Tag Archives: ghost bike

John J. Cummings, Bicyclist, Run Down from Behind and Killed

Richard Whalen, 75, of Amsterdam, driving a 2008 Subaru, ran down from behind and killed bicyclist John J. Cummings in Glenville as he rode his bike along Amsterdam Rd., on Wednesday, January 27, 2016. Go here.John Cummings 1-27-16

And here’s the full list of area people killed while on their bicycles (note causes) –

John J. Cummings – January 27, 2016 (age 65) Bicyclist run down from behind and killed, Amsterdam Rd., Glenville

Robert Agne, DVM – September 7, 2015 (age 54) Bicyclist killed by sleeping driver who crossed centerline, Rt. 30 Pawlet, VT)

Stephen Nolan – June 2, 2014 (age 53) Bicyclist killed by car, King & Federal Sts., Troy)

Brian Bailey – March 11, 2014 (age 37) Bicyclist killed by truck, Route 9W, Ravena)

Matthew Ratelle – December 20, 2012 (age 40) Bicyclist killed by impaired driver, Rt. 22, Petersburg)

Paul J. Merges, Jr. – November 24, 2012 (age 45) Bicyclist killed by drunken driver/pickup truck, Manning Blvd. & Roosevelt St., Albany)

Nicholas Richichi – October 19, 2007 (age 53), Bicyclist killed by motor coach, Fuller Rd., Colonie)

Diva De Loayza – June 6, 2007 (age 40) Bicyclist killed by car, Western Ave. at Homestead Ave., Albany)Diva with Dog COMP

Alan R. Fairbanks – October 29, 2006 (age 72) Bicyclist hit by car/died, Rt. 5-S at bicycle path, Rotterdam)Fairbanks 6 (Susan + Patrick Briggs)  5-9-08

Jose Perez – August 3, 2006 (age 60) Bicyclist killed by SUV, Broadway at Quay St., Albany.)

Joel Melnikoff – July 3, 2006 (age 49) Bicyclist killed by drunken driver, Rt. 32, Bethlehem)

David Ryan – June 29, 2004 (age 32) Bicyclist killed by reckless driver, Riverview Rd., Rexford)

Robert F. Zayhowski – July 16, 2000 (age 43) Bicyclist killed by drunken driver/SUV, Rt. 66, Sand Lake)

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Filed under Ghost Bikes, Ride of Silence

What’s the Rush?

In December 380 years ago, Harmen Myndersz van den Bogaert set out by foot for Mohawk country to reaffirm a beaver pelt relationship on behalf of the Dutch West India Company. He and his buds, Willem Thomassen and Jeronimus dela Croix, probably followed a path not far from Route 5S and eventually walked almost to Lake Ontario.

In October, 106 years ago, the 1909 Model T rolled off the Piquette Avenue Plant line in Detroit.

In October 8 years ago, a car ran down Alan Fairbanks, 72, while he was crossing Route 5S to continue cycling on the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail. Al died in hospital a month later. The photo shows his daughter and grandson setting up Al’s ghost bike. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAl was an experienced cyclist. The precise nature of the collision was never clear. Those who know this highway-trail crossing will attest to its danger. A posted 55 mph would be a minimum.

In both cases, although for different reasons, all these men were going about their business in the Mohawk River Valley.

In May 6 years ago, the Daily Gazette reported that Al’s ghost bike appeared “. . . on the trail the same week Rotterdam officials unveiled the Exit 26 and Interstate 890 land-use and transportation study. An outpouring of concern brought the trail crossing to the forefront of the Capital District Transportation Committee-funded study, even though it wasn’t an intended focus. ‘It’s a bad intersection,’ said Peter Comenzo, the town planner.”OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Today, April 1, 2014, the Albany Times Union reports plans to improve safety by altering the Mohawk Hudson Bike/Hike Trail that runs along this section of Route 5S. Schenectady County plans to spend $148,000 on the project. The County will realign the crossing of the roadway and slow trail (but not highway?) traffic as it approaches the crossing. It will include signs on the trail and roadway to alert travelers. Follow the Times Union link for photos and for information on the public hearing.

