Sunday, November 16, 2014

Memorial Bike RIde

Because of my knee, I thought it best to sideline myself and photo-document today's Memorial Bike Ride and Ghost Bike dedication for a recent cyclist fatality: Taylor Banks. It's been 17 days since he was hit by a motorist who fled the scene, rendering no aid to the man they struck and left to die in the road. Still no word on who did it and if charges will be filed.

Vannevar did a fantastic job organizing the ride. I can't say enough about how wonderfully things went and how much it meant to the family.

I arrived at the start point hoping to scope out a spot where I could get shots of the cyclists leaving from Monaca and heading over to Aliquippa where the ghost bike would be installed and the memorial.

I said my hellos to my brethren cyclists who were unloading their bikes off their cars or coming from the long ride up from Pittsburgh.
There were motorcyclists, two Monaca police vehicles and a Monaca fire truck all with lights going to escort the cyclists to the memorial. This was a sight to behold.

Before I took my position, I was approached my the decedent's mother and she introduced herself to me, assuming that because I had a camera around my neck that I was from the media. I asked her if she had met the event's organizer yet and directed her to Vannevar's location and pointed out which of the bright-colored-clothing-wearing folks he was. She went right over to him and hugged him, which caused me to well up a bit. I managed to get a shot of this poignant moment.

I went up to a vantage point on a hill not far from the start point and waited for the procession.

The Beaver County Times photographer got this shot and I can be seen standing on the sidewalk getting photos of the cyclists approaching.

Here's some of my photos:

After the group left, I got in the car and followed the procession down to the ghost bike dedication. The Monaca police handed off escort duties to the Aliquippa police at the border between the two towns. Neither police escorts would let motorists pass, which I was surprised by. I sensed a bit of impatience in the group of 30 or so motorists I was with behind the procession. I think the police lights kept them from honking.

The memorial was very nice and touching.

Rusty walked the ghost bike up to it's location with two family members.

I found another nice vantage point for photos as the group left to return to the starting point in Monaca.

All of the photos can be seen over at Flickr.
There were several media outlets represented there, WPXI and WTAE as well as the Beaver County Times and a few other photographers. Very nice to see them out.

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