Hundreds honor slain bicyclist with ride
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2009 (Updated 10:37 am)
HIGH POINT — Unseasonably warm weather and clear skies provided near perfect conditions for the bicycle ride in memory of hit-and-run victim David Sherman.
“We couldn’t have asked for a better day,” event co-organizer Rodney Simpson said.
More than 600 cyclists registered to ride distances of 15 and 25 miles in the “Today We Ride For Dave” cycling event Sunday.
Sherman was killed in October after being struck by an SUV while riding his bike.
Police charged Eden resident Grayson Dawson with felony hit-and-run, misdemeanor death by motor vehicle and driving while license revoked in connection with Sherman’s death.
At Sherman’s memorial service, Simpson said he and fellow organizers started brainstorming ways to move forward.
“We thought, ’What good is it that can come from this tragic event?’” Simpson said.
They immediately began planning the ride.
Although one of the objectives for Sunday’s ride was to honor Sherman’s memory, the cyclists had two other goals in mind.
“It’s also to bring a sense of awareness so people can understand the need to share the road,” Simpson said. “And, we would like to see the law carried out to its furthest extent.”
Sherman’s death sent shock waves through the Triad’s cycling community. But it has also unified cyclists and given them a sobering reminder.
“It’s certainly brought us together and helps us remember that we need to do our part for safety,” Simpson’s wife, Nancy, said.
High Point cyclist Carolyn Shaw rode with Sherman less than a month before he was killed and said it was necessary for her to be a part of the ride.
“I had to honor his memory,” she said.
“Not only as a cyclist, but as a human being, he was exceptional.”
According to his obituary, Sherman was an avid musician and runner.
In a little less than three hours, all the cyclists returned to the High Point Regional Fitness Center with only one injury.
“Someone went down on gravel, but other than that, it was a really beautiful day,” Simpson said.
The event was free for cyclists, but they were asked to make donations to Yield to Life in Sherman’s name.
Yield to Life is a nonprofit cycling safety advocacy group dedicated to creating a safer environment for cyclists.
Sunday’s ride began at the fitness center, where Sherman participated in the Tuesday and Thursday night rides, Shaw said.
From High Point, the ride journeyed to Randolph County for a scheduled rest stop in Trinity at Sealy Inc., where Sherman was a vice president.
“That rest stop will be managed by his co-workers,” Rodney Simpson said.
Their willingness to come out and man the rest stop and the hundreds of people who rode in the event was a testament to the impact Sherman made on the community, he said.
“He was a special man and this was a tragic loss for all of us.”