Bicyclists in Nevada City raise awareness about dangers of distracted driving | TheUnion.com

Bicyclists in Nevada City raise awareness about dangers of distracted driving

Bicyclists and runners gathered Sunday morning for the ninth annual Jim Rogers Memorial Ride in Nevada City to honor a fallen friend and raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving.

"I promise to never use my cell phone while driving," participants chanted, with their right hands raised in the air, as event coordinator Karen Wallack-Eisen led the group through an opening ceremony on the brisk winter morning.

The race was first organized in 2010, weeks after Jim Rogers died when he collided with a car while cycling along Highway 174 near the Bear River bridge.

Rogers started Tour of Nevada City Bike Shop, currently on Sacramento Street in Nevada City, with his friend Ron Miller at the age of 14. He had a passion for cycling and was a successful racer, according to friends and family.

“These people show up because of Jim. He was the kindest, most helpful person.”

— Karen Wallack-Eisen

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Rogers, who mentored several young cyclists, was also known for his kind-hearted nature.

"He was the nicest guy you'll ever meet," Carolyn Jones-Rogers said Sunday of her late husband.

About 100 bicyclists and eight runners participated in the ride Sunday. Many donated to the Jim Rogers scholarship fund, which helps aspiring, young riders purchase bicycles and enter races.

"These people show up because of Jim," Wallack-Eisen said. "He was the kindest, most helpful person."

To contact Staff Writer Matthew Pera, email mpera@theunion.com or call 530-477-4231.