When family, friends and organizers saw an RSVP list of more than 400 for a memorial ride honoring Rob Dollar, they were overwhelmed with love and support.
But then, about 1,100 riders – almost three times the anticipated number – showed up ready to remember a friend, support his loved ones, bring awareness to cycling and come together as a community.
“Walking outside and seeing the ocean of riders brought tears every time,” Erin Morley (The Velo), who was a good friend of Dollar, wrote in a Facebook post. “I hope you’re as blown away by that, as I am. I hope we all realize that we have power together, and we actually can make a difference. Rob would want that.”
The massive group left from The Velo bike shop in downtown Phoenix and headed to South Mountain, where Dollar was fatally hit by an impaired driver one week prior. Phoenix police escorted the ride and the city closed South Mountain to cars. Behind a truck displaying a ghost bike, Dollar’s team, Big Orange, led the ride out to symbolize the team taking Dollar’s wheel one last time.
Riders stopped at the “Y,” where the road forks to go to the summit and about 3/4 of a mile from where Dollar was hit. They honored the 36-year-old with a 36-second moment of silence, a prayer and a collective “I love you, Rob.”
“We would like to thank everyone who came out to support our son,” Rob’s father, John Dollar, wrote in a Facebook post. “We are overwhelmed and know that Rob would be also. This has been extremely hard for us and this was the first good day since Sunday. Once again, thank you.”
Dollar’s friends and family have started a GoFundMe to pay for funeral expenses and to promote cycling safety and awareness. They plan to create The Rob Dollar Cycling Foundation.
“It was Rob’s vision to promote safety awareness and to support cyclists and their families who have been impacted by accident or injury,” Brandon Mena wrote on the page.
So far the donations have reached nearly $30,000.
The suspect, whose bond was set at $2,500, in the fatal collision will make an appearance at Maricopa County Superior Court on Monday at 8:30 a.m.
Cycling community members plan to attend. More information can be found on a Facebook event post.
Slideshow photos by James Foley.
Video by Billy Kakar