Farmington native Kevin Adorno's bike ride to Florida to propose to his girlfriend was cut short when a homeless man stabbed him to death outside a McDonald's in Vero Beach. Now his family and friends are setting out to finish the last stretch of his Maine to Miami ride in his memory.
Back in September, Kevin's girlfriend was going to fly out to Ft. Lauderdale to meet up with him, where he had rented a tandem bike to finish the last leg of the journey. Kevin had another surprise journey planned for her. He was going to have the boardwalk decorated and propose to her.
But the trip ended in tragedy before Adorno was able to propose. Police say a homeless man stabbed the 28-year-old outside a Vero Beach, Florida McDonalds when he went outside to make a phone call after stopping for food.
Police later charged 59-year-old Rene Herrera Cruz with first-degree murder.
Kevin was killed 145 miles from his final destination in Florida.
After a heartwrenching tragedy, Kevin's family is making a positive tribute to him by finishing his ride.
About 30 of his family members and friends left Connecticut on Sunday. They are expected to be joined by dozens of other cyclists in Florida.
The group ride will begin in Vero Beach on Tuesday and is expected to end in Miami on Friday. They'll be starting in the town where he spent his final moments.
“It’s going to be inspiring. It’s going to be hard because we know why we’re doing it because he couldn’t,” says Tanya Adorno, Kevin’s sister.
“I’m sitting in the garage with a couple of friends and it just came to mind, I’m going to go down there and finish his ride and literally right there in that second when I said that, I’ll do that with you. That’s a great idea. Let’s do that,” Robert Adorno, Kevin’s brother, said.
The community through fundraisers helped make the trip possible.
The family hopes the ride helps with the healing process.
“Very soon we’re going to be getting in the vans and sort of become overwhelmed with what we’re actually going to do,” Tanya Adorno said Saturday.
The family started the Kevin Adorno Memorial Fund which eventually they hope will include scholarships and a youth biking program.
Adorno went to Noah Wallace School and Irving A. Robbins Middle School in Farmington and graduated from Farmington High School in 2004, according to Bicycle Friendly Farmington. He majored in graphic design at Central Connecticut State University and took classes before that at Tunxis Community College, going on to own two businesses, Bevy Productions and Media and My Pencil Portraits, according to the event notice on the organization's website. He also played soccer, football and lacrosse in Farmington. His experiences stretched further than his hometown, as he loved to travel, from backpacking through Europe to driving on a trip touring the country.
Kevin rode on his first big bike trip with his sister from Maine to Maryland in summer of 2013.
“There’s lots of low moments that we have just missing him, and so something like this, to be able to come out, and channel all of our energy into something so beautiful," Tanya Adorno previously said. "It’s the best thing we can do.”