The cycling community, in fact, the entire community here in Wilmington is recovering from a tragedy. A little over two weeks ago a father and son were cycling on River Rd. It is a popular road for cyclists, with fairly wide bike lanes. Gayle and I ride on River Rd very often. It is close to our house, so we can ride straight from home without having to pack up the bikes and drive anywhere.
Well, these two men were hit and killed (David the father died instantly and Trey his 17 yr old son died from his injuries the next day) by a drunk driver at 9:30 on a Sunday morning. I won’t get in to allthe ridiculousness of someone being drunk at that hour of the morning. Both Gayle and I were struck by the senselessness of it all, and it hit even closer to home because on any given Sunday morning that very easily could have been us riding that stretch of road. We ride it frequently on Sunday mornings.
Last Sunday, amid all the Azalea Fest festivities, Gayle graciously let me take time out to ride the memorial ride. It was an incredible experience. Over 1000 people showed up to offer their support. Most rode the 8 mile stretch, but there were some that ran and others riding skateboards. It is almost impossible to describe the variety of people, bikes, etc. There were old people, children, people who look like they spend their lives on a bike and those who looked like it might be there first time riding. The outpouring of compassion and community was amazing. I am very thankful that I was able to participate. I took a few pictures, but they don’t do justice to the crowds. There is also a video that gives a better picture of the enormity of the supporters.
Please remember when you are driving that it’s important to watch for cyclists. Especially as the weather is warming up. And it’s not just drunk driving that can cause accidents. Distracted driving is dangerous too. Texting, changing the radio station, or any other number of distractions can also result in a tragedy. It just takes a moment.