by Walter Cicha
On June 29th, one of the MHCC’s elite riders was killed in Clifton Park by a speeding motorist while on a regular training ride. British citizen David Ryan was the epitome of focus and precision. Whether busily carrying out research at the GE Global Research Center on the next generation of magnetic resonance imaging instruments or vying for position in the lead pack of a New York or New England road race, Dave always gave 100 % and finished every challenge with a big grin. It is cruelly ironic that a couple weeks before his untimely demise he told me that he is thinking about quitting bike racing because sometimes it seemed too dangerous. Serious words coming from someone who had cycled well over 100,000 miles and was ranked amongst the best of British cyclists for a couple years during the 1990s…
David was an exceedingly rare type of person. He could have potentially won a Nobel Prize and would not have told even his parents about it. He could be incredibly deep one minute and rather comically base the next. Such is one trademark of genius, which David definitely possessed. Those who were lucky enough to befriend David can consider themselves blessed. His carefully nurtured friendship was one of the many gifts he gave on two continents in his tragically brief life.
On October 9th, David’s life and what would have been his 33rd birthday will be celebrated via the “David T. Ryan Ride for Safety Awareness.” The event will feature two rides, the first a 29-mile clockwise loop around the Mohawk River for all levels of riders, involving roads and the bike path, while the other ride will be an easy 11-mile out-and-back ramble solely along the bike path, intended strictly for beginner and casual riders. MHCC is hosting both events while GE is the major sponsor. More information can be found at www.davidtryan.com, the official David Ryan memorial website. In addition to the registration/entry form provided in this issue and at various venues throughout the area, e-registration is available via http://www.active.com/event_detail.cfm?event_id=1166564.
The ultimate purpose behind the October 9th rides is two-fold. Firstly, it is to significantly increase road safety awareness in the Capital District. County and state police will be involved and the event will have significant media coverage – this is already being arranged, with some help from GE. Secondly, the event will raise money for the “David T. Ryan Scholarship Fund.” The fund will be used to allow a top science student from an area high school (TBA) to continue his/her studies at the university level. A stipulation will be that the student is both academically brilliant and athletically accomplished, to honor David’s legacy. GE has made a considerable contribution to this fund and it is hoped that a lot more will be raised via the October 9th event entry donations.
I am sure I speak for many others when I hope that David did not die in vain, and that the terrible tragedy will result in some good on multiple levels for as many people as possible.