Paul Taylor was primed for a big day on Monday, April 30.
After decades as a physician's assistant, he was going to start a new job in the medical affairs department of a Smyrna pharmaceutical company, said his wife, Barbara Taylor.
"He had been in a clinical environment a long time and I think he was ready for a change," she said.
Paul Taylor's life ended abruptly that morning. The 53-year-old youth soccer coach took a bike ride before dawn and was .
The wreck left the Taylor family reeling and shook the Decatur area biking community, many of whom reached out to Barbara Taylor.
"People came up to me at the funeral and said, 'I didn't know your husband but I'm a cyclist,' " she said.
A lot of people did know Paul. At 6-feet-4, he had an outgoing personality and good organizational skills. He was deeply involved in Oak Grove United Methodist Church and was known as "Boss Hog" because he supervised 600 volunteers for the annual barbecue.
He and Barbara had been married 16 years and and had four children: Ben Taylor and Rachel Taylor from Paul's first marriage and daughters Kelley Taylor and Grace Taylor.
Barbara Taylor said her husband became interested in biking and other endurance sports around age 50.
Though not a hardcore competitor, he finished several marathons and moved onto triathlons, completing the half Ironman in Augusta, S.C., last fall with a time of 6:04:14.
Paul worked out almost every morning, she said, rising about 4:30 a.m. and going to L.A. Fitness to swim, take a spin class or both.
"He was in impeccable shape," she said.
Though Paul normally didn't bike during the week, she thinks he went out for a "recreational ride" April 30 since he was not training for a particular event. He never commuted by bike to his job at Emory at the Grady campus, she said.
The collision happened in the left lane of four-lane North Decatur Road, at the spot where North Decatur intersects with Willivee Lane.
Barbara understands why Paul might have there, waiting to turn left. The couple used to live on Willivee and he knew how those roads connected to their home near Lakeside High, about three-and-a-half miles away.
Decatur police say a Ford Ranger pickup driven by Jorge Mercado-Perez, 57, of Snellville struck Taylor about 6:20 a.m.
Mercado-Perez, according to the accident report, said "the bicyclist He could not be reached for comment.
Barbara Taylor said she's withholding comment on the specifics of the investigation for now.
No charges have been filed, but police say they're not through investigating. Taylor didn't suffer any sort of stroke or heart attack.
While the family waits, life has moved on. On May 5, Paul's daughter, Rachel, graduated from Berry College. Paul's 54th birthday passed on May 20. The church planned for the annual barbecue in October.
"We just keep going," Barbara Taylor said. "We will live by the Paul Taylor creed. He put a smile on his face and kept on living."
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