Last September, a man dipped the rear tire of his Cervelo 2 bike in the Pacific Ocean along the California coast. It was the start of a planned 21-day ride across the country to raise money for victims of the BP oil spill. The trek ended tragically, just 300 miles from the Atlantic Ocean. A distracted driver ended the bicyclist’s journey on Oct. 6, 2010. The cross-country rider was pronounced dead at the scene of the bike accident.
On the 1-year anniversary of the fatal accident, a group of bicycle enthusiasts joined friends and family members of the deceased rider to finish the trek. The group mounted their bicycles along the road where the fatal accident occurred to complete the unfinished journey to raise awareness for cyclist safety.
The widow of the man killed last year says, “Even though his was trip was cut short, the journey will be completed, thanks to a group of devoted cyclists.” Twenty-two riders banded together for the 3-day, 300 mile final leg of the cross-country trek started more than a year ago. The emotional 3-day bike tour helped to provide some closure to the family by finishing the nationwide tour. But the family decided to go forward with the final leg to inspire drivers and bicyclists alike to be aware of safety on the nation’s roads.
The man’s stepdaughter says “The whole purpose of the ride is to send the message that people need to pay attention while they’re driving.” The family of the deceased rider wants to raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving, such as texting or reading a note while behind the wheel. The 41-year-old driver involved in last year’s fatal bicycle accident was reportedly looking at his cellphone at the time of the fatal accident.
The group of riders finished the three day trek at the Atlantic Ocean Sunday morning. The front tire from the Cervelo 2 bike was salvaged after the fatal accident. The wheel was placed on one of the rider’s training bikes for the journey and tire dipping ceremony. Family members gathered around for an Atlantic Ocean tire dipping ceremony to complete the trip that began just over a year ago along the California coast.
One of the organizers of the final leg of the journey said in a news release, “If those driving by us in their vehicles could just understand the cyclist they just passed is a father, mother, spouse, friend … maybe, just maybe, they would give the cyclist a bit more room before they pass.”
Sources: Pensacola News Journal, “Friends to finish ride for cyclist killed during cross-country trek,” Brittany Carr, Oct. 5, 2011
First Coast News, “Cyclists Pull Together For Man Killed One Year Ago,” Len Kiese, Oct. 9, 2011