This morning I rode in a memorial ride for a fellow cyclist who was tragically struck and killed this past Wednesday. It was an honor to be a part of this ride because of the incredible love and support felt by everyone there, with an estimated 300+ cyclists in attendance. It was also heartbreaking because of the deep loss felt by the death of local cyclist, Jenna Taylor. It was a somber and quiet ride. Tearful and tough.
I have ridden 930.4 miles straight in 86 hours, covering 50,000 feet of elevation gain in the middle of June. I have ridden my bike from Oceanside, California, trespassed the CA/AZ deserts, continued through the mountains of Arizona and climbed the great Rockies of Colorado. Yet nothing was more difficult, more tough, or as hard as this memorial ride this morning. I have raced excruciating races for several years, and have trained with multiple multi-hundred and 12-24 hour training rides covering some nasty terrain. Yet nothing was more difficult, more tough, or as hard as this memorial ride this morning.
Just riding over to the start of the ride I couldn’t keep my eyes dry or the lump in my throat down. I was a wreck, sobbing and wiping away tears. It was after the ride that a friend of mine and local cyclist who came out to support the Jenna Taylor Memorial Ride, commented on a Facebook Post with just three simple words: “Hardest ride ever.”
He was right. It was the hardest ride ever. How? Why? After so many difficult races and long training rides, how could a 30 mile flat route with an average speed of only 16mph, be the “hardest ride ever”? I wouldn’t have understood except that I was witness to it this morning.
There were hundreds of cyclists who showed up to show support for Cam Taylor, the surviving spouse of Jenna Taylor. Cam is an accomplished cyclist himself, and an ultra competitive racer. He has won many races here around town, and rides for the well known local Jetset team. This morning there were cyclists from many competing teams all over the valley. Cyclists who have raced with Cam, and cyclists who have raced against him. The vast array of cycling jerseys present this morning was a testimony to the diversity of competitive teams in attendance. There were no boundaries today. There were no teams, no clubs, no finish lines. It was a unity of love and support that transcended everything. The local cycling community is strong and protective and loving of each other. It is a family. It thrives on the support of one another. It is warm and inviting no matter your skill level, fitness level, or how experienced you are or expensive your bike is.
There were hundreds of people in attendance this morning who have never even met Cam, let alone his late wife Jenna. Yet they showed up. They showed up to unite, to give strength, to convey deep respect for Jenna, and to demonstrate support to Cam and his family, that they are not alone in this. Today was a hard ride because of the deep loss we all felt for Cam, for his children, for the cycling community. It was so incredibly moving and touching, it was impossible hold back emotions no matter how hard one tried.
Jenna was struck by a commercial truck driver while she was legally in the bike lane proceeding on a green light. She had the right of way and was doing everything she should have. Yet, her life was abruptly ended. It was a senseless and tragic bike wreck. The driver simply didn’t see her. She was 33 years old and left behind 4 young children. It was a poignantly difficult ride because it could have just as easily happened to any of us. The feeling of “this hits close to home” was just too powerfully real. The wreck happened in an intersection many of us regularly ride through, at a time of day we all ride. Some of my teammates went through that same intersection on the very same day, only minutes after the wreck. The reality of “this could have happened to any of us” had never felt more real. This was one more reason why the somber emotional impact was so tough.
I have been through many difficult, crazy hard and tough races and even more of those sorts of training rides… yet I agree with my friend, this was hands down the “hardest ride ever.”
May we all pay closer attention to cyclists out on the road. May we all drive less distracted. May we all be safer behind the wheel and on the bike. RIP Jenna Taylor. Our love and hearts and prayers are ever extended to Cam and his family.
Bicycle crash and bicycle accident lawyer Ben Dodge
A bicycle crash is not always an accident. If you, or someone you know has been injured in a bicycle crash or accident caused by a road hazard or dangerous road condition, hire a personal injury attorney who is experienced and has a successful track record. Ben Dodge, a licensed bicycle accident lawyer in Arizona, has dedicated his entire firm to one purpose: representing cyclists. Bicycle accident cases are the only cases Bike Accident Attorneys, PLC handles. Home based out of the great state of Arizona, Ben can still help cyclists in the entire United States. Ben also founded Bike Accident Attorneys Network, a national network of attorneys who focus on representing cyclists. He can find you help anywhere in the country.
