In this week's Skinny--out Thursday, Aug. 21--we mention Chris Chandler and his son Riley, a classmate of Jose Rincon's when they attended St. Michael's last year. Rincon died in March after being hit on his bike by a car allegedly driven by Glenda Rumsey. At the age of 14, Jose was taken from his mother and father, and his two sisters, obviously too early--he had an incredible life of promise ahead of him.
The Chandler's have put up three of the four ghost bike memorials at the intersection of Broadway and Vozack, where Jose was hit, along with his friend Oscar Perez, who survived. Jose was spending the night at Oscar's house, and the boys were riding their bikes along the road when a car came up from behind them.
That was it. The Rincon family’s life was changed forever, and Oscar's, as well as Riley's and all their classmates.
On Sunday, Aug. 17, Chris and Riley, along with Oscar, put up a fourth bike--again in a block of cement so it could stand on its own and be hard to steal or vandalize. But time will tell; we wrote that it seems someone out there really pays attention to the media--both the morning daily and the Tucson Weekly--on the status of Jose's ghost bike.
The first bike, put up by Ari Shapiro in May, was taken. The second and third bikes, put up by the Chandlers, have both been taken. Now the fourth bike is up. I guess we'll see what happens.
The Chandlers wanted to put one up again to tell the coward taking the bikes that they aren't going to forget about Jose--but they aren't sure if they are up for putting up a fifth or more if this continues.
When I talked to tucsonbikelawyer.com's Erik Ryberg yesterday, he said it would be good to remind folks that BICAS (call them at 628-7950) has collected bikes just for people like the Chandlers who want to put up ghost bikes in memory of someone who died while riding their bike on Tucson's streets.
The bicycling community has always struck me as one that cares and I can't imagine they are alone. I can't imagine that Tucson is ready to forget about Jose Rincon.