OCBC Hosts Memorial Ride on PCH in Memory of John Colvin & Debra Deem


The Orange County Bicycle Coalition has been helping friends coordinate a Memorial Ride in memory of John Colvin & Debra Deem and has shared the following details….

John died June 17,  Debra died last August 28.
Both were struck by careless motorists on Pacific Coast Highway.

Like you, John and Debra were cyclists. They were also beloved parents, treasured spouses, trusted co-workers, and generous members of their community. Both lived in Laguna Beach and leave behind grieving families and friends.

Join in solidarity with family, friends and fellow cyclists as we remember Debra Deem and John Colvin.

On the morning of  Sunday, July 20th we will gather and take a short bike ride in the memory of John Colvin and Debra Deem.

John was killed on a training ride in preparation for what would have been his first Ironman Triathlon later this summer. He was struck by a car on Pacific Coast Highway in Laguna Beach, California and succumbed to his injuries the same evening. The motorist has not yet been charged. CalTrans has trimmed back the bushes, but this stretch is still not a Bike Lane…

Debra was killed on her daily ride from home to Corona del Mar. She was struck by a motorist turning right up Newport Coast. The motorist has been charged. CalTrans has failed to improve the Bike Lane at that intersection…

All are welcome to attend. The ride will meet at Heisler Park, (1 block west of PCH, on Cliff Dr. between Myrtle and Jasmine. ) in Laguna Beach.
Meet at 8:00 AM. A short invocation will be given at 8:15.
Following the invocation we will ride 5 miles north on Pacific Coast Highway to Newport Coast Drive, retracing both Debra and John’s last rides. We will continue past the site of his death at Emerald Bay, turn off PCH at the site of Debra’s collision, and climb that hill for them. John would have likely finished each hill repeat at Pelican Hill Road, so we will call that the official “end” of the Memorial Ride at the Newport Coast Villas, just one block up Newport Coast Road.

THE ROUTE:

  • 5.1 miles Heisler Park to Newport Coast Villas
  • R Cliff to PCH  0.3 miles
  • L PCH to Newport Coast for 4.4 miles
  • R Newport Coast to Pelican Hill Road So 0.4 miles
  • R on Pelican Hill Road So (aka Tuscany)
  • to regroup, and then turn back or continue to ride on…

…The Orange County Bicycle Coalition hopes everyone will continue on, completing a wonderful ride of your own, keeping John and Debra in your hearts. To remember, and to make a difference.
Some plan to go all the way over Newport Coast (some several times) Some plan to take mountain bikes high above Laguna to get back, some will head on to do their regular Sunday Tri-athalon training, some will enjoy the trails in the State Park before completing the the ride back into Laguna on PCH…

The families of John and Debra both wish that the ride serves to elevate the profile of cyclists in the eyes and minds of motorists, too many of whom are not aware of the our rights on the road, do not expect to see us on the road, and pass too closely when we ride to the right.

With this in mind please stay visible on Pacific Coast Highway through Laguna Beach, especially on the part of the road where John was killed. Ideally, ride solo or no more than two abreast. If you can, please leave a gap of 15-20 seconds between riders. We do not anticipate stopping at the places of John’s or Debra’s death; there is just no safe place to stop on the shoulder or bike lane.

John’s family has asked that donations in his honor be made to the Orange County Bicycle Coalition. You can visit ocbike.org and click the “DONATE” tab (right hand side of the home page), or send a check payable to “O.C.B.C.” at 405 E. Wilson Avenue, Orange CA 92867-4832.  OCBC is a 501 c.) 3.): EIN 33-0623176

Better yet – if not already members, get your friends to JOIN OCBC!

Please consider riding to the start of the ride. But for those driving to the start, there is likely to be available street parking in downtown Laguna Beach or at Heisler Park. Another option is to park at the Newport Coast Community Center (6401 San Joaquin Hills Rd, Newport Coast, CA 92657), at the top of Newport Coast Drive up hill from the official ride will end, or at the Crystal Cove State Park, and bike down to the start in Laguna from there.

Photo © Christy Nicholson / EchelonDesignPhoto.com

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