Other ghost bikes in the area include the following: Matthew Ratelle – December 20, 2012 (age 40, bicyclist killed by impaired driver, on Rt. 22, Petersburg), Paul J. Merges, Jr. – November 24, 2012 (age 45, bicyclist killed by pickup truck/drunk driver, on Manning and Roosevelt, Albany), Nicholas Richichi – October 19, 2007 (age 53, bicyclist killed by motor coach, Fuller Rd., Colonie), Diva De Loayza – June 6, 2007 (age 40; bicyclist killed by car, on Western Ave. at Homestead, Albany), Jose Perez – August 3, 2006 (age 60; bicyclist killed by SUV on Broadway at Quay St., Albany.), Joel Melnikoff – July 3, 2006 (age 49; bicyclist killed by car/drunk, Rt. 32, Bethlehem), David Ryan – June 29, 2004 (age 32; bicyclist killed by car/reckless driver on Riverview Rd., Rexford), and Robert F. Zayhowski – July 16, 2000 (age 43; bicyclist killed by SUV/drunk driver on Rt. 66, Sand Lake). (Notably, at least four of these fatalities were caused by “perps” on drugs, alcohol, or both.)

So . . . whats’ the rush?

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ABC Donates to Matthew Ratelle Benefit Ride

Tomhannock Bicycles is hosting a “Matthew Ratelle Family Trust” benefit ride on Sunday, 8/18, 9 AM. The Albany Bicycle Coalition made a donation to benefit the late cyclist’s children one of whom was born after his death.

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The ride starts at Tomhannock Bicycles, 3149 Rt. 7, Pittstown (10 min. east of Troy). There is a $25 entry fee for a 28-mile loop ride for all levels with food and refreshments after the ride. All proceeds from registrations go to the Trust. Register at bikereg.com. Those wishing to contribute individually may make checks payable to the “Matthew Ratelle Benefit Ride” and mail them to the following address:
Timothy Bonnier
ATTN: Matthew Ratelle Benefit Ride
Tomhannock Bicycles
3149 NYS Rt. 7
Pittstown, NY 12094

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Filed under Events, Fundraising, Rides, Support the Cause

Another Cyclist Run Down by an “Impaired” Driver

Matthew Ratelle 10-26-72 -- 12-20-12 CThe Times Union reported today that another cyclist has died.  Matthew Ratelle was struck down from behind about 8:30 a.m. (broad daylight) on 9/3.  According to the report, one can conclude that Ratelle was an “avid cyclist” who had driven to the start of his ride on Rt. 22, was wearing a helmet, was riding on the shoulder, and had a GPS device on his bicycle – all hardly signs of a casual or unprepared rider going on an errand.

According to the Times Union, the killer, Becky Goodermote, was charged with::

  • Leaving the scene of a serious personal injury accident
  • Operating a vehicle while impaired by drug
  • Driving with a suspended registration
  • Failure to use due care

The TU report notes further that Goodermote, who was also suspected of texting at the time, left the scene but was caught when her concerned family member told  police that Goodermote returned home with extensive damage to her vehicle that she could not explain.Matthew Ratelle 10-26-72 -- 12-20-12 B

Ratelle, who leaves a wife and three young children, landed about 30 yards from where he was struck and suffered massive trauma.

UPDATE 12-22-12

Funeral and Wake for Matthew Ratelle, Another Cyclists Killed on the Road – Those cyclists who would like to reach out to the family of a fellow bicyclist Matthew Ratelle may visit on Sunday, December 23, 2012 from 4 until 7 p.m. at the Parker Bros. Memorial, 2013 Broadway, Watervliet.

The funeral will be Monday, December 24, 2012, 10 a.m., Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, corner of Eagle St. and Madison Ave., Albany.

Contributions may be made to the Ratelle Family Trust, to benefit his children, in care of the funeral home office.

Visit parkerbrosmemorial.com for directions, to light a candle, and for condolence book.

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Ghost Bikes Decorated for Christmas

O OOThe ghost bikes of Paul Merges (11/24/12) and Diva De Loayza (6/6/07) now have augmented decorations.

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