The cycling community is mourning the loss of a prominent Tucson cyclist, who was killed in a hit and run on the Eastside Tuesday morning.

Tucson police say John Clayton Timbers was killed just before 5 a.m. on East Grant Road near Craycroft.

He was kind, focused, giving and very smart,” long-time friend of Timbers, Alan Fischer said. “It was, I mean it was really emotional and just feel hollow and tired and empty basically because John was a big part of my life.

Timbers met Alan Fischer in 1971 in a local cyclist group, the Tucson Wheelmen.

I was younger than John so he kind of took us all under his wing,” Fischer said. “He was very much a mentor to Arizona cyclists.

Timbers committed his life to cycling, winning some major events along the way.

He was one of the top racers in the country. He traveled around, went to all the races,” Fischer said. “In fact, he was on the U.S. National Team.

After moving to Tucson, he started the La Vuelta de Bisbee bike race, which lasted for many years.

“It would attract hundreds of racers from all around the country, different foreign countries and that kind of thing,” Fischer said. “It was a huge race and he put that together because wanted us to have a European-style race here in Arizona.

This race let Timbers share his love of cycling.

It was a very important part of his life,” Fischer said.

One of the main messages Fischer mentioned is the urge for drivers to be careful on the road with bikers around, especially with El Tour de Tucson coming up soon.