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-   -   RIP Buddy (https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=1191765)

jppe 01-12-20 07:34 PM

RIP Buddy
 
I just saw where one of my really good cycling friends was hit by a vehicle and killed while out riding today in NC. He was an extraordinary rider. He probably rode more than 20,000 miles a year since he retired a few years ago. He was just two years younger than me and I always kidded him about just waiting until he got my age to see if he could keep it up. He rode many many centuries with a lot back to back days. He was President of one of our local and larger cycling clubs. He’d never leave a weaker rider behind......always made sure they got home safely. It was very common to cross paths with him out in very rural areas and we’d ride some very happy and enjoyable miles together. I literally thought he’d still be riding past 100.

He loved his family. His last Facebook post was a picture of his young granddaughter wearing special gold shoes her grandpa had bought her.

Heartbroken in NC.......


Edit: From all the information I can gather it appears that Earl might have moved out into the path of the car. He was hit broadside and died instantly. It’s just so unlike him to make that kind of move......I can only guess that he was making a U turn and didn’t know the car was coming up behind him. Here is the report which seems consistent with all I’ve heard. “A bicyclist was killed in a weekend crash in Iredell County. On Sunday (January 12) at approximately 4:30 p.m., the NC State Highway Patrol responded to a collision on NC 115 also known as Mecklenburg Highway near Bridges Farm Road. A bicyclist was traveling south on NC 115 in the southbound lane. A 2005 Porsche 911 was also traveling south.

As the Porsche attempted to pass the bicyclist on a straight, flat section of roadway marked with a double yellow line, the cyclist suddenly turned left into the path of the passing vehicle. The Porsche and bicyclist collided and the cyclist was ejected from the bicycle. The Porsche continued off the roadway and struck a mailbox.

The cyclist, 64-year-old Earl Douglas Gillon of Mooresville, died at the scene. The driver of the Porsche, a 47-year-old Mooresville man, was not injured. Neither excessive speed nor alcohol are suspected. The driver is cooperating with investigators. Troopers will present their findings to the Iredell County District Attorney’s Office.”



https://cimg2.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...1e1105fa4.jpeg

Bassmanbob 01-12-20 07:39 PM

Sorry to hear. May you get passed this sad time sooner than later.

OldsCOOL 01-12-20 07:59 PM

I mourn with you. That is a heavy one to take.

BobbyG 01-12-20 08:09 PM

As my people say, "May his memory be a blessing". Sorry for your loss.

John E 01-12-20 08:44 PM

Damn that sucks! Obviously, I offer his friends and family my condolences. You have lost a friend; I have lost a "friend I never met." Did they catch the motorist? Do we know any more, e.g. situation and who was at fault? I have lost a couple of friends this way, and it is doubly painful because it reminds us of our own vulnerability and mortality. The best memorial we can give you friend is to agitate for stricter accountability for motorists and for traffic calming and other safety enhancements on our public roads.

canklecat 01-12-20 08:55 PM


Originally Posted by John E (Post 21281761)
...The best memorial we can give you friend is to agitate for stricter accountability for motorists and for traffic calming and other safety enhancements on our public roads.

^^This^^ x1000. Nothing will change until the dominant paradigm changes from "accident" to negligence and consequences for harming others who are lawfully using shared infrastructure, especially pedestrians who suffer in far greater numbers the negligence and recklessness of drivers.

jppe 01-12-20 09:22 PM


Originally Posted by John E (Post 21281761)
Did they catch the motorist? Do we know any more, e.g. situation and who was at fault?

The driver stayed at the scene.

I’m waiting to hear more from reliable resources. The Online news had indicated The troopers said that he moved over in front of the vehicle as it was trying to pass. They were traveling in the same direction.

dicktill 01-12-20 09:29 PM

Sorry for your (our) loss.

big john 01-12-20 09:58 PM

I'm very sorry to read this jppe.

Deal4Fuji 01-12-20 10:44 PM

So sorry to hear jppe

bpcyclist 01-13-20 01:35 AM


Originally Posted by jppe (Post 21281639)
I just saw where one of my really good cycling friends was hit by a vehicle and killed while out riding today in NC. He was an extraordinary rider. He probably rode more than 20,000 miles a year since he retired a few years ago. He was just two years younger than me and I always kidded him about just waiting until he got my age to see if he could keep it up. He rode many many centuries with a lot back to back days. He was President of one of our local and larger cycling clubs. He’d never leave a weaker rider behind......always made sure they got home safely. It was very common to cross paths with him out in very rural areas and we’d ride some very happy and enjoyable miles together. I literally thought he’d still be riding past 100.

