyclist killed in collision rode bike everywhere in city

Kyle Hopkins

Wil Curry was a self-proclaimed technology nerd who sometimes fixed computers in exchange for meals of sushi and sake. He rode his bicycle all over Anchorage, even in winter, and he left a digital trail wherever he biked.

Using his iPhone, the 36-year-old Curry, mapped his progress as he cycled across the city each day. To his job at GCI in South Anchorage. Back home to his Turnagain apartment. Across town to his girlfriend's place.

All those bike rides are saved on a website called endomondo.com, which allows cyclists to record exactly when and where they ride. When worried friends looked at the site Monday night and saw Curry's trip had abruptly stopped 3 miles from his home at the intersection of Tudor Road and C Street, they knew he was dead.

It was his body that Luke Miller, Curry's roommate and co-worker at GCI, had seen lying next to a car and a broken bicycle at the scene of an accident earlier in the evening.

With the help of Curry's online records, police are now trying to determine how a 1997 Toyota Camry collided with his Mongoose mountain bike, said Anchorage Police Department spokeswoman Anita Shell.

"There was a (global positioning) system that this young man was using to track his activities or his workouts on his bicycle," Shell said. "So they want to review that to see how much information they can garner."

LIGHTS AND HELMET

Exactly what happened remained unclear late Tuesday.

The crash came at 12:09 a.m. Tuesday. The Camry, driven by 59-year-old Melinda Talaro of Anchorage, was headed south on C Street, Shell said.

Police on Tuesday weren't saying if the car was making a turn or where in the intersection the cyclist was at the time of the accident. Curry was wearing a helmet and his bicycle was outfitted with lights in the front and rear, police said.

Curry works a swing shift and started biking home from work about two hours before the accident, according to Miller, his roommate.

Miller, meanwhile, had gone to Village Inn in Midtown to celebrate another co-worker's birthday. Miller was riding with someone else south on C Street back to the South Anchorage office to pick up his car when he saw an accident scene.

There was a bicycle, but Miller passed too quickly to recognize it. A body -- covered from view -- was lying near a car.

"I didn't feel good about it about all," Miller said.

He messaged Curry's girlfriend on Facebook and learned Curry was late to her house. She looked up his trip on the Internet.

"(Curry) had been stopped for about half hour where that intersection was," Miller said.

TRAINING FOR FUNDRAISER

On Facebook, where friends posted dozens of remembrances Tuesday, Curry said he's a fan of Shakespeare and "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog." The TV shows "Mythbusters" and "Fraggle Rock." On other online profiles he said he's worked for the Alaska Railroad, the Geek Squad at Best Buy, and lived in Indiana and Maryland as well as Alaska.

At GCI he was an ITS Technician, which meant he was the guy who answered the phone if you call the company for technical support, said GCI spokesman David Morris.

"Folks in the department are shook up, we're working with grief counselors," Morris said in an email. "He was well-liked, a team player and will be missed."

Curry's landlord, Gary Fidino, stood shoveling melting snow outside his apartment later Tuesday afternoon.

Curry seemed happy to Fidino. He had a girlfriend. He was getting fit.

"He was excited because he got these big tires, studded tires for his bicycle," Fidino said.

The bike was Curry's main form of transportation, said Kristin Van Cleaf, a friend who was training to join him in the Tour de Cure -- a cycling fund-raiser to fight diabetes.

Their team was called Geeks in Gear. Friends donated to it, online, throughout the day Tuesday.

Call Kyle Hopkins at 257-4334 or e-mail khopkins@adn.com.


By KYLE HOPKINS
khopkins@adn.com