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Hundreds Pay Respects For Cyclist Killed in Briarcliff

BRIARCLIFF MANOR, N.Y. – Friends say Ossining’s Jane Shakman was not only an avid cyclist but a wonderful volunteer and one of the most caring people one could ever meet.

More than 200 people came to Waterbury & Kelly Funeral Home on Friday to pay their respects to Shakman, who was struck by a car and killed on July 8 while riding her bicycle in Briarcliff Manor.

Shakman, 62, was an active member of the Westchester Cycle Club and the Bike Walk Alliance of Westchester and Putnam and contributed to several events with the cycling groups over the years. She was also a volunteer with the SPCA of Westchester in Briarcliff Manor. Dozens of members with the SPCA and Cycle Club attended Friday’s memorial service.

Alice Shanahan, SPCA of Westchester volunteer coordinator, said she will always remember how much love and care Shakman showed every day as a volunteer.

“She was wonderful because she had such a great way with people and always had such a genuine desire to help,” Shanahan said. “She was especially fond of some of our special-needs dogs. Jane always gave extra TLC to our dogs that needed it and it seemed like she always had time and love to give.”

Members with the Bike Walk Alliance said earlier this week they are planning a special memorial known as a Ghost Bike at the intersection of Chappaqua Road and Tappan Terrace to honor Shakman’s memory.

Bob Kearney, of Yorktown, knew Shakman for more than 20 years and along with expressing great sadness, Kearney said he was appreciative that a memorial would be put up to remind drivers of cyclists on the road.

“Jane was the most delightful, bubbly person that I ever knew,” Kearney said, adding that he knew Shakman well when they were both members of the Westchester Cycle Club. “It was such a horribly tragic thing that happened to her.”

Kearney said he was at first shocked to hear of Shakman’s death and that the police reported that 26-year-old Briarcliff Manor resident Valerie Naber was “inattentive” when she hit Shakman.  

“It upset me a great deal that she wasn’t paying attention and I’ve seen the way drivers treat cyclists on the road,” Kearney said. “I’ve been bumped a few times and every time a driver hits me they stop and say ‘Oh, I’m sorry I didn’t see you there.’ Too many drivers are just not paying attention.”

Betsy Rosenthal, a Westchester Cycle Club member and longtime friend of Shakman’s, said Shakman was one of the best cyclists she has known.   

“She was a very experienced cyclist and wasn’t reckless at all,” Rosenthal, of Larchmont, said. “But the thing about Jane was that she was also the most caring person you’d ever meet. There was another member of the club who was hit by a car and injured a few years back and Jane was always there for her and always attentive and was there when she was needed.”

Rosenthal said her fondest memory of Shakman was seeing her with her husband, Stu Shakman, more than 20 years ago.

“They were just so happy and it was so heartwarming to see,” Rosenthal said. “She was a wonderful, sweet, gentle and cheerful person. To see them together was so great. It’s going to be really difficult without her because she meant so much to so many people.” 

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