A group of cyclists are riding across North America in memory of a fellow rider. The ride is called Patrick Rides On 8000, in memory of Patrick Wanninkhof who was killed by a distracted driver in Oklahoma during a charity bike trip last year. Patrick’s sister, Suzette Wanninkhof says she and her team knew cycling would be the perfect way to carry his legacy.
“I think when something really terrible and out of the ordinary happens, the only proper response is to do something pretty extraordinary,” Suzette Wanninkhof said. “And riding bikes is something my brother and I always did together.”
Wanninkhof is riding along with Patrick’s partner Rachel Hartsell, Greg Powell and Megan Ryan. Their ride started at Deadhorse, Alaska and will end in Key West, Florida. So far their journey has taken them from Alaska through the Stewart-Cassiar Highway into Prince George.
The other reason behind their ride is to spread awareness to the dangers of distracted driving. According to ICBC, 81 people die on average in distracted driving related crashes every year in BC.
“Phone use and driving currently causes three times more collisions than drunk driving and people don’t realize how disastrous that can be.” Wanninkhof said. “So we’re trying to tell people when you’re driving your car, throw your phone in the back. You need to use it? Stop. But if not, it’s not worth someone’s life.”
To support the cyclists on their journey and watch their progress you can follow them online at pro8000.com