Bike Ride to Honor Fallen Cyclists this Weekend

Christopher Meyer was only 32 when he died because of a collision with an automobile last November in Brooklyn, according to police reports.

No-one will ever know for sure how he was killed, but his friend Mike Wolf  described Meyer as “a friendly, opinionated record store clerk with a fondness for titles on Drag City, Merge Records, and all types of metal.”

Though many of those killed by automobiles in New York every year while riding their bikes are making deliveries, and though many of them from South America or China, some are young and female, like Laura Rothfuss, 24, who was biking westbound on 125th street when her bike was clipped by the driver of a taxi from behind. She was fatally run over by the driver of a second cab who is quoted in the news as blaming her for the crash.

Mexican born, with three children and a wife in the U.S., 49-year-old was struck on Schermerhorn and Smith Sts. in Brooklyn last October as he was riding home from his job at Stromboli Pizza. He died of his injuries less than 10 days later.

On January 4, 2013, Jean Malizia was riding her bike to go pay a bill, and was struck by a garbage truck driver. She died 10 minutes later.

Ghost Bike in NYC, photo courtesy of Peter Meitzler (2013)

“She was mercifully gone, as for 10 minutes she was alive under the wheels of the truck…and my life was changed forever, because a garbage truck driver was not paying attention and on a bright, sunny day he did not see a 5’8” blonde woman with a bright red bike,” wrote her partner Lou.

In one horrific incident, a tow truck driver hit and killed  Shui Yung Jiang on June 28 of last year at Sixth Ave. at 65th Street in Bay Ridge, got out to survey what he had done, and then got back into his truck, leaving the cyclist to die in the street. A fast-thinking observer jotted down his license plate, and the driver, James Billups, was later collared by police.

And some were never even identified, like long-lost soldiers in war time, dotting the streets with their broken bodies forever.

This weekend advocates will take to the streets to honor the memory of these fallen cyclists and pedestrians as well.

Ghost bike for Mr. Ng along the west side bikeway where he was killed by a drunk driver who entered the bike path at night and killed him several years ago.

In it’s ninth year, the Annual Memorial Ride and Walk brings New Yorkers together to remember pedestrians and cyclists killed in any of the five boros of the city.

In preparation for the event, organizers from the Street Memorial Project have gathered old bicycles, painted them white, and placed them in the spots where New Yorkers were killed by an automobile.  Since June 2005, 116 ghost bikes have been installed in New York City to commemorate 166 known fatalities, including 54 individuals for whom the group has no information.

Using bicycles to get around to the various sites where each person was killed, the group visit the site of their ghost bike, a bicycle that is painted all white. Many of these bicycles were installed prior to 2013, and some are newly installed.

Walkers will join the group at the end of the ride to remember all pedestrians lost in the past year.

Participants are encouraged to join the group, and to bring flowers, poems, and comments to read at each site in honor of their friend or family member.  Several rides starting in each borough will come together and join up for one final meeting in Manhattan.

The day’s events will go from 12 noon to 5 PM on Sunday, April 6, and details of the rides’ starts and finishes are here.

Updates will be posted on Twitter throughout the day, so you can join one of the groups in process, at www.twitter.com/nycstreetmem #memride2014.

Below is a list of the people who have been killed in 2013 and 2014.

Jelani Irving
 Sun, 02/02/2014

Pedro Lopez
 Tue, 11/26/2013

Walter Ayala
 Wed, 10/30/2013

Gary Zammett
 Fri, 08/23/2013

Laura Rothfuss
 Thu, 06/06/2013

Mai Zhang
 Mon, 05/27/2013

Jean Malizia
 Fri, 01/04/2013

Pedro Santiago
 Sun, 01/19/2014

Christopher Meyer
 Mon, 11/18/2013

Cesar
 Mon, 10/21/2013

Shui Yung Jiang Fri, 06/28/2013

Marvin Ramirez Sun, 06/02/2013

Unnamed
 Sun, 05/19/2013

Victor Lopez
 Fri, 03/08/2013

Day-of/enroute updates: www.twitter.com/nycstreetmem #memride2014
Ride images: http://instagram.com/nycstreetmem #memride2014
Detailed ride schedule (including updates if any):http://ghostbikes.org/node/1036
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/578709165553268
BikeNYC.org event: http://bikenyc.org/event/5939
Contact: www.ghostbikes.org/contact
More information: www.ghostbikes.org/new-york-city
Like us: www.facebook.com/NYCGhostBikes

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