Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Larry and Sierra Gaunt Memorial Ride Photos

Photo: Cyclists start gathering.

Click for photo album.

I'm going to say we had A LOT OF FREAKING CYCLISTS out. I won't even try to guess but there were hundreds upon hundreds. I wouldn't be surprised to hear a number close to 1000.

I ran into MartinOffRoad, Chris and his wife, CommuterDude, and several others that I've met or read about before.

There were a few speakers before we started riding. This included one of Larry's sons (not Sierra's father), a guy from bicycle shack, and others. The talks included a teary-eyed thank you and a talk on bicycle and motor vehicle safety.

We rode at a slowish pace around the lake, stopped at the crash site for a moment of silence and to see the Ghost Bike that Acme Bicycle Company provided, then finished riding around the lake. There wasn't much talking; the ambiance was an odd balance of sadness and awe. I'd say that's about how this ride struck me as well. It's sad that yet again two cyclists died at the hands of a careless motorist when it could have easily been avoided. On the other hand, it's amazing that their story touched so many people and brought us together.

Larry and Sierra did not die in vain, nor will they be forgotten.


nick said...

Thanks for the pic's. It was a very sad event, however, it was amazing to see the tremendous show of support from cyclist all over the KC area. I just saw the report on Fox4, hopefully it will send a strong message to the community.
Of course the tranquility of any moment is shattered when we hit the road as my daughter plowed in to the bike of a motorcycle from Lee's Summit's finest.

Bill said...

Noah, thanks for recording this memorable and hopefully watershed event. My wife and I couldn't be there but I am moved by the support that the community is offering for the Gaunt family in this senseless tragedy. God bless you for spreading the word to all your readers, my friend.

I would imagine that the driver of the truck is suffering immeasurably, as well. For what it's worth, we have all had our moments of inattention behind the wheel. Many of us have been lucky to not cause this kind of tragedy ourselves.

And so maybe this is a good time to take a look at our own driving habits (mine included) and to make some positive changes. We might begin by putting down the cell phone...

martinoffroad said...

The support that was shown last nite was truly amazing, I was glad I was able to be there to show what little support I could for the family.

Nick, I hope your daughter is fine, I was little more than 10 yards behind her just to the right when that happen and saw the whole thing play out.

Thanks for the pics you posted Noah.

Noah said...

I must have missed what happened. Nick, your daughter had a collision with one of the motorcycle cops?!

Also, I thought it was kind of sad to see as motorists left, there was a lot of impatience, close calls with bicycles, and talking on cellphones behind the wheel going on. I'm not saying everyone was at fault. It's hard for KC to take this as a lesson when some of the participants were themselves setting a bad example. Alas, I digress.

nick said...

oh yes, she tried to jump it. She is fine, just bruised up and sore. After we determined that she was ok we had a pretty good laugh about it. She was more concerned about the poor lady who took the bigger fall. Hey, who can say their first crash was running in to a police motorcycle....I hit a basketball goal trying to get out of my clips on my first crash. She has one up on me.

Frogman said...

That's a nice place to go for a ride, even though unfortunately the circumstances were what they were.

RE: The damn dam - most of us from that area don't even know the name of the road that goes over it. We just call it the dam road. It's kinda funny giving an out of towner directions out that way. "Go down View High to the dam road. Turn on the dam road and go a mile and a half or so. Then turn off the dam road..."

Anonymous said...

Press Release from the family of Larry and Sierra Gaunt in anticipation of the upcoming trial of William K Johnson.

The trial for the deaths of Larry and Sierra Gaunt is scheduled for June 30, 2008, at the Jackson County Courthouse Annex in Independence, MO. William K. Johnson is charged with involuntary manslaughter for hitting Larry and Sierra with his truck while they training for the MS 150 Bicycle Tour, August 6, 2007, on Raytown Road.

Since Aug. 6, 2007, our family has faced many challenges in dealing with our loss. The trial, when completed, will end one of the most difficult series of events we’ve endured. We will be relieved to have an end to the criminal part of this ordeal and pray for justice in the senseless loss of two precious people. Hopefully, this trial will bring closure for our family and justice for this horrible loss.

As we met the challenges of our loss we were overwhelmed by the outpouring of compassion and support from the community, in particular, the cycling community, Pleasant Lea Middle School, and Tall Oaks Christian Camp. This support has assisted us through many difficult days. We are grateful for the many dedications and honors presented in the memory of our loved ones. And, we are no less appreciative for every kind words and prayer of which there were so very, very many. It is the grace of God that sustains us.

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