Jensie Gran Fondo a big success despite Hit-and-Run
Over 1,300 cyclists took part in the 3rd Edition with cycling legend Jens Voigt on Marin County’s iconic roads. Over $7,000 raised for the Marin County Bicycle Coalition
Marin County Community rallies round, after a crash injured four cyclists
A California man struck and injured four cyclists with a pickup truck and then fled the scene during the annual Jensie Gran Fondo charity ride in Marin County last weekend.
With the help of a GoPro footage from a passing motor cyclist and social media, local cyclists and other concerned community members helped police identify and arrest the driver.
According to witnesses, a blue Dodge Ram swerved and struck the cyclists as they rode single-file on the right side of the road. Some witnesses told police that the maneuver appeared to be intentional.
One rider was thrown off his bike and into a ditch and was airlifted from the scene with severe head and eye trauma. The other three were taken to a local hospital with injuries like concussions and road rashes. All four are in stable condition.
California Highway Patrol released screenshots from the footage along with a call for help from the public. Cyclists and Marin County locals spread the images on social media, and tips flooded in.
Authorities identified and arrested 21-year-old Aaron Paff, of Novato, California, around midnight on Saturday after tracking down his pickup. He is currently being held on charges of felony hit-and-run causing injury.
Barclay said it's too early to conclude if the crash was intentional, adding that his department is working with the local district attorney's office to determine whether to bring forward additional charges.
"If it was intentional, it's inexcusable and it's a terrible thing to do and a lot of people are angry about it and I would say deservedly so," he said.
Jim Elias is executive director of the Marin County Bicycle Coalition, which hosted the event. He applauded the motorcyclist who came forward with the video and credited the bike community for coming together to help track down the suspect and support the victims.
The 2017 edition raised over $7,000 for the Marin County Bicycle Coalition and it’s new goal is to raise $100,000 to help fund a major safety campaign to prevent atrocities like this from happening in the future.
"This reminds us of the importance of these days riding with cameras," Elias said. "I feel like it’s due diligence."
The injured included Spencer Fast, 48, of Mill Valley, who was airlifted to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital with major injuries. He was reported in stable condition Sunday.
Colvin, 55, of Larkspur, was taken by ambulance to Marin General Hospital, along with the other two riders, Robert Grier, 53, and Joseph Olla, 49, both of Danville. All three men were released from the hospital Saturday evening.
Ex-professional and founder of Levi's Gran Fondo, Levi Leipheimer, whose house has only just been completely destroyed in the Sonoma wildfires, went and visited Spencer Fast and the other riders in hospital to offer his support.
Over 1,300 Riders Took Part and raised over $7,000 for MCBC
Despite the Hit-and-Run, over 1,300 cyclist enjoyed a great day's cycling with the ever affable Jen Voigt, again raising over $7,000 for the Marin County Bicycle Coalition.
Cyclists enjoyed one of three routes that took in parts of the famous Highway 1 coastal road. The distances were a 40 mile The Breakaway, a 70 mile The Presidential and a 100 mile Shut Up Legs, with gourmet food and rest stops along the way.
The third annual Jensie Gran Fondo of Marin started and finished at Stafford Lake Park in Novato, CA last Saturday, October 7th.
Support MCBC's Safety Campaign Today
To honor the four riders who were nearly killed in Saturday’s hit-and-run on course, MCBC are committed to making their efforts stronger and more effective with your help. Despite the gruesome nature of the incident, all four riders are in good spirits and encourage all of us to continue riding bikes.
The Marin County Bicycle Coalition (MCBC) is committed to making cycling safer. From their Safe Route to School program to working with local authorities, MCBC needs your help to build on this important campaign.
Safe Routes to School: The Safe Routes to School Program improves the quality of life for entire school communities through education, encouragement and infrastructure improvements. Presented in partnership with the Transportation Authority of Marin, Safe Routes teaches cycling skills and promotes healthy lifestyles, while championing greener transportation.
Road: The Road Advocacy Program builds the political support needed to identify, promote and fund bike and pedestrian improvements in Marin. MCBC works closely with public agency partners toward completing the North-South and East-West Greenways, Marin’s primary bicycle and pedestrian routes.
Off-Road: The Off-Road Program expands mountain biking opportunities through education, environmental stewardship and trail development. MCBC is committed to bridge gaps in Marin’s trail network, while also maintaining and restoring existing trails. This effort is guided by the vision of one day riding from the Golden Gate Bridge to Point Reyes, all off-road.
About the Jensie Gran Fondo of Marin
Based in Marin County, California, The Jensie Gran Fondo of Marin offers cyclist the unique opportunity to ride Marin County’s iconic routes with cycling legend Jens Voigt. Recently named a Top 15 U.S. Gran Fondo by Gran Fondo Guide, the extraordinary day on the bike will take you on a 40, 70 or 100-mile ride through beautiful Marin county with gourmet food and rest stops along the way. The third annual Jensie Gran Fondo of Marin started and finished at Stafford Lake Park in Novato, CA on Saturday, October 7th.
To learn more about the event, please visit http://thejensiegranfondo.com