Memorial Ride to Congress in Memory of Sarah Langenkamp

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    There will be a ride in Memory of Sarah on Saturday, November 19. It is from her kids school in Bethesda to the Capitol as a call to provide better infrastructure and protection for non-motorized road users.

    Steve O

    Dan Langenkamp, Sarah’s husband, posted this today:

    Friends—We all loved Sarah so much, and we grieve her loss today no less than we did one year ago, on August 25, when she was taken from us. To remember her and her beautiful, shining spirit, please join me for a commemorative bike ride on Sunday, Sept 3, at 3:30 pm, riding the route she intended to take the day she died–from Wood Acres Elementary School, past her crash site at 5244 River Road, and ending at Rock Bottom Brewery, located at 7900 Norfolk Ave on Bethesda’s closed off pedestrian block. Feel free to just show up at about 4pm at the end, if the bike ride doesn’t work for you. We hope to have a good group. Hope to see you in it!
    I’ve been thinking back to the awful days after Sarah Debbink’s death this time last year, and I just wanted to THANK YOU for the flood of love and support that you showered on me, the boys, and Sarah’s family in the wake of her death. I had never known we had so many friends. I had never experienced anything like this outpouring of affection. You showed up immediately, fed us, shopped for us, ran our errands, babysat, helped us move, showed up in the cold for a bike ride that made waves far and wide, FUNDED THIS CAUSE, and so much more. You were the water, soil, and sun that lifted the spirits of the Langenkamp and Debbink families, and I thank you, from the bottom of my heart.
    If you are still reading, here are a few updates on this cause’s progress:

    1. The Sarah Debbink Langenkamp Active Transportation Safety Act, HR 1688, has over 40 Democratic and Republican co-sponsors in the House and will be introduced in the Senate as soon as we have a Republic co-sponsor. Sarahs’ father, Dirk Debbink, and I have been getting in tens of thousands of steps on Capitol Hill urging senators and representatives to sign on. We’ve been collaborating closely with the staffs of Reps Blumenauer, Raskin, Fitzgerald; Senators Cardin and Van Hollen; and many others, including the League for American Bicyclists. This will be a long-haul process, but we are making good progress. If you want to write your members of Congress, follow this link!

    2. Sarah’s sister, Alicia Bosscher, is working with Trek and the Wisconsin Bike Fed to hold a second Ride for Your Life in Madison, Wisconsin, on Oct 1. It will be a wonderful event. Follow this link for more info!

    3. I’m working with WABA, where I was accepted as a board member earlier this year, and the Families for Safe Streets chapters in the DC area, to hold an event on Nov 20, World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, to spruce up ghost bikes around DC. The effort will include posting signs on the ghost bikes so people can learn who we lost at each particular site. To generate media, I hope to ride with folks to several sites on that day and end up with a commemoration somewhere down town. Would you want to join us? Stay tuned for more info. If there is interest, we could do a bigger ride. It would be the last, coldest, and probably your most important bike ride of the year.

    4. It looks like MDDOT is looking at changes to the stretch of River Road where Sarah died and will be holding a public forum to describe some ideas for new design in mid-September. If you are interested in attending, email me at [email redacted].

    5. There is much more to talk about, including a big press event to press for truck under ride regulations scheduled with Team Under-Ride for September 14 at the Department of Transportation. This excellent PBS exposé came about as a result of Team Underride’s founder Marianne Karth’s advocacy: [/email] Check it out!

    In sum, the above shows, I hope, that the money you donated to this GoFundMe is hard at work. It is not just that WABA, Families for Safe Streets, and the Action Committee for Transit have been able to hire full-time staff for this year with your funds. Not just that they are pressing Maryland State legislators and transportation officials for changes, changing national regulations, and empowering advocates nationwide. Not just that League of American Bicyclists is training truckers and pushing Sarah’s law in Congress. Not just that the Truck Safety Coalition is making headway ensuring the DOT knows how important it is that automatic emergency braking for trucks and other new regulations be implemented immediately. It is also that the funds have injected new energy into this movement, giving hope and inspiration to the advocates who do this work. This is, at least, what the advocates themselves keep telling me. For that, I thank YOU.

    I’ll keep working on this cause, and I hope you will remain with me.

    Love, Dan

    Steve O

    The truck driver who killed her was fined $2000, once again supporting the contention that if you want to murder someone and get away with it, kill them with your vehicle.

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