Tag Archive for Santa Cruz

A ride to honor a friend, a fatal hit-and-run and a loyal dog; Pasadena Ride of Silence next Wednesday

Forgive my lack of updates.

I’m still trying to catch up on work, which has kept me tied up this week. But I don’t want to let the day pass without a couple quick notes.

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First, I’ve been following this case all week, which just gets more heartbreaking with every new turn.

The story started with a cryptic report last Saturday that an unidentified cyclist had been killed in a hit-and-run on PCH north of Wilder Ranch State Park near Santa Cruz late Thursday night or early Friday morning. The story mentioned in passing that the man’s dog was unharmed despite riding in a crate on the bike at the time of the crash.

By the next day, the story had spread around the world of the loyal Cairn Terrier mix who had stayed by his master’s body for as long as 12 hours after he was killed. The dog was taken to a shelter for evaluation while police searched for his master’s killer.

Before long the victim was identified as a 39-year old homeless man, Joshua Laven of Massachusetts. Except he wasn’t homeless; he was riding across country from Florida to San Francisco in honor of a lifelong friend who had died while visiting Cambodia. In fact, he had been riding the friend’s bike until just days before he was killed, his dog his only companion on the trip.

According to some reports, it was the dog’s mournful howling that alerted a pair of passing riders on a tandem; Laven was just one day San Francisco when he was run down from behind.

Police are still looking for the driver of the truck that hit Laven and left him on the side of the road to die.

His five-year old dog, Ozziet, has been adopted — at least temporarily — by a family friend who had known Laven since he was 15 years old. She hopes to return the dog to his family soon.

The Mercury News says Ozziet whimpered as the shelter workers handed the dog over to his new owner.

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I received an email today from Thomas Cassidy asking me to help get the word out about the Pasadena Ride of Silence next Wednesday.

If you’re not familiar with the Ride of Silence, it’s a world-wide moving memorial in honor of fallen cyclists, to remember those who have died while riding their bike and call attention to the need for road safety. And it’s something I support wholeheartedly.

There are other rides nearby in Thousand Oaks, Ventura, Irvine and Temecula, just to name a few, but this is the only ride in the immediate L.A. area.

Cassidy says the Pasadena Ride of Silence has attracted around 100 riders in the past, but he’s hoping for a big increase this year, with a goal of 250 riders.

Personally, I’d like to see a thousand or more riders rounding the Rose Bowl this Wednesday to remember those who can no longer ride with us. And God knows, there are far too many of those.

The ride will start at 7 pm next Wednesday, May 16th, at the Rose Bowl. It’s an easy, slow-paced ride open to anyone, from beginning bicyclists to experienced riders. Or anyone and everyone in between — even if that means dusting off that old bike that’s been sitting in the garage covered in dust.

Yes, it’s that important.

I’m committed to attending the LACBC board meeting that same night, or I’d be there myself. So I hope you’ll do me the honor of taking my place.

And give real meaning to Bike Week by riding in the Ride of Silence, in Pasadena or whatever ride is closest to you.

Thanks to Thomas Cassidy  for the heads-up — and more importantly, for putting this ride together.

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