Ben Dodge has represented and assisted bicycle accident victims across the entire United States. As an avid and competitive cyclist himself, Mr. Dodge currently participates in national and local cycling events all over the country. It isn’t uncommon to spot him in early morning hours out riding his bike. Having competed in 8 Ironman triathlons, numerous local and national cycling races, and a successful finish in the Race Across the West 2016, he really knows what it’s like to ride and race a bike. The day he fell in love with his job was the day he devoted himself completely to bicycle accident cases.
Ben represents cyclists injured in bicycle accidents, at the police station, with insurance companies, and in the courts. He advocates for the rights of all cyclists, not just his clients. He teaches police about bike laws and bike safety, he educates drivers about the rules of the road, and he trains cyclists and clubs to ride more safely.
A consultation with experienced Arizona bicycle accident attorney Ben Dodge is free
In recent years there has been approximately 700 bicycle fatalities in the United States every single year. Approximately 2,000 bicycle accidents are reported in Arizona every year. Approximately 30 fatal bicycle accidents are reported in Arizona every year. Bicycle fatalities are terrible and horrific tragedies that affect the lives of too many families and friends to count. Understanding your rights and obligations as a cyclist can bring clarity to your specific accident situation. It will always be in your best interest to be represented by an attorney who knows the bicycle laws and has a successful track record of winning bicycle accident cases. The negotiation tactics and strategies of winning a case are extremely important, but should always take a back row seat to the litigation experience and knowledge of court room rules, local, state, and federal rules of civil procedure that can have significant impact on your bicycle accident case. It is wise to be represented by someone well versed in bicycle accident law, local and state bicycle ordinances, rules, regulations, policies, and laws. You should hire someone very familiar with negligence and tort law, civil procedure, and the rules of evidence as they all relate specifically to bicycle accident cases.
Ben Dodge always offers a complimentary in person consultation to all local cyclists and a complimentary phone consultation to any cyclist injured in a bike accident. Typically the consultations are schedule from 30-60 minutes depending on the severity of the accident. You can expect to get answers to questions, clarity, information, and reassurance of your personal bike accident liability and potential for recovery. In your free consultation you can generally expect to discuss such topics as:
- your specific bike accident details, diagrams, and pictures from your perspective and then from the perspective of your bike accident attorney.
- the applicable local, state, and federal laws underlying your case.
- your rights as a cyclist, obligations, and any potential liability.
- the process, procedure (in and out of court), and the time frame required to conclude your case.
- the value of your case and what you might expect as compensation.
You can call Arizona bicycle lawyer Ben Dodge of Bike Accident Attorneys, PLC at 1.855.663.3922. Mr. Dodge’s staff is standing and ready to accept your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every single day of the year. Ben will personally return your call within 24 hours. There is never an obligation past a complimentary consultation with Mr. Dodge. His passion is in representing cyclists and his entire office stands ready to serve with kindness and patience.
Bike Accident Attorneys, PLC
Call Ben Dodge, the Bicycle Lawyer today at 1.855.663.3922. Reach him by fax at 1.800.958.8902.
Mr. Dodge can also be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
His main Arizona offices are located at:
Mesa Arizona (home base office)
4824 E. Baseline Rd., Suite 124
Mesa, Arizona 85206
Phoenix Arizona office
2415 e. Camelback Rd., suite 700
Phoenix, Arizona 85016
Tucson Arizona office
One South Church Avenue, 12th Floor
Tucson, Arizona 85701
Mr. Dodge represents cyclists in the entire state of Arizona including but not limited to mesa, phoenix, tucson, yuma, gilbert, peoria, glendale, scottsdale, ahwatukee, tempe, chandler, prescott, sedona, flagstaff, surprise, kingman, page, lake havasu city, payson, goodyear, buckeye, queen creek, paradise valley, show low, winslow, maricopa, nogales, globe, avondale, cave creek, fountain hills, apache junction, carefree, wickenburg, pinetop-lakeside, strawberry, anthem, safford, and more. Ben Dodge is currently involved with bicycle accident cases all over the country and has founded a national network of independent bicycle lawyers that can assist in representation in all 50 states.