by Ron Cunningham, Executive Director of Bike Florida
Following a year-long campaign, Bike Florida, a non-profit 501c3 corporation, announced that it has raised just over $13,000 to restore and enhance six sculptures erected on Gainesville’s Depot Avenue in memory of a group of cyclists who were struck down by a distracted driver on the day after Christmas in 1996 as they were riding from Gainesville to St. Augustine.
Two of those cyclists, Margaret Raynal and Doug Hill, were killed. The other four Lauri Triulzi, Jessica Green, Eric Finnan and Charles Hinson were severely injured.
The sculptures, erected by friends and supporters of the cyclists in 1997, consist of six “rammed earth” structures embedded with bicycle parts salvaged from the accident scene in Clay County. The original information kiosk explaining the story of the sculptures has been removed and some restoration work is needed. In addition to new signage, funding will go toward landscaping, amenities such as a bench and water cooler, and an educational “call to action” exhibit intended to promote the Share The Road message.
by Ron Cunningham
Executive Director, Bike Florida
When you think about it, riding a bicycle is an act of revolution.
It’s not just the most efficient means of personal mobility ever invented, it is a mechanical Declaration of Independence.
Riding your bicycle you invite BP to take its deep water drilling platforms and shove them. You are flipping off Big Auto and telling Wall Street that you don’t need their petro-industrial complex, thank you very much. Your bicycle will take you “off the grid” in AutoAmerica. And the personal fitness that comes with pedaling your own body weight from place to place is the best medicine against a corporate health monopoly that grows fat and rich off a national epidemic of obesity, diabetes, hypertension and other maladies promoted by the sedate auto-lifestyle.
But no revolution comes without risk. And the pure fact is that riding a bicycle in America in general — and in Florida especially — can be a risky business indeed. Nearly every year, Florida tops the list of the most bike-and-pedestrian (walking being another act of revolution) states in AutoAmerica.