He loved his family. His last Facebook post was a picture of his young granddaughter wearing special gold shoes her grandpa had bought her.

Heartbroken in NC.......


https://cimg2.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...1e1105fa4.jpeg

Awesome picture! So sorry for your loss.

rseeker 01-13-20 02:57 AM

That's terrible. So sorry to hear this, jppe.

horatio 01-13-20 05:51 AM

Sad news indeed. Condolences to you and his family.

Dan Burkhart 01-13-20 06:23 AM

A tragic, senseless loss. Condolences to friends and family.

jppe 01-13-20 12:17 PM

https://cimg0.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...5dd024b506.png
Earl Gillon was his name. The outpouring of support from the cycling community is unprecedented. He knew and touched hundreds of us. He participated in the Trek challenge contest for most centuries or distance in July. It looks like he finished 6th in the National contest. For some reason I’m thinking he won it a couple of years ago.

jppe 01-13-20 01:28 PM

Here is a FB post and photo of Earl riding with Jens "Shut Up Legs" Voight. Jens was in town visiting a Trek store and who better to show him around other than Earl.



https://cimg0.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...be068cfb2.jpeg

berner 01-13-20 04:33 PM

This is awful. At least your friend led a life well lived. The world needs more like him.

thehammerdog 01-13-20 05:04 PM


Originally Posted by jppe (Post 21281639)
I just saw where one of my really good cycling friends was hit by a vehicle and killed while out riding today in NC. He was an extraordinary rider. He probably rode more than 20,000 miles a year since he retired a few years ago. He was just two years younger than me and I always kidded him about just waiting until he got my age to see if he could keep it up. He rode many many centuries with a lot back to back days. He was President of one of our local and larger cycling clubs. He’d never leave a weaker rider behind......always made sure they got home safely. It was very common to cross paths with him out in very rural areas and we’d ride some very happy and enjoyable miles together. I literally thought he’d still be riding past 100.

He loved his family. His last Facebook post was a picture of his young granddaughter wearing special gold shoes her grandpa had bought her.

Heartbroken in NC.......


https://cimg2.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...1e1105fa4.jpeg

very sad. Thoughts and prayers go out to friends and family.

Koyote 01-13-20 08:38 PM


Originally Posted by jppe (Post 21281807)
The driver stayed at the scene.

I’m waiting to hear more from reliable resources. The Online news had indicated The troopers said that he moved over in front of the vehicle as it was trying to pass. They were traveling in the same direction.

This is why every state needs a 'four-foot rule," and it needs to be more widely publicized. Some motorists don't realize that cyclists get blown by the wind, have to dodge debris on the shoulder, etc - and they need a little breathing room.

We have a four-foot rule here in PA, though I am sure most motorists don't know it exists. Still, when a driver cruises behind me, waiting until the other lane is clear in order to pass me with a large and safe margin, I always give a little "thank you" wave as they drive past.

Sorry for yourjppe . That really is a bummer.

randallr 01-13-20 09:06 PM

That photo of him with the peloton is beautiful. Thanks for telling parts of his story. God be with you in your grief.

Biker395 01-14-20 10:00 AM

I’m so sorry. Determining fault one way or the other doesn’t bring him back or make it any better. And the problem with crashes like this with only one witness is that we’ll probably never know.

ThereWas someone struck and killed on highway six in the Eastern Sierra under similar circumstances not that long ago. I have to say I was a little irritated at law-enforcement’s willingness to except the explanation that the cyclist was making a U-turn. He was riding Solo, and there is no where on the road where he would’ve been making a U-turn made sense. At least in this case it was far more likely that the motor is simply drafted to the side and struck the bicyclist.But nothing ever came of it.

RIP to your buddy, jppe.

Cougrrcj 01-14-20 06:31 PM

Condolences to his family and friends...

Digger Goreman 01-14-20 08:36 PM

I would believe distracted/too close pass loong before the given driver excuse.... If you are passing in the left lane... zero chance.

Sad to lose another paragon of biking....

Rajflyboy 01-14-20 08:41 PM

So sorry to hear about this. Sorry for your loss.

bpcyclist 01-15-20 02:40 AM

Well, absolutely tragic, but I must say, whatever the facts, this story did remind me that I, myself, a fairly experienced rider, have swerved without warning slightly into the lane when seeing a dangerous object in my path at the last moment at speed. It's almost a reflex. I guess I have been lucky.


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