The inscription reads “One moment of a driver’s inattention made and end to his trip, his dreams, his life”. Joeri Gorter, a Dutch visitor touring the US, was killed by a careless delivery truck driver near Page, AZ, in 2008.
Joeri’s parents Klaas and Marijke Gorter are the kind people who donated a significant portion of a legal settlement to the CAzB to try to help make Arizona a more safe and enjoyable place for bicycle riders. The photo above is the memorial to Joeri that the local Native Americans have allowed to be placed on tribal land near the site of the crash that took Joeri’s life.
Linda, Dennis and I (Bob Beane) hosted the Gorters in the Sedona area after they completed re-tracing the route that Joeri had taken from the west coast. It was our attempt to thank them for their donation and to try to put Arizona, and our bicycling opportunities, in a more positive light than what they had experienced through the loss of their son. We gave them a tour of the just recently completed Highway 179 project, and subsequently shared with them our cover article in the LAB’s American Bicyclist magazine regarding that project.
I’m sending this to you so that this history is shared and carries on with the newer members of our team, and so that you share in my sense of obligation to the Gorters and to all who ride their bikes in Arizona…whether they live here or are just visiting or passing through.
Here’s of video of Joeri with a group of “rowing” bikes taken in 2007… At about 3:15 there is a close-up of Joeri. Then you see him at a café and biking more from then on in his white shirt and gray cap.
Please visit www.joerigorter.nl for more about Joeri’s life.