10th annual Jim Rogers Memorial Ride rolls through Nevada City | TheUnion.com

10th annual Jim Rogers Memorial Ride rolls through Nevada City

It’s been 10 years since Jim Rogers, an avid cyclist and one of the founders of Tour of Nevada City Bicycle Shop, was killed by a distracted driver while riding his bicycle on Highway 174.

But his legacy lives on, with an annual memorial “Ride & Run” that begins at the bicycle shop on Sacramento Street, with 6-mile and 16-mile options. More than 100 participants showed up Sunday morning for the ride, which is meant to promote awareness of the dangers of distracted driving.

”It’s very important to keep Jimmy’s memory (alive) in the community, and to support the cycling that goes on — and also the runners,” said Jim Rogers’ father, Allan.

The memorial ride is about the message of preventing distracted driving — and about the type of person that Jim Rogers was, said sister Carolyn Rogers Rondum.

“It’s about how much of an ambassador for riding bicycles he was,” she said, adding that on group rides Jim Rogers always stayed with the slowest rider. “He always made sure people were doing well (on the ride). He was just that type of guy.”

Even with all the bells and whistles that cars now have that allow drivers to use their cell phones hands-free, Rondum said, talking while driving is still a distraction.

“You have to be aware of what’s going on,” she said, noting “not too many” people are great at multi-tasking. “Just take (the cell phone) off the list.”

Nevada City resident Marc Nix said Sunday was his first memorial ride, and called it a great way to spark conversation about distracted driving.

“I’m seeing a substantial increase in people talking or texting while driving,” Nix said, adding he has been nearly hit several times in crosswalks. “Probably 20% of the people I see while I’m walking are on their phones.”

Nevada County is a “perfect” area for people to get around on bicycles or on foot, Nix said.

“But it has to be safe, and there has to be infrastructure,” he said.

Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or by email at lizk@theunion.com.

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