Silent Ride of Remembrance for Merry “Cookie” Daye: ¡Presente!

The rain stopped, clouds parted, and the sun came out on a winter Saturday in Austin. Fifty or so bicyclists gathered underneath the Browning Hangar, the first of its kind, a now refurbished WWII era structure built with wooden trusses. A sense of history was fitting for the somber purpose: to celebrate the life and commemorate the death of Merry “Cookie” Katheryn Daye. She was the fourth Austin Cyclist to die in 2019 in a crash, in this case a hit-and-run with a truck. We rode slowly and quietly to the crash site and had a gathering, and then returned. It was a fitting event.

The tragedy still hurts for the family members and strangers alike who didn’t know her but felt the pain and loss, even indirectly. This gathering was a step toward healing, community and preventing further senseless deaths. Perhaps, some justice will come out of this. That is why I initiated the idea for this ride and facilitated conversations to make sure it happened. At the end of the day, while the ride was a success due to no incidents and some media coverage, Cookie is gone. And that is just wrong, and it hurts. But her memory lives on.

[POST IN PROGRESS, MORE PHOTOS LATER]

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Austin Bicyclist 2019 Death #3: Unknown Male

I have been thinking that it is good news that no more bicyclists have been killed in Austin, Texas since Anthony John Diaz and Jessica Saathoff died earlier this year (which is two too many). Then I did a general search for bicyclist and Austin, and learned this sad news. A man died in the hospital after being hit at a busy intersection of the interstate highway and a regional highway service roads. There is very little information at this point, but it’s important to report and also remember that bicycling, when done carefully and legally, is usually quite safe. Unfortunately not for this victim.

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What If It All Came to An End Tomorrow? Buddha’s Five Remembrances

Being away from home and my bike for a day has put me in a contemplative mood.  Mysterious recent health challenges have made bicycling harder than it should be.  It’s already hard enough, in 100 degrees, being a fathlete, trying to not get dead by distracted drivers, not having a light bike with 27 gears anymore.  For 19 months I’ve had the luxury to do daily walking, writing in my book or this blog, and doing yoga every day (the latter for much longer).  And on most of the days of my life for the last 14+ years, but especially since 2015, I have ridden my bike.  Over 20,000 miles since 2005, by my count. What if it all came to an end tomorrow?

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Ride of Silence to Ghost Bike for Jessica Rae Saathoff: ¡Presente!

I’ve titled this sad post the same as the ride for Anthony John Diaz, because it was very similar. A bunch of people show up at a pre-arranged place, they chat, there are some announcements, and the ride begins without people speaking unless needed for safety. The group rides around East Austin with leaders stopping car traffic or the riders as needed, and eventually it arrives at the scene of the victim’s death. There is a bike painted all white: a ghost bike. Somber words are spoken, people reflect, and the ride continues. It then ends at a park after about 10 miles, where people are thanked and more words are spoken. It’s sad, and it’s supposed to be, like a funeral procession. But now what?

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Austin Bicyclist 2019 Death #2: Jessica Saathoff, 28, Hit by a Car

Please see my post on 12/19/19 about Cyclist Death #4 at https://wp.me/p75hY4-2NT.

This sad news came across my screen, and I just sat and stared at it. She was 28 years old, hit by a car Thursday night. Now, gone. The details are scant and will trickle in. Here’s an updated story from the NBC affiliate, KXAN: “Cyclists push for change after fatal MLK Blvd crash.” The story says she wasn’t wearing a helmet and the car driver stayed on the scene. Despite this tragedy, riding a bike in Austin is still very safe compared to driving and walking. That won’t help Jessica, but maybe it will help others of us who do still bike.

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Ride of Silence to Ghost Bike for Anthony John Diaz: ¡Presente!

Today was a somber occasion, the ride to remember Anthony John Diaz, run over by a bus on January 28th.  I’ve been on a few of these now and it both causes me literal grief, not to mention that another senseless, needless, horrible death of a person on a bike who was doing the right thing simply pisses me off.  For some reason, a city bus driver ran over and killed a person riding a bicycle.  We don’t know yet if she was overworked, high on drugs or booze, hated cyclists, or what.  The place it happened is one I ride a lot and was due to be fixed years ago, but wasn’t.

Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living. 

— Mother Jones

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