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Bikes Belong

Bikes Belong Creates Fund to Encourage Safe Bicycling

07.13.05
Boulder, Colorado

Bikes Belong announced today the creation of the Paul David Clark Bicycling Safety Fund to improve cycling safety and awareness and to honor cyclists who have been injured or killed in bicycle-related accidents. The fund is dedicated to Paul David Clark, a San Francisco attorney who was killed on April 26, 2005, while riding on a mountain road near Livermore, California. Clark was struck head-on by a pickup truck that crossed the centerline.

Paul Clark was an avid cyclist, kayaker and diver who did everything possible to minimize recreational risks and play safe. He provided pro bono legal service to the Natural Resources Defense Council and Trust for Public Land to give back to society and to protect the natural world he loved. Paul's family and friends, including his brother Blair Clark -- a bike industry veteran who is the senior vice president of Smith Sport Optics in Ketchum, Idaho -- are initiating the fund with the guidance of Bikes Belong.

The police report indicated Paul Clark was hit as he was pedaling properly near the edge of the road. The case remains under investigation by the Alameda County district attorney. Although the police report recommended that charges be filed against the truck driver, none have been initiated as of this writing.

While an accident recreation specialist was investigating the scene, a local driver approached John Clark (Paul's youngest brother) and callously said, "Bike riders don't belong on these roads. This is not a playground. Your brother has ruined my neighbor's life because he has to live with this accident."

By supporting cycling safety projects and building understanding through the Clark Fund, Bikes Belong ultimately seeks to change driver's and cyclist's attitudes alike. Although bicyclists have a legal right to share the road (and an obligation to follow all traffic regulations), many motorists believe bicycles belong only on sidewalks and multi-use paths.

According to Tim Blumenthal, executive director of Bikes Belong, "the mission of the Paul David Clark Bicycling Safety Fund is to encourage motorists to be more aware of bicyclists and to compel motorists and bicyclists to respectfully share the road." All donations to this fund will be used for Share the Road campaigns and Safe Routes to School initiatives.

"Our family is honored by this fund and by the support we have received," said Blair Clark. "Specialized founder Mike Sinyard called me when he heard of Paul's accident and offered to personally donate a large sum of money to help launch a bicycle safety foundation in Pauls name. I was very moved by Mikes offer and by other friends who have offered to help.

"Through the Paul David Clark Fund at Bikes Belong, we can effectively invest these contributions to create new Share the Road signage and improve safe routes to school programs. Hopefully this fund will attract the support of people who wish to honor fallen cyclists in the same way that the Ride of Silence honors them."

To donate to the Paul David Clark Bicycling Safety Fund, send a check to:

The Paul David Clark Bicycling Safety Fund
c/o Chase
1301 Canyon Blvd.
Boulder, CO 80302
Acct #: 2040130516

For additional information, please contact Tim Blumenthal at Bikes Belong at tim@bikesbelong.org or (303) 449-4893, or Blair Clark @ BClark@SMITHOPTICS.com (208) 720-4490 cell, (208) 726-6542 work.

About Bikes Belong: Bikes Belong Coalition is the bicycle industry association dedicated to putting more people on bicycles more often by maximizing federal government support for bicycling, supporting grassroots projects, and publicizing bicycling as a safe, healthy, convenient and fun activity for people of all ages.

About The Ride of Silence: Chris Phelan organized the first Ride of Silence in Dallas last May after endurance cyclist Larry Schwartz was hit by the mirror of a passing bus and killed. The Ride of Silence is an annual free ride that asks its cyclists to ride no faster than 12 m.p.h. and remain silent during the ride. There are no brochures, no sponsors, no registration fees and no T-shirts. The ride, held each May, aims to raise the awareness of motorists, police and city officials that cyclists have a legal right to pedal on public roadways. The ride is also a chance to show respect for fellow riders who were injured or killed. See www.RideofSilence.org, http://www.rideofsilence.org, for more details.

###

Contacts
Bikes Belong
303-449-4893
mail@bikesbelong.org
www.bikesbelong.org

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