“Attention: I greatly appreciate those who made this memorial in remembrance of my brother José Perez (Ray). My name is Nivia. Thank you.”
José Perez’s sister posted the above note on his ghost bike in August 2007.
A group of local riders installed José’s ghost bike on July 3, 2007. It was the first in the City of Albany. Prior to that, there was a cross with some memorial items. José’s ghost bike was maintained from 2007 until 2014 – new signs, paint, new chain, flowers, etc. The City of Albany removed José’s ghost bike and all others in 2014 (along with all other “street memorials”). His ghost bike was discarded.
Roughly, every 15 months a person in a motor vehicle killed a bicycle rider in the area. Some drivers were drunks, convicted reckless drivers, or OD’d on drugs or asleep. Other bicycle riders contributed to their own deaths by their unsafe actions. Regardless of the cause, these people are dead.
Ride of Silence – 10 Years – The national Ride of Silence organization has authorized ABC’s using the 10-Year Anniversary logo since we are on record as having conducted the Albany ROS each year for that period.
Going back those 10 years from this year’s ride date (5/17), we have lost John J. Cummings (1/27/16), Robert Agne, Stephen Nolan, Brian Bailey, Matthew Ratelle, and Paul J. Merges (11/24/12). That’s 1 every 20 months. Four of the six died by virtue of bad behavior by people in cars. (The cause is not clear on Nolan and Bailey.)
Please attend the 10th Annual Albany Ride of Silence on Wednesday, May 17. We will visit the ghost bike sites in the City of Albany and Colonie. Your participation honors cyclists killed or injured in collisions with automobiles. Last year, there were 445 Rides of Silence in all 50 States plus 48 countries on 7 continents. Our silence during the ride promotes safety awareness and mutual respect on the road.
There are two Starting Points – Boat Launch area, Albany Corning Preserve, 6:00 PM and W. Capitol Park & Washington Ave. & State St., 6:30 PM.
Anyone with a bicycle and helmet is welcome to this slow-paced and quiet ride.
If you prefer not to ride but want to participate, please meet around 7:00 PM at Diva De Loayza’s ghost bike site (corner of Western Ave., Homestead, and University Place near the SUNOCO station, Uncommon Grounds plaza, and All Saints Catholic Church). At this site, we will read the names of those who have been killed while riding their bicycles, and we will hear from some of family and friends. We will also honor Diva and the others whose sites we visit with fresh flowers.
Please remember your fellow riders:
- 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
- Alan R. Fairbanks – October 29, 2006 (age 72) Bicyclist hit by car/died, Rt. 5-S at bicycle path, Rotterdam)
- 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