Over mud frozen by temperatures that plummeted to 14 degrees, Steven Kane, of Brightwaters, rode his bicycle last January in the Cyclocross Masters World Championship in Louisville, Ky.
Though he did not win, he was pleased that he qualified to take part in all three days of the grueling race, said his brother Michael, also of Brightwaters.
Steven Kane was training Nov. 1 for next year's race when he was struck by a car on Route 25 in Calverton. Police said Kane, 57, died at the scene.
Kane, a Coast Guard veteran who was manager of safety engineering at Brookhaven National Laboratory, was remembered Friday by family and co-workers as a brilliant engineer with a passion for bicycling and snowboarding.
"The only good thing coming out of this," said George Goode, Kane's boss and an assistant lab director, "is that he died doing what he loved."
After Kane's funeral Friday, about 20 members of his bicycling club rode from St. Peter's by the Sea Episcopal Church in Bay Shore to the lab in Upton, said his wife, Barbara. Kane's body was cremated.
The man whose vehicle allegedly struck Kane, William C. Slatton, 30, of Middle Island, was charged with driving while under the influence of drugs. Police said Slatton also was driving with a suspended driver's license. He remains jailed and is due in court on Tuesday, the Suffolk sheriff's office said Friday.
Born in Jamaica, Queens, and raised with six siblings in Levittown, Kane was "the older brother who was going to take care of you his whole life," said Michael Kane, 56. Days before his death, after superstorm Sandy, he helped Michael assemble a chain saw to clear brush at his home.
Barbara Kane said her husband's death "has been devastating to our family." They became grandparents earlier this year when each of their twin daughters had children three weeks apart. One grandchild, Lillian Pascino, soon was hospitalized with a suspected viral infection.
"He wouldn't let anyone hold her," Barbara Kane said. "He just held her for three days and just hoped she would be OK, and she was."
In addition to his wife and brother, Kane is survived by daughters Susan Smith, of South Windsor, Conn., and Carol Pascino, of Coventry, Conn.; his father, Ronald C. Kane, of Hartford, Conn.; sisters Carole Stevens, of Midland, Texas; Barbara Kane, of Chicago; and Suzanne Kane and Laurie Kane, both of Philadelphia; a brother, Ronald C. Kane Jr., of Wichita, Kan.; and two granddaughters.